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Chalk reel


This beech spindle-mounted chalk reel wasn’t like the other two recovered from the Mary Rose, found in the carpenter’s cabin, but deep within the hull, between two beams among a pile of wood chippings.

Chalk reels are used to mark a straight line on a piece of timber; pulling the line taut and ‘pinging’ it against the surface leaves a line of chalk the carpenter can follow.

As it differs from the simpler design of the other reels, it may be that this was lost inside the ship at some time during its construction, making it one of the few artefacts representing shipbuilding in Portsmouth Dockyard.