I am at the stage where I am making the small rigging components for The Mathew.  The picture on the left is of some of the heart deadeyes I have been making.

Now deadeyes are used to hold the standing rigging of a ship.  The shrouds that hold the masts vertical.  They are not pulleys they are intended to hold tight.  Think of them as the stainless steel turnbuckles that you would see on a modern sailboat supporting the mast.

The shape of the deadeyes had evolved over the centuries.  Those shown for the Mathew are typical of the fifteenth century with the distinctive heart shape.  Over the next 200 years the deadeyes became the round shape (see pic 2) that you are more familiar with.  Much easier to produce, and easier for me to make them.  The heart shaped deadeyes took me about 6 hours.  They are made of boxwood and I will dye them the brown colour of the round ones I made a few years ago.

Still sometimes I wonder.  I could buy ready made deadeyes cut by laser like in the third picture.  But what would be the point.  I mean if I go this way why not just order a completed model from Vietnam.