from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In rope-making, a wooden cone or top-shaped piece of wood placed between the strands in laying up or twisting a rope, to keep the twist well to the point at which the strands diverge, and prevent it from extending along the strands, which would produce what is called slack twist. As the twisting proceeds, the laying-top retreats toward the untwisted part of the strands.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The strands pass through the hollow axes of the pinions, and thence each to its own opening through the laying-top, T, fixed upon S, which completes the operation of twisting them into a rope.