|my homemade paracord needles|
Listen. I love Rainbow Loom as much as the next guy but I fear if I make too many more rubber band bracelets with my daughters, I may have to trade in my Man Card. So I decided to try my hand at some paracord projects. Seems like something the girls and I might like to do together. For some of the trickier projects, people use Perma-Lok needles to weave the rope through tight spots. It's just a tapered metal rod with a threaded hole in the base that you screw the paracord into. The threads actually hold the cord tight as you pull it. I'd never forgive myself if I purchased something that I could make so easily, so here we go.
|paracord and cleaning rods|
I could have made them from some metal rod but I figured if I looked hard enough in the abyss that is my basement, I would find something already threaded. I remembered that I had a bunch of cheapo pistol cleaning rods that I had saved. I have upgraded to more professional rods and have no need for these anymore. They are 13/64" in diameter and have a 8-32 thread on the end that goes 7/16" deep. They looked just about right so I screwed a length of paracord in and pulled on it. It held tight. Perfect. All I would need to do is cut them to length and taper the end. I decided to make two, one for me and one for my daughter.
I cut the rods to 3" in length with a hacksaw. Then I started to taper the ends on my disc sander. The results were coming out too uneven for someone as obsessive as myself. So I chucked them in my lathe and cut a 5 degree taper.
|cut to length|
Next, I blunted the tips with a hand file. I finished them off with some fine emery paper followed by 0000 steel wool while still spinning in the lathe.
|tapered and (top one) polished|
That's it. It probably took me longer to find the cleaning rods than to make the needles. I have some more scrap cleaning rods in other materials and diameters. I'll probably make a few more in different lengths and tapers just to see what works best for me.