Thursday, December 12, 2013

Homemade Paracord Needles

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.

8-32 thread

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.

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