Friday, June 10, 2016

SCREAMING FIRE BUCKLES! Or, Firestarter Whistle Buckles. Your choice.

Buckles. We use some form of them probably every day. They secure our laptop bags, our bicycle helmets, key lanyards, and of course our paracord bracelets. ...what... This is a paracord blog, is it not?
The Firestarting Whistle Buckle

Buckles, shackles, carabiners. They are to paracord crafts as peanut butter is to jelly. Or chocolate, for some. Anyways, that's all fine and dandy, but they’re just fasteners. It has one purpose: to fasten and unfasten. Today, however, I'd like to introduce to you a buckle that is a triple threat. It involves loud noises and fire. No, there’s no hidden pistol…

Ever heard of the firestarting whistle buckle? Oh man. Your paracord bracelets just got a much needed upgrade! First of all, there’s a built-in whistle off to the side of the buckle. When blown, a high pitch whistle rings out, perfect for signaling purposes.

Combined with some Fish & Fire Paracord,
the Firestarting Whistle Buckle makes an awesome bracelet.
But, wait! There’s more! Other than the whistle off to the side, this thing still just looks like a regular buckle when clasped together. But when unfastened, there’s a friggen ferro rod hidden in the middle! That fancy silver decoration on the outside of the buckle now reveals its true purpose: a fire steel striker. Combine this thing with some Fish & Fire Paracord, and you've got yourself a handy-dandy survival kit all fashionably braided into a piece of jewelry.

So, the next time you find yourself in a survival situation, make sure you’re set up with the fire starting whistle buckle. Gather some tinder, light that fire and start tootin’ that whistle so your butt can be saved and transported back to civilization. At least, that’s what we all hope for. Right?

Ever find yourself in a situation that you would have loved to have a fire starting whistle buckle? Comment below!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

How To: Two-Color Cobra Weave Paracord Bracelet


The Two-Color Cobra Weave is a variation of a popular Cobra Paracord Bracelet Weave.


Supplies that you'll need are: 550 Paracord, Buckle, Lighter, Scissors, Needlenose Pliers (optional) and a ruler.

First, you need to measure your wrist to determine the length of your bracelet.

The way that this bracelet differs from the a Single-Color Cobra Weave is that the two colors of paracord need to be fused together.

After your cord is fused, use the ruler to find your appropriate bracelet length.

Begin your Cobra Weave, also known as a Solomon Bar.

When you finish, cut the ends off of the cord.

Now, it's time to singe the ends

Your bracelet is finished!

I hope that this tutorial was helpful. Until next time!

Friday, June 6, 2014

How To: Single-Color Cobra Weave Paracord Bracelet



















The Single-Color Cobra Weave is the simplest and most popular Paracord Bracelet Weave.

Supplies that you'll need are:  550 Paracord, Buckle, Lighter, Scissors, Needlenose Pliers (optional) and a ruler.

First, you need to measure your wrist size to determine the length of your bracelet.

Once you've measured and cut your card, it's time to pull the buckles to the appropriate length.

This is the basic weave for the Salomon Bar Bracelet. Repeated several times, it forms a very attractive design.

After you're done, it's time to cut the ends of the cord.

After the cord is cut, it's important to melt the ends to secure the bracelet.

Next step is to put the bracelet on, and enjoy it!

I hope that tutorial helped you guys. We'll have more to come!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Ball Bearings & Carabiners for Paracord

The fourth segment of our Paracord Hardware Series is going to focus on ball bearings and carabiners.

Chrome Steel Ball Bearings come in a whole variety of sizes.
Ball bearings are primarily used for one purpose in the paracording world: monkeyfists. This particular knot, which seems to resemble a monkey's fist (!), has been around for AGES, used as a weight at the end of a rope for easy throwing or swinging. The knot is commonly tied around a round object to give it more heft. It has also often been used as a defensive weapon, keychain, rock climbing anchor, zipper pull, fishing net weights, pet pull toys, and for throwing a line from a boat.

Monkey Fists are great for keychains, but can also be used defensively.
Nowadays, the monkeyfist is synonomous with the image you see here: a defensive weapon masked as a keychain. Inside the fist, you'll usually find a heavy round object. Oftentimes, it's a chrome steel ball bearing. These ball bearings can range from a teeny tiny 5/8" to a ginormous 1 3/4" (larger than a golfball size!). The size of these bearings will determine the amount of weight you're swinging. The smaller 5/8" ball is half an ounce, whearas the beefy 1 3/4" ball is just over 3/4lb! If you ever need to use one of these to clobber someone... man, talk about a headache!

Carabiners can also be very
practical for your paracord projects.
Biners (carabiners) can be used in tandem with a Monkeyfist keychain, or any keychain for that matter! Carabiners can be plastic or metal, silver, black or otherwise, and come in so many different shapes and sizes, you're sure to find one that suits your tastes. Even though they are most commonly seen being used with keychains, they can also serve as hammock connections, spooling apparatuses for paracord, dog leash hook-ups, belt buckles, etc. If you want to clip one thing to another thing, carabiners can do the job! :P

So ball bearings and carabiners... purposeful and to the point! Have you handle either of these items for paracording projects? Anything unusual or unique that you've come up with? Let me know in the comments below!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Cord Locks for Paracord

Our third installment on Paracord Hardware is here! This time it's all about the Cord Lock.

This particular piece of paracord paraphenalia is lesser known and used in the paracording world, but is no less useful.

Ball Cord Locks come in various sizes.
These Cord Locks can come in all sorts of styles, sizes and colors...they can even come in custom shapes like grenades or teddy bears!

The styles most commonly seen are barrel cord locks (long and thin), ball cord locks (self-explanatory), button cord locks (short and stout) and zipper pull cord ends (all kinds!). Each of these cord locks can have either one or two holes for the insertion of cord. These cord locks have a specific look, feel and use, so you get to decide what you are going for depending on the project or craft that you are constructing.


The size of a cord lock is
generally measure by the
hole size where you would
be inserting the cord, such as
with this Barrel Cord Lock.
Size-wise, it's no surprise that cord locks can range from small to large. The size of the entire cord lock is relative to the type of cord lock that you are using, some being thinner or fatter, long or short. That being said, the size of the hole for the cord varies only slightly, allowing you to fit one to three strands of cord depending on if the cord is ungutted or not. For example, take a look at this picture with the 6mm and 8mm Ball Cord Lock. While the hole size increases only slightly from 6mm to 8mm, the entirety of the Ball Cord Lock is significantly bulkier.

Color... not much to say here, besides the fact that they come in every color you can imagine. Makes things a lot easier to coordinate! As you would expect, black, white and clear the most common of the bunch.

Zipper Pulls can also be considered cord locks,
and are very functional.

From what I've seen, cord locks are used for very specific crafts. These include knife/flashlight/whatever lanyards, necklaces and neck lanyards, zipper pulls, game calls, pouch cinches, keeping items threaded onto paracord, and a few other possibilities.

What do you use Cord Locks for? Anything not listed here? What are your favorite types of Cord Locks? Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Stainless Steel Shackles for Paracord

Whoa, where have I been? Life happens, I suppose. But, as promised, here's the second installment of short & sweet posts about Paracord Hardware: Stainless Steel Shackles!

SS Shackles come in all sorts of sizes, shapes, colors and adjustable varieties.

Stainless Shackles generally come in two styles:
D-shaped and Bow-Shaped
The two most common sizes available are the 4mm and 5mm SS shackles, for smaller and larger projects, respectively. The size indicates the diameter of the steel; the larger the size, the beefier it looks. The threaded pins of either size can accommodate 2 strands of Type III 550 Paracord. These shackles can hold thousands of pounds, so be ridiculously careful when wearing these with your paracord bracelet. You get your wrist caught up in something and you might have a dislocated shoulder or a missing hand at the end of the day.

"D" and Bow shaped shackles are the most familiar to the Paracording Community. The Bow shackle has a much larger loop, allowing it to take loads from all directions. However, it's overall strength is reduced because of this. The "D" shackle is shaped like the loop of a chain, allowing it to take heavy loads in line with itself. Heavy side loads would cause the shackle to twist or bend. (credit to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shackle) Each has its own merits, but many people seem to favor the shape of the "D" shackles.

Paracord shackles can come in whatever color your little creative heart desires... especially if you can make a custom order with the manufacturer of said shackles. However, market availability may be a little more limited. The most common colors available are chrome/silver and black; the lesser common are gunmetal, red, blue, green and pink.

5mm Shackles can come with an adjustable bit
with an oval-shaped hole to fit 2 strands of 550 paracord.
The unique aspect about these shackles is that they have an optional adjustable bit, meaning you can change the size/tightness of your paracord bracelets. 4mm shackles have an adjustable bit with two extra sizing holes, and the 5mm shackles have three. Exclusive to the 5mm shackle is another adjustor bit that has 3 sizing holes with the last hole being a wide oval, instead of circular. The round sizing holes can fit one strand of Type III 550 Paracord, and the oval sizing hole can hold two strands.

One final thing that you might notice about the paracord shackles on the market is their different threaded pins. Some pins have a flattened head with a small hole, and others have a knurled end. Honestly, it's all a matter of preference at this point. You can thread a little hanging charm through the "holed" pin (or just leave it alone altogether), or you can go with a cleaner look and opt for the knurled pin, which enables you to grip the pin a little better. Totally up to you.

Well, that about sums up the Paracord shackle. What style do you prefer? Do you even like the SS shackle at all? More of a plastic buckle person? Let me know in the comments below!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Which Buckles are Best for Paracord Bracelets?

Paracord Crafting does not start and end with Paracord alone. Oh no, no, no! There are buckles. And shackles. And clips. And charmsball bearingsbeadscord locks… and… and… and… Well, you get the idea. There is a bunch of stuff used by Paracord Crafters to create UNIQUE crafts & projects using all sorts of hardware.

This is the first in a series of short-&-sweet posts discussing the variety and applicable use of Paracord related hardware out there. This first post is going to be dedicated specifically to side release buckles used for Paracord Bracelets.

When it comes to side release buckles, the most popular sizes used for Paracord Bracelets are 3/8", 1/2" and 5/8".

3/8" Curved Plastic Side Release Buckles
3/8" buckles are great for bracelets made for children and small-wristed women, as well as for the narrower paracord weaves, such as the familiar Cobra Braid/Solomon Bar or Fishtail. This buckle is a great size for "mini" Paracord Bracelets using Type I Paracord, as well!
These buckles can fit a maximum of 2 strands of ungutted 550 Paracord.

 

1/2" Curved Plastic Side Release Buckles


1/2" buckles are a nice medium size for the average width weaves, like the Blaze Bar, Feather Bar or Tire Tread.
These buckles can fit a maximum of 3 strands of ungutted 550 Paracord.


5/8" Curved Plastic Side Release Buckles



5/8" buckles are often used for men’s bracelets and wider paracord weaves, like the Conquistador or King Cobra.
These buckles can fit a maximum of 4 strands of ungutted 550 Paracord.



5/8" Plastic Side Release Whistle Buckle

 

These buckles come in many different shapes, styles, colors, and materials. They can be curved or straight, plastic or metal, with or without whistles & adjuster bars, translucent or opaque. If you can think of it, I’m sure it’s out there.
5/8" Curved Nickel-Plated Metal Buckle

 




Our next post will be focusing on another Paracord Bracelet connector: the shackle. Stay tuned!