Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Vinnie Garoon Cowboy Beads from Schmuckatelli Co.

Early last week I received some of the new Vinnie Garoon Cowboy Beads, in pewter and black oxide finishes, from Schmuckatelli Co.

I've had the chance to try them out with a variety of paracord knot work, including a standard double button knot, that my friend, Manny had sent me a video tutorial for, that he came across a couple of weeks ago.

Another knot tying friend, Knotty Notions, provided some links to Chinese and French tutorials, in the comments of the above mentioned video tutorial, including a single strand version of the knot, that has the look of an expanded Celtic Button Knot.

See knot #790 in 'The Ashley Book of Knots' for a similar, if not the same knot, as the double button, but tied with a mandrel and pins instead of in hand...

I bought a couple of variations of arrowhead bolo tie tips(may not show up in search results if out of stock), that I found on etsy, to try out with the new beads in place of a slider medallion.  I added a couple of small Gaucho knots to one, tied with 0.9mm cord, just above where the paracord fits into the tips.  These are glue in type tips, where there are other types of tips that crimp onto the cord ends.

I was thinking of braiding some leather for the bolo tie, but it would have to be really thin/flat for a loop of it to fit through the skull bead's hole.  I don't want to order some only to find out that it might not work, so I'll wait until I get a chance to look first hand at what Hobby Lobby or Michael's craft store has available and if there is something suitable.  You can buy braided leather cord in different colors for bolo ties/bracelets/necklaces, but that'd be cheating, lol...

My digital camera's memory card just up and died, so this bolo tie variation happens to be the last photo I managed to get off it that wasn't corrupted.  I still have the old SD card somewheres 'round abouts, so I'll hunt it down and hope it works...

I tied a couple of single strand inline double button knots, in place of some tie tips, for this black paracord bolo tie, with a pewter Vinnie Garoon Cowbead Bead facing forward and a black oxide bead facing back, and I think it kinda makes it look like the skull bead is wearing a shirt/bandana.

I had tried a two-bight Turk's head knot first, but decided I'd probably try that later on with gutting enough of the inner strands to do the ends with firesteels tucked inside each tip, so I could call it a 'Survival Bolo Tie', lol.

Another knot tying friend made a bracelet for me and mailed it to me during their visit to Yellowstone last week.  Here's a couple of quotes of the bracelet description from an email they sent me.

"So when playing around with C├ęsar’s NxN checkered patterns using the tool you made me aware of (Gridmaker) I mixed a 3x3 checker with a 3 pass Gaucho and I don’t know why but it just struck me that you’d like it (or at least I hope you do)."

"A 3x3 Checkered at either end, complete with O2 Gaucho bights, that transitions to a 3Pass Gaucho in the middle. It took great care in the design and start point to ensure that the Gaucho centre section is perfectly centralised on the leather blank.  Built from a base 54Px5B standard TH (green), then all of the pattern transition ‘magic’ is done with the navy interweave, so the final knot is 162Px15B. I get my leather blanks and unassembled press-studs/snaps from Tandy Leather because most pre-made ones are too small once the knot is added. So I also cut and assembled the leather blank & skull snap to provide to fit you – I normally aim for slightly loose because slightly tight is a disaster. "

 Thank you, Phil, much appreciated! :)

Monday, August 25, 2014

A single strand button knot...

This single strand button knot is #647 in, 'The Ashley Book of Knots', page 111.

About 18" to 24" of paracord is usually long enough to tie the button knot and have enough extra to work with for adding a few two-strand wall knots or a lanyard knot, to use as a short keyring or pocket knife fob or a zipper pull.

A Victorinox Waiter is the Swiss Army Knife shown, and a titanium bead was added to the lanyard/fob.

And a collage of knot #646 that I tied, which Ashley mentions in his book that the rim parts resemble the Matthew Walker knot, and that you have to carefully tighten this one to get it right.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Pocket Screwdrivers need knots too...

County Comm recently sent me a couple of their new 1x4 Deluxe Technician's Pocket Screwdrivers.

Using black 0.9mm cord, I tied a Turk's head knot on one of the screwdrivers, starting with a 5 lead 4 bight knot, raised/expanded that into a 7 lead 6 bight knot, then doubled it before tightening.  With the other I started off the same, but after trying pineapple, herringbone, and Hansen variations, and thinking about using a headhunter or ginfer knot, I finally went with a Gaucho knot interweave.

The knurling on the screwdriver bodies is not aggressive, more on the smooth side, good in that it won't tear up a shirt/pant pocket, so I actually grip the knots when rotating the screwdriver in hand.  I got them plenty tight, so they don't move or slide around from where I centered them.  I trimmed and tucked the strand ends and may use a tiny dab of super/krazy glue to further secure them.

The first thing I used one for was putting the smaller phillips driver to work, removing the screw holding the battery cover on my Dungeons & Dragons electronic game, that I've had since 1982, and installed a fresh set of batteries.

The neodymium magnet in the top of the cap of the screwdriver comes in handy for holding on to any screws so they don't get lost.  A nice piece of EDC gear to have around or give as a gift for a tool nut. :)

Playing with the old school handheld game has me wondering where my Football game is.  They were popular 30+ years ago.  It was a favorite, but I haven't seen mine in a long time, probably lost in a move or maybe still hiding in a box somewhere, not good if a battery was in it...

Saturday, August 09, 2014

The Two-strand Footrope Knot

The two-strand footrope knot is #783 (pg 141) in 'The Ashley Book of Knots'.  It can make for a quick and easy to tie paracord zipper pull, pocket knife/flashlight/keyring fob or lanyard for EDC.

A couple of examples are shown with my favorite Kiko Tiki beads provided by Schmuckatelli Co.

Here's a short video tutorial that I uploaded for tying the knot.

The two-strand footrope knot paracord cross was tied with two strands of gutted paracord.  The top strand with split ring was tied first and put aside, then with the second strand, three of the knots were tied and worked close together.  The top and bottom sections are brought together and the strands from each are paired off to tie the arms out to the side, ends trimmed and melted to finish.

I used leftover paracord scraps for the cross, probably a foot and a half for the top piece and maybe two feet for the bottom, which was more than was needed.
A tightened knot of ungutted paracord uses about 4 inches of cord, so whatever your project, use that figure for how many knots you intend to tie, plus cord length of your loop, and one or two more inches for the end strands to tighten up the knot.

As an example with the neck knife, I used about a 9 inch length of paracord for the finger lanyard/fob with a 2 inch long loop(that's 4 inches of cord in the loop), one footrope knot(4 inches of cord), and end strands coming out of the knot at 1/2 inch long each(1 inch of cord).

Other examples show the knot used as a flashlight fob with titanium lanyard bead and zipper pull on a BDU pocket organizer.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Some paracord work on a Skinny Mini...

I added some navy blue paracord to a Colt Skinny Mini boot knife, doing some lattice lacing on the sheath and West Country whipping around the handle.

I ended up using just under six feet of a single strand of gutted paracord to wrap the knife handle with the West Country whipping, #3458 in 'The Ashley Book of Knots', which is fairly simple with centering your length of cord to start and then tying half knots on each side of the hand as you work from one end to the other.

The textured G10 scales offered enough friction/grip to keep the paracord from sliding off, otherwise I would have first added some silicone tape before going over it with the cord.

For the lacing on the sheath, I used a three foot length of un-gutted paracord, having to run it through the top pair of lacing grommets twice, since there were just five pairs of eyelets instead of six.

The sheath does have a belt clip on the back, which holds to MOLLE straps/pals webbing on a bag/backpack/shoulder strap/vest well enough, but the cord could be used to further secure it in place if carried in that manner.

The rivet holding the belt clip sits up inside the sheath and rubs against the center of the blade when inserting/removing it, but you can't expect too much with lower end of the spectrum imported cutting tools and accessories.  A custom kydex sheath would certainly be an improvement, and is on my 'to do' list for working with one of these days...

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Pico Pulls to zip things up...

County Comm sent me a couple of their Waterproof Pico Pulls, one in brass and another in delrin.  I added the brass one to one of the zippers in my jacket and the delrin model to a pocket organizer.

Both were tied with short two-strand wall knot sinnets, each using less than a couple of feet worth of paracord, ends trimmed and melted in place with a wood burning tool.

I put several aspirin in the delrin pull, and a folded up bill of cash fit in the brass one.  That's a $1 bill, lol, need to save up for something larger to go in there.


I had a four foot long strand of paracord leftover from the twenty foot length that I used on the bat light grip in the previous blog post.  I used it to tie a chain sinnet as a keyring fob, adding one of the pewter Aquilo Sugar Skull beads that Schmuckatelli Co. sent me a few months ago, finishing with a lanyard knot.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Bat Light with paracord handle finger grip wrap...

I first saw the Nebo iProtec Bat Light online last summer. It looked like a nifty multipurpose LED flashlight to add to the wish list, and I finally bought one a few weeks ago.  It reminds me of the tire thumpers I had when I was a truck driver, only this has a flashlight built in and is a whole lot brighter than the keychain flashlights I usually carried.  I like it so far, it just needed some paracord added to the handle/grip area.

With a 20 foot length of licorice paracord(a red & black color combination), I started tying at the clicky/button switch end of the light with a Spanish/woven ring knot, tied and tightened, then a few coiled wraps before tying each of the other Spanish/woven ring knots, repeating that pattern, creating a finger grip effect over the knurled grip section of the light.

I've used similar handle/grip wraps before, good on walking/hiking staffs, flashlights, knife and tool handles, etc.

I kept tying beyond the knurling, up over the smooth center section of the light, so I added some silicone tape, for grip, around that part before continuing, so that the knot work wouldn't twist loose.  The knurling offers plenty of friction with the paracord around the rest of the grip to stay in place.

I ended up using about 16 feet paracord when finished, out of the 20 foot starting length, so I could have continued with a bit more knot work, but I was satisfied with the grip as I had it.

There is a tiny hole in the base of the light for a wrist lanyard, too small for paracord, but a split ring or 1.4mm cord can fit through it in case I want to add a lanyard.

The textured rubber sleeve that fits over the top of the light could be removed if one wanted to add even more knot work along the length of the light.

I've used the light frequently when going out before sunrise to pick up the daily newspaper.  With rabid animals reported in the area over the last couple of months, I like having something in hand that I might could clobber one with if attacked, lol...

And another photo of the Bat light next to my 3D-cell Maglite for size comparison.  My Maglite is shown with a paracord grip that I tied for it in July 2006. 

Here are a couple more links for the doubled Solomon bar/Portuguese sinnet/king cobra grip tied as adjustable with a cord lock, and for a Mini Maglite/koppo stick grip version.  I also suggested these type of grips would work for Jeep grab handles when a blog reader had asked me for ideas.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Encompassed in Brass

I received a couple of cool new items from County Comm last month.  The Brass Match/Compass Capsule and the Companion Compass.

I've tied/untied several ideas with both pieces, using paracord, gutted and un-gutted, tether cord, 1.4mm cord, and 0.9mm string, even zigzag spooling some.  They look nice just as they came, so I almost left them naked, just with a dummy cord attached, lol...

For the capsule, I went with 0.9mm cord to tie a Gaucho knot variation from a 3 lead 5 bight Turk's head, expanded to a 5 lead 9 bight, then worked in the Gaucho pattern.  Next was Moku hitching, then another Gaucho to finish.

I stared with a 10 foot long strand of the 0.9mm cord, tying and tightening the first knot, then added in another 10 foot strand to do the Moku hitching with both strands, and finished with the other Gaucho knot with the remainder of the second strand.

I got lucky with the cord I'd need guesstimate, and ended up just 18 inches left of both strands, so no waste as those scrap ends will eventually get put to use.  I used black tether cord with scaffold knots at each end for a two foot long dummy retention cord to attach to a belt, bag, gear, etc..

For the Companion Compass, I was thinking of adding it to a zipper pull, or a tether cord necklace, but instead attached it to a Grimloc, to clip to MOLLE webbing, or use with an EDC keychain, etc...

I ran some 1.4mm cord through the compass's brass attachment point, through a pewter Schmuckatelli Co. Joe skull, around the Grimloc, then tied a two-strand wall knot, ran the cords back down through the skull bead and tied several more wall knots in a sinnet that looks a bit like a spinal column, then trimmed and melted the ends to finish.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Spanish/woven ring knot around a pendant...

I tied this Spanish/woven ring knot around one of my Shields of Strength pendants with ungutted paracord I'd tried smaller diameter cord first, 1.4mm and 0.9mm tries, but the pendant didn't want to stay centered with the narrow knot work, so I went with paracord for this project.

I used a 1/2"/12mm split ring to fit around both the pendant and the knot work, and still have room for the ball chain covered with gutted paracord.

I had tied a 3 lead Turk's head knot first, around a cap from a butane lighter refill can, since it was about the same diameter as the pendant, then moved that knot to the pendant, adding the split ring, then worked in the Spanish/woven ring knot pattern, staying inside the split ring, tightened it up, trimmed and melted the ends to finish.

I also tried the Round Brocade Knot(Coin Wrap),  following JD's(TIAT) instructions from his most recent book, Paracord Project Inspirations, but the curved/convex/concave shape of the pendant, being different from a flat coin, was testing my patience, lol.

The wrap is snug around the pendant and stays in place, but it could still be forced out/removed, so a coat of super/krazy glue could be added to the knot to make it more permanent if desired.

And an example shown of 0.9mm cord, tied into a Gaucho knot variation, used on the Shields of Strength Battle Shield pendant that I keep on my EDC keyring.  If you tie a knot that's wide enough to fit/form around the outer rim of the shield and tighten it up in place,  smaller diameter cord can work, it just takes a bit more patience.

I started with a 3 lead 8 bight Turk's head knot, raised/expanded that into a 5 lead 14 bight knot, then worked in the Gaucho pattern.

As with the paracord wrap, I used the butane refill canister cap as a mandrel first, then slid the knot off the cap and around the pendant where I gradually tightened it up over several passes as I used a finger/thumb on one hand to shape the knot around the edge of the pendant, and a clay stylus/improvised marlinspike with the other hand to work out the slack.  I added a coat of brush on super/krazy glue to finish.  I used around 4 feet of the 0.9mm cord in the finished knot.

And the pendant shown with a small neck knife on a ball chain with kydex sheath.