Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pray for fire...

As mentioned in the previous post on the 'Sailor's Cross Knot', adding a small 1/8" x 2" firesteel to the vertical section of the cross is easy to do.  For this project I made a Sailor's Cross Knot lanyard/fob/zipper pull, with swivel clip for attachment, jute cord inside the paracord, and a removable/replaceable firesteel in the vertical section of the cross, shown with a Wenger Evogrip 18 Swiss Army Knife.  I ended up using less than 5 feet of paracord, and double that length of jute twine(Thanks for the roll of twine, Manny!).  An Arms-Akimbo knot was tied with the single strand coming out the bottom of the cross.

I first replaced the paracord's inner strands with jute cord, which can be pulled apart and made into a nest to use as tinder to catch a spark from a firesteel or flint.  From that you get a flame that you use to get kindling burning, then add in larger bits of sticks, branches, and logs for a sustainable fire.

I'd seen a video, done by fellow knot tying friend Ken earlier this year, showing some wax/paraffin treated jute twine being pulled from a wet section of paracord and lit with sparks from a firesteel.  I didn't give the jute for this project a wax coating, but it's certainly a useful idea, giving the jute a longer burning time like a candle wick, to help in getting a fire started.

I added the jute to the paracord by tying one of the inner strand ends to the center of a length of doubled up jute, then pulling the inner strands out one end, and the jute replaces the twisted nylon core strands.  Depending on your paracord's outer sheath, sometimes the inner strands don't fill up all the space inside the core, so you may be able to leave some of the core strands in with the jute, for later utility use, or you might have to pull them all out to make room for the jute, depending on it's diameter as well. 

Jute has been made for centuries, and paracord has been around 70+ years, so their uses in knot work are as old as they are, but the internet has plenty of search results to explore for more recent combinations of the two, like this example from 'The Paracordist'.

If you don't have a lighter or matches, learning primitive fire making and survival techniques can help you use a firesteel to get a fire going.  There are literally millions of hits Googling those topics, so if you get sidetracked, have fun but don't get burned.  Fire can be dangerous, so be safe with it.

14 comments:

Carp said...

This post can be summed up in one word... Brilliant!

Anonymous said...

You are welcome my brother. You rock and roll!....... keep up the good work. ;-)


Peace,
Manny.

PS. Unas por otras!! hehe

Dan said...

This is a really cool idea SD!

If you are at all into outdoorsmanship / prepping / bushcrafting or anything related, being able to make fire without matches or a lighter is a must have skill. The thing is, I don't always want to EDC a fire steel. Integrating it into a lanyard that you are already carrying with you strikes me as a great way to add versatility to your EDC without the extra bulk.

The Paracordist said...

Thanks for the mention brother; another great piece. Don't forget about my offer ;)

marklevy said...

Hey Stormdrane. Despite being a good little Jewish boy, I've now made 5 of the Sailor's Cross knots into lanyards or pull-tabs for friends. But, like I said, being a good little Jewish boy, I figure it's time that I try to make something of my own persuasion. Are there any 6-pointed star knots? I've searched and searched but can't find any. Thanks, and keep up the fun work.

Stormdrane said...

@marklevy, Some pineapple knots have a 6 sided star pattern in them, if you look at them from the ends.

An example on golden-kots.com shows a 5 lead 6 bight turk's head knot flattened out, with a 6 sided star pattern in it.

marklevy said...

Wow, that looks complicated! I'll have to work on my Turk's head first, but perhaps I can give it a try. I'll send pics if I can make it work. Thanks for the idea.

Anonymous said...

This was a great idea! I'll get right on this one and try to make my own......
// Niklas
Stockholm, Sweden

Anonymous said...

Hey SD, have you ever tried to make this type of Celtic cross with paracord?

http://uniqueropecraft.blogspot.com/2011/12/unique-celtic-cross.html

I think it would be very cool if made the right way.

Stormdrane said...

@Anonymous, I've seen that pattern of cross tied by others, but have not tied it myself.

Anonymous said...

I have done this knot with a single color and it turned out well. I still have not figured out how to tie with 2 colors. Any input?

Stormdrane said...

@Anonymous, Loosely make one complete pass of the knot, then go in with the second color following alongside the first pass from start to finish, tighten it up, trim/tuck the ends you don't use back into the knotwork.

smet337 said...

Hey Stormdrane, Recently made one(cross) with the 1.4mm for my friends daughter really fun to make.I was wondering what you used as a mandrel with the 550 cord?I looked at all the posts and did not see where anybody had asked?That is so cool how you used the jute to replace the strands.How hard was that?Appreciate you Scot

Stormdrane said...

@Scot, I temporarily tie/lash a couple of lacing needles into a cross shape when tying with paracord, and once I have the shape, I can pull the needles and string holding them together, out before doubling/tightening up the cross.

When replacing the inner strands with jute, I remove all but one inner strand, then tie the remaining piece to the jute and pull it into the paracord sheath as I pull out the last strand.

The same method is used to pull ball chain into paracord when covering dog tag necklaces... ;)