Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Paracord grab handle wrap

I used a 26 foot strand, of green 550 paracord, to wrap the nylon webbing grab handles of my Spec-Ops Pack-Rat drop-in organizer, using the cobra stitch/Solomon bar/Portuguese sinnet.

The Pack-Rat, is a smaller sized organizer which measures 10.25"x8.25"x1.625" and can be used to keep various gadgets, gear, and gizmos organized and easier to find inside a larger bag or pack or carried on it's own.

The pack has a length of nylon webbing sewn into three separate grab handles around the sides and top. The webbing is anchored by bar tacks at the ends of the webbing and at the corners where the D-rings are attached for the optional use of a shoulder strap.

At first, I pushed the knots closer together each time I'd tied a few, but it looked a bit bunched up that way and I preferred the look of them spaced just as they were tied, so I started over.

The knots are just firm enough around the nylon webbing to grip it and barely bow it, but not collapse it. Grips will vary on different handles, so you'll have to see what works on yours with a little trial and error.

After doing one side and reaching the corner, I just continued the working ends of the cord alongside the D-ring section and then knotted over the top handle webbing. Reaching the next D-ring, I did the same with the paracord down the last section.

When I reached the end of the side, I pulled both working ends of the paracord up under the bottomside of the handle, under all of the knots of that side with my hemostats, then trimmed and melted the ends to be tucked back underneath and out of sight.

If needed, the cord can be easily untied for some other use, but I currently keep 150 feet of paracord, in a couple of unopened packages, inside the Pack-Rat as part of the contents.

Also inside are flashlights, multitools, knives, duct tape, screwdrivers, first aid kit, pens/paper, sewing kit, pry bar, lighter/matches, spare batteries, super glue, etc... so forth and so on, to the point that it weighs about 5 pounds and is stuffed to 5 inches thick.

Adding paracord knot work to bag/pack/luggage handles is just a simpler modern version of what's been done by others for a long time. If you spend some time googling/reading/exploring knot work and handles, you'll find current and older examples made by sailors or craftsmen, used with things like ditty bags and sea chest handles(beckets). I've seen some photos, drawings, and diagrams from as far back as the 1800's, and if only the natural materials that these older items were made of could survive longer, I imagine there would be more to see and we're left to wonder what's been lost to time.

A little security...

I have replaced the zipper pulls that came on the Pack-Rat with paracord lanyard knots. I've added the following three photos showing how to secure dual zippered bags/packs/luggage from accidentally opening during transit. It also works to make it more difficult for a deviant individual to easily/unnoticeably gain access to exposed zipper compartments if you were in a crowded situation like a busy market or riding a packed bus or train.

The loop part of the pull should just be large enough to push/pull the opposite lanyard knot through the loop, and then the second through the other. Just pull a bit on each end and you almost have a 'square knot' that's not going to easily come undone.

Last year a member of EDC Forums had asked for ideas for a 'security' knot to secure their zippers and I submitted a similar suggestion using smaller cord with a single lanyard knot/loop through a pouch's existing zipper tab holes which were too small for 550 paracord.


Matteo said...

Hi Stormdrane!I read your blog from Italy: you are a daily source of inspiration!
Thanks so much for teaching!

Matt said...

You are always good for a new idea or two. Heading out to camp next week...and now I have something to do with the spare minute or two!

Hope you can make it to Blade this weekend. said...

Wow. As always, you have great ideas and execution of wonderful projects. How do you come up with so many??

Stormdrane said...

Once you get the hang of a few knots, you may find yourself constantly looking for places to use them and experiment with a lot of trial and error.

You can find ideas in books, online sources, and from other people that have done similar knot work at work, church, school, scouting, military, outdoor enthusiasts, etc... and most folks don't mind teaching/sharing information.

Rhonda Straw said...

Amazing, You never cease to amaze me.Great work!

Anonymous said...

Why not try the grab handle wrap on military ammo cans?

Stormdrane said...

Sounds like a good idea with the ammo can. I gave my last one to a friend a while back and haven't replaced it yet. I'll have to pick up a couple, to try the handle wrap, the next time I go by the Army/Navy store. The cans are great for storing all kinds of stuff.

Daisy said...

Oh this is very handy!

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ptc said...

I love this design.

I want to do a king cobra weave on my backpack grab handle. How do I start it in the absence of a fixed ring or post to fasten it to?

If there's another post or resource you know of, I'd love to see it.

More great work here. You've also introduced me to a nice piece of gear!

Stormdrane said...

@ptc, Just start knotting with the center of your length of paracord under the strap, like this belt example, from one end of the strap to the other, then go back over it in the other direction for the king cobra/doubled Solomon bar/doubled Portuguese sinnet.

And sew, melt, glue, or tuck the ends to finish. Hemostats can help with tucking/pulling the end strands on the under side of the knot work, under two or three knots is usually fine to secure them if you use that method to finish.

ptc said...

Thank you for your response and for the example. It's still pretty tricky, simple as that belt seems!

If I have you right, I should lay the center of the cord under the strap, that is, across the flat of the strap that would rest in my fingers if I were holding the bag, and hold the cord perpendicular to the edges of the strap.

Then start knotting.

Doing that with no luck. But I will keep trying!

Thanks again!

ptc said...

Got it now. Thanks again!