Saturday, June 16, 2018

Fresh paracord for Pa's EDC lanyard...

Father's Day is tomorrow, so I untied Pa's edc paracord keychain lanyard, which was a bit dirty from daily handling and built up staining of salt/sweat/grime since the last time I'd retied it a couple of years ago, and put on a fresh one.  I made this one with about 12 feet of cord instead of 10, as shown in my old tutorial

This time I used a black/green color combo pattern paracord, attached to the same old snap shackle.  I had added the small sailor's cross knot (1.4mm cord) to the spring pull a couple of years ago, and it's still in good shape, but was faded, so I went over it with a black Sharpie marker to make it look almost new again.

The slightly longer loop end (3") has multiple attachment options and is large enough to ring hitch the lanyard onto MOLLE webbing if desired or to run a belt through it, or ring/cow/girth hitch/lark's head onto a belt loop or directly to a lanyard attachment on a multitool/flashlight/knife/keychain or use the snap shackle end, however you want to configure your everyday carry loadout.

Back in 2009, I had bought a couple of the snap shackles from MIL-SPEC MONKEY, bronze painted/coated black with 1" sized attachment slots, and I think they had an 800lb load rating (fine for utility uses, not life supporting/climbing/suspension though), but most of the black finish has worn off over time, leaving a mostly polished look to it.

My sandpaper seems to be hiding from me since we moved house last year, so the remnants of black paint on the shackle can continue to wear off as it has been doing for almost a decade now.

I've given Pa a number of different lanyards over the years that I've been tying them, but this is the one he's kept on his keychain the longest, and the shackle spring is still in good working order, so I reckon there's years of service still left in it.

The current offerings on the MIL-SPEC MONKEY site for the same design snap shackles seem to be made of stainless steel now instead of bronze, still good enough for keychain and edc gear usage for those that want to use them for their own paracord projects.

There are a variety of snap shackles on eBay and Amazon, and I believe all of the painted/coated ones seem to have the same issue of the finish scratching and wearing off very easily, although that's just a cosmetic issue for some folks, and character marks for others.

If the item description information on the shackles doesn't say what they're made of, I'd just assume it's mystery/pot metal instead of something stronger, so be wary of that.

The lanyard could be untied and re-purposed if needed, but as you can see in the pic of the two year old strand that I removed, it's kinked up quite a bit after having been knotted in the doubled Solomon bar/Portuguese sinnet/king cobra stitch pattern, and it is dirtier than it looks in the photo.

When you consider the dirt and wear and tear, the cord's original strength would be compromised, but still usable in a pinch to replace a broken shoestring/bootlace, or as a temp fix for a broken backpack strap, to tie something up or down and so on, just like a common paracord bracelet would be.

This is not a quick release type of knotted lanyard (like a zipper sinnet and variations), so taking it apart could take five minutes or more, depending on how tight or loose you tie yours and whether you might need a marlinspike to help loosen it up, so imaginings of instantly dispensing the lanyard back into a single length of cord at a moments notice to save the day may not be realistic, but the potential of being useful beyond being a decorative lanyard is still there...

I'd started this lanyard with a 12.5 foot long length of paracord, and when it came time to tuck the end strands I still had more than a foot left over between what was left of both working ends.  So, I used a lacing needle and ran each working end down opposite sides of the lanyard, under the outer knot work, all the way down the center of the lanyard. It can be a tight fit, so having a marlinspike handy can help, and if the lacing needle isn't working, sometimes I'll use hemostats to pull the end strand under the knot work.

If you look at the photos, you may notice the slightly rounded bulge from the added thickness of those strands, as I just wanted to make sure there was at least twelve feet of paracord in the lanyard, and I ended up trimming about five or so inches worth of the cord when I finished the project.

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