So I have really started to embrace my K-Tek MixPro bag. I have a brand new dual receiver wireless microphone kit coming to me from a new wireless company that will work with the MOLLE mounts on the Stingray MixPro. I will be reviewing those soon, hopefully next week??? It really will depend on shipping from Shenzhen China. BUT… Back to the topic for the post, the one thing I am missing from the MixPro bag was a handle. One the bigger Stingray bags the handles slide away and hide back into the bag design, on the MixPro… they don’t exist at all. But the MixPro does features to small loops that make adding an aftermarket handle possible. So lets get started.
15ft of Paracord (I purchased a 50ft pack because it was cheaper by the foot. And I can use the leftover for other builds.)
Carabiners (I bought the Everbilt ones but Carabiner style is a personal preference. I’ve linked to a few styles.)
Using the scissors cut about 15ft worth of paracord. Now lets go to step 2.
Watch this video. This is the exact video I followed to weave my Paracord into a handle. The only difference is instead of 9ft, we used 15ft. And instead of measuring it around your wrist… use your bag to determine the length you need your 2 straight cords. (Right now you don’t know what straight cords even mean, but it will make sense when you get to the 3:00 mark in the video.)
Now there are literally dozens upon dozens of different Paracord Knot weaves you can choose from. Some that even involve multi different cords and ways of adding a flare of color… but the video above is by far the simplest and easiest for a Paracord Knot new like myself. Maybe in the future I will do something fancy, I do have 35ft of Paracord left over after all. But this is enough to get you started into making high quality woven accessories for your bags.
The end of the video just won’t do. I stopped watching around the 5 minute mark when I realized the video was a lot of rinse and repeat. At the 6:20 mark in the video you’ll see the hands in the video slide all the weaves up making them tight and uniform. But the lack of a proper knot at the end just isn’t going to hold up for our needs. This is where the soldering iron comes into play. Take the leftovers of your Paracord (you should have maybe 8 inchs or so depending on the width of your bag, and wrap them around in a way you feel comfortable and do the first basic knot you’d use for your shoe lace, kinda a half square knot if you will (that is would be if you stopped tying at Figure 4 in the photo below). If you want, you can finish by doing a square knot.
Weld Plastic! Paracord is really just a very fancy name for Nylon. And Nylon is just a fancy name for plastic. And plastic can be welded… so lets do that! Where the cords touch each other in your square knot (or half square knot) quickly tap them with the tip of your hot soldering iron. They will melt and burn and the two cords will melt together creating a new linear fiber chains that will be crosslinked.
This is one of the cool properties of thermoplastics like Nylon. Do this a few times around your knot, and possibly a few times where your knot may touch your Fishbone weave handle. But again, just a quick light tap, no exposure will melt the paranoid too much and ruin the design. If you have any leftover Paracord coming out the ends of your knot you can use your soldering iron tip to cut right through them and sear off the ends so they don’t fray.
Whats nice about this Paracord handle is it’s Vegan. Some bag makers in our industry still use cows hide to make the handle of their bags… its 2018, we have the chemistry that allows use to make high quality strong items out of non-animal products. Some of the manufactures in our industry understand that, some are seeing their sales fall for not getting with the time. And for those who will say that Paracord is still plastic made from oil, you can buy Paracord that is made out of 100% recycled material. So you can be good to the environment and still be DIY!
This handled once made will only set you back $3… maybe $4 depending on your flavor of Carabiner clip. Not bad.
Between this Paracord handle and 3D printing, I have had a fun time learning all about thermoplastics and their properties. And yes, I will do a beginners guide to failing at 3D printing blog post one of these days. Also Part 3 of our series about 18650 Lithium Ion cells has been sponsored. A dealer in recycled 18650 cells wants to sponsor the post and support the DIY community by creating a 18650 DIY kit that anyone can purchase and follow along as we build a mega 500Wh battery that will run our whole audio cart.
What have you made with Paracord other than bracelets? Tell us by commenting below.
About the Author
Andrew Jones is a location sound mixer based in Los Angeles. He started in the TV and Film industry in 2004. You can email him at Andrew@HoldForSound.com