Author Topic: Survival bracelet workshop pointers  (Read 4708 times)

KnotMe

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Survival bracelet workshop pointers
« on: April 14, 2014, 08:07:05 PM »
So, I've signed up for my 4th local Maker Faire where I'll be representing the Pacific Americas Branch once more.  For the first time, I'll be also giving workshops.  This year's plan is to offer a His & Hers: Survival Bracelet+Shamballa Bracelet class.  I've ordered the disco ball beads and paracord from eBay.  I've got squeeze clips from a local outdoorsy supplier.

1. I realize that even though I specifically searched for Milspec paracord, I'm not naive enough to think that eBay merchants will necessarily be shipping me actual milspec.  Plus this cord will be from China, all of the American listings I clicked on said they would not ship to Canada, that's unfriendly. :D  Yes, I could order from someplaces more reputable than eBay, but that's not what happened here.
1a: how badly should I feel about that?  How much of difference is it likely to make in the applications one might be using a survival bracelet length of cord for?  So I can warn and give caveats to the workshop participants).
1b: how likely is it to not be milspec?  eg. has anyone ordered a few times and have some stats?  is there any easy way to check when my cord arrives?
1c: I have purchased a selection, all with reflective tracers: a 12 colour pack, 5 pack of glow in the dark, dark green, black, white/acid blue, neon green/yellow.  I also ordered a "dark rainbow" without reflective tracer for me.   8)  Am I missing the boat on colour here?  Should I be getting plain or camo?

2. For my test bracelet 8" not including clip, 10" including clip I used slightly less than 12'.  Caveat: I was tensioning things for maximal cord usage (slightly loose on the tension, compressing the completed knots every few knots or so).
2a: Does anyone have a formula for cord length to bracelet length? 
2b: How much rope do you get into your bracelets?
2c: Here's a chart of bracelet sizes from a jewelry website
Women's Bracelet Sizes
Most Common: 7 inches (17.8 cm)
Average: 6.5 - 8 inches (16.5 - 20.3 cm)
Size Range: 5 - 10 inches (12.7 - 25.4 cm) (in my experience)

Men's Bracelet Sizes
Most Common: 8 inches (20.3 cm)
Average: 8 - 9 inches (20.3 - 22.9 cm)
Size Range: 7.5 - 10.5 inches (19.0 - 26.7 cm) (in my experience)

Checking a few other websites, they more or less agree.

3. I will give them pointers to bracelet making jigs if they decide that they love the craft, but was planning on providing clamps...although if the workshop fills I won't have enough clamps...  Clipboard with bulldog clips might do the trick?  Must test.
3a: If you have taught survival or shamballa bracelets: what tools, if any, did you provide?

4. The class photo is attached to this post.
4a: Are you a guy or a gal and which of the options are you likely to pick?  For yourself or as a gift?
4b: Would you want more beads (these each have 6)?  I have not stocked up for the skull bead option 'cos that was just a random thought...  Would you pick skulls?
4c: What colour cord or bead would you want?
4d: Any other easy variations I should offer?

5. Any other variations I should make just as examples?
5a. double wrapped/2 layer survival bracelet (http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-A-Double-Wrapped-Paracord-Bracelet/)
5b. quick release variant (http://www.itstactical.com/skillcom/knots/decorative/quick-release-paracord-bracelet-for-emergency-paracord-deployment/)
5c. quick release variant (http://www.paravival.com/how-to-make-a-quick-release-paracord-bracelet-with-shackle/)
5d. quick release variant (http://www.instructables.com/id/Survival-Bracelet-II/)
5e. bring my copies of JD's books.   ;D
5f. beaded centipede (http://koolcraftsandarts.blogspot.ca/2012/06/deep-violet-macrame-beaded-bracelet.html)
5g. fishbone variant (http://www.pinterest.com/pin/547187423448336541/)
5h. 3 strand shamballa (http://blog.toocutebeads.com/2012/04/design-idea-charlottes-web-bracelet.html)
5i. daisies (https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/156785979/pdf-tutorial-kit-beaded-flowers-square?ref=market)
5j. beaded saturns (http://leathertreasures.storenvy.com/products/590438-black-macrame-hemp-beaded-bracelet)

Other thoughts?
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 08:12:37 PM by KnotMe »

KnotMe

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Re: Survival bracelet workshop pointers
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2014, 09:10:03 PM »
As usual, something about my phrasing means that I am replying to myself.  I had hoped to be helping the guild create a resource for anyone, but guild members in particular, who want to be teaching knotting to spread the good word, but I have been too oblique about the need for responses again.  Nevertheless, let's continue forward and see if something interesting can be distilled, right?

WRT paracord, Mil-spec (meeting United States Department of Defense specified standards versus imitations).

And here are some uses for your unraveled survival bracelet:

To these interesting lists, I'll add 2 I don't think I saw:

SS369

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Re: Survival bracelet workshop pointers
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2014, 09:50:50 PM »
Nice links, thank you KnotMe.

Of course you would not have to stop with just bracelets. There are hatbands, belts, fobs and a myriad of things that could be carried, then to be used in a "survival" situation.

As long as the item made is easily enough(?) untangled, the supply of cord would be ready for use.

Stormdranes site http://stormdrane.blogspot.com/ offers a few nice looking ideas, including using a knotting spool (knitting nancy) to make some fine looking lengths of woven cord.

Then there is JD Lenzen's Tying It All together site  http://fusionknots.com/ , for more ideas.

And for tactical uses http://www.itstactical.com/topics/skillcom/knots/

Hope these links are useful to you.

SS

KnotMe

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Re: Survival bracelet workshop pointers
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2014, 12:18:42 AM »
Of course you would not have to stop with just bracelets. There are hatbands, belts, fobs and a myriad of things that could be carried, then to be used in a "survival" situation.
Feature creep is my specialty. ;)  So I want to keep the ideas contained to a certain extent to offer a satisfying package as it were that leads to further classes.  The next in my His & Hers series, I'm thinking, is the quick release/phoenix tail with core survival band plus beaded phoenix tail choker (or goth tattoo choker, haven't decided yet).

That said, some further paracord band resources online:

There's lots of crossover here, as I think Swiss Paracord often posts to the Facebook thing, and Ana is omnivorous (where does she find the time to track everything on the Internet)?!?

Lastly, uneven in quality, with much duplication, but still not to be ignored Instructables Paracord projects.

Essexman

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Re: Survival bracelet workshop pointers
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2014, 08:38:06 PM »
Have you tried supply captain.com for para cord? They ship from the US worldwide, good quality para cord.


KnotMe

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Re: Survival bracelet workshop pointers
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2014, 09:31:39 PM »
Have you tried supply captain.com for para cord? They ship from the US worldwide, good quality para cord.
I'm sure they do.  Their price is about twice my eBay sources which also provide free shipping.  Where the difference between confirmed mil-spec and maybe mil-spec is not mission critical...  It'd very hard not to chose the cheaper solution.

I have some paracord from R&W vs my first eBay paracord shipment in front of me.  The eBay core is braided vs the R&W where the core seems to more or less loose.  Much more floss-y as it were.  They do feel different.  The R&W is subtly more slippery/smoother to the touch.

aknotter

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Re: Survival bracelet workshop pointers
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2014, 04:22:14 AM »
I scanned this thread rather quickly, so I apologize if I am repeating something already said (or something you already knew).
Real "Parachute cord" is 550 lb test. It will have a braided nylon sheath covering 7 strands of twisted nylon, each having 35 lb test strength.    "Paracord" is patterned loosely on those parameters.  And, I would assume that a "survival bracelet" should have the specifications as defined for "parachute" cord.  You can check www.majorsurplus.com/ to view some of their parachute cord.  I don't recommend buying from them because their prices are kind of high.  Or have a look at http://ubraidit.com/supplies-thumbs.php?cat=86.  I bought a 1,000 ft spool of black paracord from http://www.campingsurvival.com/us-made-military-paracord.html for about $45.00 and of course about $12.00 shipping.  I like the cord.
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Fairlead

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Re: Survival bracelet workshop pointers
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2014, 09:00:36 PM »
Perhaps the single most important factor not mentioned yet is "Safe Working Load" - a 550 paracord "survival" bracelet is designed to be dismantled to provide a length of cord in a "Survival" situation.  Although 550 has an average break strength of 550 lbs its "Safe Working Load" is only 8 to 10% of this.  Therefore if the cord is to be used where a persons life is involved that person should not weigh more than 55 lbs or just under 4 Stone.  Worth considering in this age of compensation!

Gordon

Sweeney

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Re: Survival bracelet workshop pointers
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2014, 09:23:16 PM »
Perhaps the single most important factor not mentioned yet is "Safe Working Load" - a 550 paracord "survival" bracelet is designed to be dismantled to provide a length of cord in a "Survival" situation.  Although 550 has an average break strength of 550 lbs its "Safe Working Load" is only 8 to 10% of this.  Therefore if the cord is to be used where a persons life is involved that person should not weigh more than 55 lbs or just under 4 Stone.  Worth considering in this age of compensation!

Gordon

Fair point Gordon but in a real situation paracord is likely to be used as multiple strands together simply because it is too thin to hold properly or be suspended from directly around a limb/torso. I watched Bear Grylls the other night making a makeshift harness from cord literally taken from a parachute and he used something like 5 strands together.

For what it's worth The Bushcraft Store in the UK (who sell a lot of US made 550 paracord) now sell paracord where the sheath is polyester rather than nylon.  It has a slightly different feel, seems a little thinner, but has a 7 strand core - no strength rating is given as far as I can see. For decorative work which is just that this stuff is nice to work with and a fair bit cheaper than the nylon version. I would be interested if anyone knows of a UK based supplier of 350 and 450 cord for use when 550 is a bit too thick.

Barry

KnotMe

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Re: Survival bracelet workshop pointers
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2014, 01:04:48 AM »
Although 550 has an average break strength of 550 lbs its "Safe Working Load" is only 8 to 10% of this.  Therefore if the cord is to be used where a persons life is involved that person should not weigh more than 55 lbs or just under 4 Stone.
Wow.  Seems like they should not call it 550 if it can only hold 55lbs safely.

Sweeney

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Re: Survival bracelet workshop pointers
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2014, 12:07:37 PM »
Wow.  Seems like they should not call it 550 if it can only hold 55lbs safely.

There are 2 different measurements here - the first is the average breaking strength (ABS) of the rope/cord given a steady pull under controlled conditions. In the case of 550 paracord this is 550 lbs.

The second is the Safe Working Load (SWL) which is the breaking strength adjusted to allow for the conditions under which the cord is being used - it varies between 25% down to 10% of the ABS and takes account of things such as:

knots - can easily reduce the ABS by 20% or more.

shock loading - the sudden application of a load to the cord eg when something attached to a slack cord is dropped.

risk factor - if breakage will cause injury or death (or just large cost) then that risk needs to be factored in and the SWL reduced accordingly.

As the manufacturer has no control over the use of the cord all they can do is to give the starting point - the ABS leaving it to the user to decide what is safe in the circumstances. So if all I do is lose a bottle of Coke if the cord is broken I am not going to worry too much about the SWL (mind you a 55lb bottle of Coke is a bit of a hazard in itself!) but if am going to fall say 50 feet if I try and use paracord as a lifeline then I want as much cord as I can possibly get balanced against what I have available and the consequences of staying put.

Fortunately the vast majority of so-called survival bracelets are a fashion accessory rather than a bushcraft accessory (there are only going to be about 12 to 15 feet of cord).

Barry