House of Hacks

Thursday, August 6, 2015

How to quickly and cleanly finish paracord ends


Here are two quick tips for making a fast seal and clean finish on kernmatle rope (e.g. paracord) ends. It's common knowledge to use a match to melt the end of nylon rope. In this video Harley shows two alternative tips to seal the ends faster and with a better end result.

For a written transcript, go to How to quickly and cleanly finish paracord ends

Music and sound effects under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing" by Kevin MacLeod


Hi Makers, Builders and Do-it-yourselfers. Harley here.

Today at the House of Hacks I've got a 2-part quick tip for working with nylon cord.

Specifically the kind that has an outer sheath and an inner core; like paracord in this particular case.

Most people know that they can take a match and fuse the ends together by just putting the end in the match and it melts together so it doesn't come un-frayed.

This works well when you have one or two ends to do. I had a recent project where I had a whole pile of them to do and using matches was just going to be too tedious. So, the solution to that is part one: more power.

Oh, yeah.

A torch gives you a lot of heat, constantly. And so when you have a lot of ends to do, all you have to do is put each end in there for a couple seconds, and they melt together, and you're golden. It takes no time at all and you can get through an awful lot of them real fast.

The problem that I've found, and this is where part two of the tip comes in, is when you cut these off square you end up with a lot of fraying on the end. And when you melt that, you end up with a big blob of melted nylon that is kind of ugly and sometimes can get in the way of whatever it is you're working on.

The solution to that I've found is to pull the sheath back to expose the inner core, and you need to expose an inch or two, and then cut off about half an inch to an inch, somewhere in that range, of the inner core.

And now you can pull the outer sheath back over that section and you end up with the outer sheath extending beyond the inner core by about a couple millimeters, an eighth of an inch or something like that.

Now, when you melt that in your flame, the outer sheath shrinks around the end of the inner core, melts everything together, and you end up with a very nice end at the end of the day.

So that’s it for today’s quick tip. Until next time, go make something. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just have fun!