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I decided to redesign the bracelet tying jig because no matter what I tried, after I painted it, when I would try to reposition the slide, it was always stuck and I would have to pry it up with a screwdriver to move it.  

The main difference in this design is the ruler and ruler guide, I was going to put a ruler on last time but the design wouldn't allow it.





For complete instructions on how to build this jig using only five cuts and less than fifteen dollars, click the Continue Reading button.

To make this jig easy for everyone to build, I decided to design it so that it would require only a few cuts (five cuts are required, if you use the same size boards as shown).
Click any of the images to view the full size of the image.

With the new design, you no longer have to measure where to place the bottom slider because a ruler is built-in, and with the ruler guide, accurate measurement is as easy as 1-2-3.







Here is the list of materials (all can be purchased from Lowe's, I have included the item number for the materials to use at Lowe's):
  • (1) 3/8 x 6 x 24 Select Pine Craft Board | Item #: 50237 ($3.09)
  • (1) 3/8 x 4 x 24 Select Pine Craft Board | Item #: 50234 ($2.18)
  • (2) 3/8 x 2 x 24 Select Pine Craft Board | Item #: 50226 ($2.56)
  • (1) The Hillman Group  Brass Plated Safety Cup Hook 7/8" | Item #: 330639 ($1.18)
  • (1) Elmer's 4 Oz. Carpenter's Wood Glue | Item #: 41148 ($1.98)
  • (1) IDEAL  3/8" Cable Clamp 15 pack | Item #: 48294  ($1.58)
  • (2) Fender Washers ($0.20)
  • (1) 1/4-20 x 1 Bolt ($0.15)
  • (1) 1/4 Wing Nut (?)
  • (6) ¾” screws to temporarily secure the boards in place while cutting the rails
  • Invisible Tape (glue could be used)
  • Download the Adobe Acrobat Version of This Tutorial
  • Download Plans for this project (right-click the image and select "Save Image As...")
  • Printable Ruler
    • Download my printable ruler (right-click the image and select "Save Image As...")
    • Download a variety of different rulers to print here.
Materials Note: This project can be completed with different materials using different types of wood and board thicknesses, but to use different board sizes you must refer to the bottom of the Plans image.


PREPARING THE PAPER RULER
First, decide which ruler you want to use and then print it out (disable any page scaling or shrink options before printing). Then, cut along the dotted lines only. Now, using either paper glue or invisible tape, join each of the lengths of the ruler together. Notice on three of the ruler cut-outs that the first two inches don’t have a number, this is by design, starting with the ruler cut-out that starts with “8”, slide the first two inches underneath the first cut-out. You should be able to see through the paper enough to tell where the long vertical mark is underneath, slide it even with the top “7” line. Continue to do this with the other two cut-outs and you will end up with a twenty-five inch paper ruler.









CUTTING THE VERTICAL SLOT
Starts by using your router to rout a slot down the middle of the four inch wide board, the exact dimensions are on the plans image.
If you don't have a router you can use a drill with a bit the size of the slot to be cut and a circular saw. Drill two holes, one on each end of the slot, then mark two lines the length of the slot that will be the thickness of the slot. Now make two passes with the circular saw by cutting both lines you just marked. Once cut, the slot should fall out since you drilled the two outside corners already, depending on the thickness of the slot, you may need to make another pass with the circular saw to remove all material in the slot. 
This step sounds much harder than it actually is but I wanted to make the instructions clear.
UPDATED CONTENT
To mark the slot, start at the top edge and measure down 3-4" and mark that point, then measure up 1-2" from the bottom and mark that point. Use a straight edge to join the two marks and that will be your slot.
 



PREPARING THE CUTS
This part is very important, if your are using the same size boards as I used, then you will notice that a 6" wide board isn't a full 6 inches, I have taken this into account when I designed the plans for this image. But if you are just going to cut out the pieces from scrap or other size boards you will need to estimate for yourself, for example, the rails are approximately 1" wide, the ruler guide would need to be 6" wide and then the other boards should be cut to the length specified in the plans.

CUTTING AND PLACING THE RAILS
Gather all four boards and place them together, then center the 3/8x6x24 underneath the other three boards as shown in the image below, the rail boards (3/8x2x24) will be sticking over the edge slightly (refer to the image below). Now grab some screws and temporarily secure all boards in place (you can use the Wood Glue to secure the rails in place but don't use any glue on the center board).
Once secured, use the circular saw to rip the edges of the rail boards even with the 3/8x6x24 board (two cuts are required, cut at the dotted line of the image below).












FINISHING CUTS
Now remove the screws that are holding the center board in place. Use the plans image for directions on cutting the 3/8x4x24 board, there will be three cuts. Measure your bottom board (3/8x6x24) to find out the exact width of the board because it won’t be exactly six inches (mine was 5-3/8” wide). Once you measure the board you will know how wide to cut the ruler guide.























ASSEMBLY
Now that all of the boards are cut, you should have six boards (four if the rails are secured to bottom board).
  • Glue the backside of the top board (the two inch piece), and then place it on the bottom board.
  • Place the slider board (the four inch piece) on the bottom board. Glue the top of the slider board and place the ruler guide board (the one inch piece) on top of the slider board (this board should be even on both sides with the bottom board).
  • Measure to find the center of the slider board and then drill a hole wide enough for your bolt to pass through.
  • Place the paper ruler on the left side of the rails; make sure the start of the ruler is even with the bottom edge of the top board (the two inch piece). Then secure the ruler in place using invisible tape, I made sure to cover the entire paper surface of the ruler so that it won’t hang on the ruler guide and it will be easier to clean should it get dirty. Remove the excess ruler with an Xacto knife or razor blade.
  • Measure the width of the top board (the two inch piece). Mark three spots (try to center the marks) for your buckles and hook (I placed the hook in the middle spot on mine).
  • Remember your measurements you made on the top board and transfer the marks to the ruler guide on the slider board and then screw down the cable clamps and hook. Since there is limited space for attachments, you should pick the buckle sizes that you use most often. 

















THE FINISHED JIG




























USING THE JIG
The jig can be used to tie all sorts of ties where you need tension on the strands to tie it.

If you are tying a bracelet or other design that uses buckles, follow these directions:
Attach the male end of the buckle to the female end mounted to the jig and vice versa for the other end.Now set the jig to the size of bracelet or other design you will be tying, i.e. 7½ inches. 
From here all you have to do is continue as you would normally tie the knot design using buckles.

If you are tying a bracelet or other design that doesn’t use buckles, see the images below.

Solomon Bar Bracelet





















Over-and-Under Weave

Comments

  1. You can purchase a similar jig from The Pathfinder School, which is co-owned by Dave Canterbury, the guy I got the idea from. You may know Dave from his survival show on the Discovery channel called Dual Survival. Copy this link and paste in your browser: http://stores.thepathfinderschoolllc.com/-strse-226/Pathfinder-Paracord-Fixture/Detail.bok
    As for selling my jigs, I am still researching the best design possible, once I am pleased with the end result, I would consider making them for sale.

  2. Thanks for the link. I do like your design. Hope to see you selling them soon.

  3. Hi,

    I am in the process of making one, following your directions. only question I have for you is is the final base piece the 6inch or the 4 inch wide board.

  4. I need to change the "plan" image, I think that's what you're talking about. The bottom piece is 6 inches wide, the slider that goes on top of the bottom piece should be 4 inches by 4 inches. The slider is the part that has the ruler guide mounted on top of it.
    Be sure to double-click the "plan" image to view a larger version of the image, which will make it clear as for the cuts you need to make.

  5. Thanks, another question should the vertical slot be made on the 6 inch board or the 4 inch as you have written.. That part is confusing me a little or allot depending on that time of the day

  6. With the design of this jig, the slot needs to be in the bottom board (6 inch).
    Just look at the pieces you need to cut and it will be easy. There are six pieces total, you will need: (1)6"w by 24"h, (1)4"w by 2"h, (1)4"w by 4"w, (1)6"w by 1"h, (2)1"w by 24"h.

  7. Hi, I'm a Cub Scout leader and would love to have one of these to make these for the boys in the den meetings, however, I am not a wood worker by any means. I'm wondering if you are making any to sell yet, I just know the boys would love this and I think the older scouts could work with the youger ones. Please let me know, and your price. Thank you for your consideration.

    Jenny

  8. Hello Jenny, I have made a few jigs for those who don't have the tools, time, or woodworking experience. I really appreciate folks like yourself who give their time to help the younger generation. I would love to help you and the Cub Scouts out by making a jig for them. Please email me at uniqueropecraft@hotmail.com.

  9. I made this one today fairly easily. I didn't quite understand why I needed to screw the boards in until I started looking at how everything fit. Instead, I ripped the smaller boards in half and put them on top and bottom, then cut the middle slider to fit the space in the middle. Whatever works, right? The added space on the bottom gave some elevation for the bolt head on bottom to slide back and forth. I'll probably add some rubber boots on the bottom so I can use it on tabletops I care about.

    I also used a carriage bolt instead of a regular 1/4-inch bolt so it'll lock in place when tightening the wingnut. I'm sure that'll strip out the wood after a while, though.

    Wish I'd remembered how soft brass is, though. I twisted the hook off one of 'em.

    All in all, a simple and very solid design. Took me about an hour and a half, including drying time for the glue -- time well spent, considering the trouble I sometimes have getting bracelet lengths correct.

  10. @Ninja, thanks for your comment, I would be excited to see photos of your results once you have fully completed the jig. You can send them to my email address: uniqueropecraft@hotmail.com.
    For other readers who are intending to build one of the Paracord Jigs that I designed, you don't have to follow the exact specs that I described. Any of the jig designs can be built longer, smaller, or wider depending on the material you are using. The jigs is intended to be a template that you can modify to suit your needs.

  11. How do you determine what lenght to set the jig at for different wrist sizes and how much paracord? Thanks so much

  12. @firewife, for me that is a matter of trial and error. When you've tied several of the same designs, you get to know exactly how much cord is needed. One way of determining length of cord required is to tie an inch of the design you want and then unravel and measure the cord that was used to tie it. Hope this helps.

  13. Anonymous

    Nice design. You know the other jig you made, painted it with a rattle can, then interior latex that just stuck together all the time? Use either candle wax or car wax on the surfaces that touch each other. That will prevent them from sticking!

  14. @Anonymous that would probably work if I hadn't already discarded it. I've made so many jigs since that first one and I hope I've made the right changes. I've found that the finish that nature gives the wood is good enough for me.

  15. hi...
    i really love your work.
    can i repost it in my blog and translate it in indonesian please? i'm sure my fellows will love it too.

  16. @thebuckland: Thanks for the support-I don't mind reposting at all, the more information we can get on the internet, the better and I appreciate your consideration in asking.

  17. Daniel

    @firewife- a good rule of thumb that i tend to stick to is that for every inch of bracelet you use a foot of cord. so for a 7in bracelet you would use 7ft of cord. it could be a little less but that is a good way to start. hope it helps

  18. I totally forgot I'd written on here until I reviewed the comments section. Made another one last night with a couple of mods. Used MDF board for the top and sliding piece instead of the pine...I thought MDF would slide a little better than the pine on my old one, and it does work better.

    Ended up using my router to cut a 1/2-inch dado instead of the recommended 1/4-inch dado. I didn't notice any appreciable difference, although I was apprehensive it wouldn't hold as well as the 1/4-inch slot.

    I was going to chamber the outer edges, but I couldn't find my 1/2-inch collet for my router, so I used a 1/4-inch roundover bit instead. I probably could have ran it through my table saw with the blade tipped at a 45-degree angle, but eh...I wanted to see what would happen. The result was fine, but I think I would prefer a chamfer instead. The edges are smooth, but difficult to hold well.

    I despise working with pine because it's so easy to dent, but it sure is easy on the wallet. I may go with hardwood in the future.

    Here's a shot. http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/480183_4993001314247_963778560_n.jpg

  19. @Ninja: That looks great. It sounds like you have taken the plans and customized them for your situation, which is what everyone should do to end up with a Jig that is perfectly suited for them. Thanks for the support!

  20. Anonymous

    just saw the article on para cord jig. am interested in buying one. don't have equipment to make one can you help
    iamsilverdale@yahoo.com


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