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Old 21-02-2016, 22:46   #16
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Re: para-cord

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
Mil spec para-cord is actually not 3mm. The Mil-Spec doesn't actually have a size requirement, but it is almost always 4mm.

This may or may not be an issue in an application, but there is a reason the stuff is so cheap, besides it is sold by the ton. It's great for small junk lines to tie things off, but it isn't very good line compared to marine cordage.
What "marine cordage" are you comparing it to. The nearest to para cord in size and characteristics would be 3-4mm nylon braid which generally has a breaking strain quite a bit less than 550 paracord.
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Old 21-02-2016, 23:00   #17
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Re: para-cord

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Originally Posted by Eben View Post
I haven't read all the posts, but I feel I need to chime in. I've spent quite a bit of time playing with para-cord and I've also spent quite a bit of time playing with rock climbing gear.

So you have to be very careful with para-cord as 550 lbs breaking strain is not much at all, shock loading you will only be able to handle 55 lbs and a 10 times increase is very likely. This is more true in climbing (because of gravity), I certainly would not trust para-cord anywhere critical. If your life depends on it, don't use it!
I wouldn't trust my life on any 3-4mm cordage - para cord or not!

But as a general purpose lashing medium for the 1001 little jobs around a boat, I'll quite happily use it with it - especially if it's something that I take multiple turns around. I bet it is stronger than the stuff that has been stretching the canvas on my soft bimini for years.

And I may just replace the turks head on my king spoke with it
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Old 21-02-2016, 23:19   #18
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Re: para-cord

So I need to eat some crow here. The 1/8 stuff I buy is actually polyester not nylon like I thought it. Heck if I know where to find good quality nylon braid that size after looking I couldn't track any down.

I would still prefer using polyester small stuff over para-cord however. I just don't like line that stretches as much as this does.

3mm poly MBL-530lbs
4mm para-cord MBL-550lbs
4mm poly MBL-800lbs
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Old 22-02-2016, 00:21   #19
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Re: para-cord

Well that's the reason we called it 550 cord. I have used a ton of it or at least several hundred pounds in over 30 years in the military. Have actually used it to support myself for tree and other climbing situations several times (usually 3 or 4 pieces together) after all it is used for parachutes.
I always have a bit about, it has endless uses and is very often just the right size for lashing things down and generally securing things.
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Old 22-02-2016, 03:43   #20
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Re: para-cord

Para-cord; presumably good for parachutes - no????
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Old 22-02-2016, 05:45   #21
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Re: para-cord

Very popular with the Survivalist/Prepper set. I think because making bracelets, belts, and rifle slings with it gives them something to do while they wait for TEOTWAWKI. My favorite project, the paracord bull whip! Who would have thought?

Making a Paracord Whip - All

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parachute_cord
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Old 22-02-2016, 05:58   #22
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Re: para-cord

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
Mil spec para-cord is actually not 3mm. The Mil-Spec doesn't actually have a size requirement, but it is almost always 4mm.
mmmm . . . . Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0935.JPG
Views:	65
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ID:	119406 Looks like 3mm to me. I just find the stuff to be generally extremely high quality and nice to handle, and much less expensive than marine stuff.

As to polyester vs nylon - IMHO I don't think it matters much for the vast majority of 'cord' applications - messengers and lashings and decorative work. You can set the stretch simply by how many turns you make (in a lashing).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eben View Post

So you have to be very careful with para-cord as 550 lbs breaking strain is not much at all,

I've seen a certain celebrity survivalist rappel on 550 para-cord, which is beyond stupid!
oh, I thought this was obvious. I am not suggesting anyone use 3mm (or 4mm) cord to rappel on ever, or for sheets or halyards or anchor lines.

It is accessory cord. You use it for lashings and messengers and decorative stuff.

As to 550lbs being 'weak' - you can make a lashing as strong as you want, just with more turns. As I mentioned that simple soft shackle in para cord is 1200lbs test - and there are actually not that many applications on a 40' cruising boat that really need much more than that - and if they do - you can can double over that soft shackle and easily get 2,400lb test.
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Old 22-02-2016, 06:13   #23
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Re: para-cord

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delancey View Post
Very popular with the Survivalist/Prepper set. I think because making bracelets, belts, and rifle slings with it gives them something to do while they wait for TEOTWAWKI. My favorite project, the paracord bull whip! Who would have thought?

Making a Paracord Whip - All

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parachute_cord
HA HA! Awesome stuff D...

Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
mmmm . . . . Attachment 119406 Looks like 3mm to me. I just find the stuff to be generally extremely high quality and nice to handle, and much less expensive than marine stuff.

As to polyester vs nylon - IMHO I don't think it matters much for the vast majority of 'cord' applications - messengers and lashings and decorative work. You can set the stretch simply by how many turns you make (in a lashing).

oh, I thought this was obvious. I am not suggesting anyone use 3mm (or 4mm) cord to rappel on ever, or for sheets or halyards or anchor lines.

It is accessory cord. You use it for lashings and messengers and decorative stuff.

As to 550lbs being 'weak' - you can make a lashing as strong as you want, just with more turns. As I mentioned that simple soft shackle in para cord is 1200lbs test - and there are actually not that many applications on a 40' cruising boat that really need much more than that - and if they do - could double over that soft shackle and easily get 2,400lb test.
Missed this in the early postings... Use the heck outta the stuff myself... NEVER thought of making a soft shackle with it... But I've been inspired now!

Thanks Evans!

PS Can be found at the US big box home improvement stores too, Lowes/Depot
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Old 22-02-2016, 06:26   #24
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Re: para-cord

^^ yea, there is an enormous 'sub-culture' of people working on para-cord stuff - from serious stuff to very frivolous (SL would like the para-cord handcuffs ).

But I did not find anyone else who had done a soft shackle. It is usually for single braid, so it may just be that no-one tried, but it works quite well, just a little bit of wiggling to pierce at the noose. And it tested just where I would have expected from my prior work.

I actually came to it from the decorative side first . . . beth is leading some 6 sigma training and wanted something to give her graduating yellow, green and black belts - so I am making them appropriate colored para-cord bracelets - the black belt ones are quite nice - black and gold cord with a stainless buckle. The lessor belts I make with plastic para-buckles, which are ok, but not as nice as the brushed stainless ones - I just tell them those belts are temporary and they should advance quickly to get the nice onbe
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Old 22-02-2016, 10:56   #25
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Re: para-cord

I have used some of the para-cord patterns to make stuff out of dyneema. It's a pretty interesting way to store line, at least relatively short leingths of it.

Somewhere around the house I have a belt made from 3mm dyneema. It has something like 100' of line wrapped up in it. I can't imagine that I would ever deconstruct it offshore, but assuming I had it with me it might make a good emergency stash of line.
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Old 22-02-2016, 11:27   #26
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Re: para-cord

In the past I have always used 1/8" braided nylon or Dacron. I still have a piece that is who-knows how old. It was always "marine" and expensive. The newer line I have is not nearly as good feeling. Hard to explain how it seems chintzy.
My boys made some stuff with para-cord. Nifty.
I seem to have a harder time with the cut ends. Melting braid is easy and I can tell easily if I have missed anything. Any tips?

My dyneema (spell check on Sailing Forum does not know dyneema - Heh) softies are bought. I don't think I could make as good a one.
Maybe the para-cord ones? Step by step info?
Thanks.
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Old 22-02-2016, 13:43   #27
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Re: para-cord

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
mmmm . . . . Attachment 119406 Looks like 3mm to me. I just find the stuff to be generally extremely high quality and nice to handle, and much less expensive than marine stuff.
That's not MilSpec III, it's commercial. Milspec doesn't come in bright colours.

How many inner stands?

Are the inside strands 2 or 3 ply?. Lots of commercial is 2 ply, Milspec is always 3 ply so tends to be a bit thicker than most commercial.

Milspec general does come closer to 4mm than 3mm.
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Old 22-02-2016, 15:16   #28
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Re: para-cord

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
That's not MilSpec III, it's commercial. Milspec doesn't come in bright colours.

How many inner stands?

Are the inside strands 2 or 3 ply?. Lots of commercial is 2 ply, Milspec is always 3 ply so tends to be a bit thicker than most commercial.

Milspec general does come closer to 4mm than 3mm.
I would suspect "MilSpec" anything coming from Amazon or almost any other seller.

This maybe???

http://www.outdoorbunker.com/550-7-s...K1bxoCtE7w_wcB

Military Spec Cord has an inner core consisting of Seven 3-ply strands providing 21 internal individual strands of Nylon Kernmantle, making it tough & strong, yet lightweight and durable. 550 Paracord has been given a reputation of being the duct tape of the rope world for its dependability and versatility. Type III 7-Strand Mil-Spec Paracord has beat 14 rigorous Scientific tests, has 550 lb. minimum break strength, and elongates at a minimum of 30% stretch...


Which tells me that 3-strand saying 500lb strength is bunk.
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Old 22-02-2016, 15:20   #29
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Re: para-cord

It's useful stuff. Made my retractable lazyjacks from it. They work great and were cheap.

Used little thimbles instead of blocks. Stitched/whipped for splices.
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Old 22-02-2016, 15:22   #30
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Re: para-cord

Just went back to post #3 and had a closer look at the end of the inner. That definitely looks like 2 ply to me. Which would likely explain the smaller diameter.
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