Author Topic: 3 strand braid making  (Read 9503 times)

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Offline Angerland

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3 strand braid making
« on: July 03, 2012, 09:35:50 PM »
I'm planning on making a 3 strand braid ridgeline out of paracord for my tarp shelter.  Correct me if I am wrong but the starting length of the 3 cords should be about 3x the end length I am looking for? For example if I want a 25' ridgeline I want 3 strands of about 75' of cord?
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: 3 strand braid making
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2012, 10:12:00 PM »
Hmm... good question!

I think you are correct, but I'm not 100% sure on the required starting length.

I prefer a 4 strand round braid myself, but it uses up more cordage. It is stronger, however, and eye splices come out really nice on a 4 strand braid. It's also a bit more complex to braid. I've made a keychain or two and a couple of dog leashes with the 4 strand braid and I really like how they came out.

You could always test with a few shorter pieces. Cut three 2 foot lengths and then braid them and measure the finished length and that should give you a ballpark figure. I know it doesn't sound appealing to "waste" 6 feet of cord, but I'm sure you can find all kinds of uses for the shorter finished braid.

Offline MnSportsman

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Re: 3 strand braid making
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2012, 10:49:00 PM »
I believe the ratio is close to what you stated Angerland. I made Duke a 3 strand paracord "short leash" for when we meet folks out in the woods a few months back & I remembered to make the 3 pieces longer by about 2/3rds more than what I had planned to end up with. I think I started out with 6 ft lengths & the finished (mostly) leash is about 2 ft long .( has loops at the ends, so it would likely be a bit shorter than 2 ft though.)  I dd not use a tight braid either though, & that would make a difference on finished length too. Ya may want to keep that in mind... I don't know if I helped ya at all, but I tried.
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G'Luck!
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I love being out in the woods!   I like this quote from Mors Kochanski - "The more you know, the less you carry". I believe in the same creed, & think  "Knowledge & honed skills" are the best things to carry with ya when you're out in the wilds. They're the ultimate "ultralight" gear! ;)

Offline Confluence

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Re: 3 strand braid making
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2012, 10:58:10 PM »
Ill have to get mine out and measure to accurate, but a 100 foot hank/package cut into thirds with double eye loops ended up about 24 feet in length for me. 

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Offline xj35s

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Re: 3 strand braid making
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2012, 11:44:33 PM »
Para cord stretches and it will shrink it it gets wet. Maybe poly or amsteel is better for the ridge line...

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Offline Wilderbeast

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Re: 3 strand braid making
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2012, 05:07:36 AM »
I'd use 1/8 amsteel myself for a ridgeline. Its stronger than a 3 strand paracord braid, lighter, less (much less) stretch, easy to splice a loop in and the cost difference is negligible since you don't have to triple it up.

1/8 is way overkill for a ridgeline (as is IMO a 3 strand paracord braid) but is easier to tie/untie than a thinner line.

It's also much lighter and packs much smaller than a 3 strand paracord line of the same length.

I don't see anything particularly bushcrafty about using one synthetic cord over another, so why not go with a superior product for that particular application.

 
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Offline acara

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Re: 3 strand braid making
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2012, 07:17:56 AM »
FWIW, I find it helpful to use at least one strand of raw/unfinished fiber cord (like sisal) in the weave.

The rough surface acts like a drip line and keeps the water from running straight down the line and creating a Chinese water torture under your tarp.

I've also used white line (or any other hi-vis) in the weave, just to keep from garotting myself in the middle of the night when I get in/out of shelter.

The single strand of 550 has more than enough holding strength for a ridgeline & the other two rope types in the braid add some functionality;

If you double the strands around a shackle  or eye & weave in pairs, you get a 6-strand finished product that will hold just about anything you need it to.







A 20' hank of the finished prduct doesn't take up any more room than a standard 3-strand braid with the same (uniform) three rope types & has a better loading/rigidity, in addition to the visibility and psuedo-drip-line features (IMHO).

« Last Edit: July 04, 2012, 07:30:34 AM by acara »
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: 3 strand braid making
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2012, 12:23:46 AM »
I don't want to derail the OP here, but I'm seriously wondering what that motivation is to braid 3 strands of cordage together to make a ridge line, rather than using 7/16", 750 pound test poly cord and be done with it? Aesthetics? Accomplishment?  I don't get it......
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Offline acara

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Re: 3 strand braid making
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2012, 02:47:40 AM »
Completely valid question ..

For me, it was the fact that I had the cord laying around.

I considered buying the larger cordage, but I couldn't find it anywhere that I could buy by the foot (like you can with chain) & didnt want a 25' or 50' section of the heavier stuff.

The other reason was the tarp clips I had wont accomodate the heavier lines, with the tarp over it.

... and I won't lie; I'm a minor knotwork junkie ..... I'll find any excuse to braid/knot/weave something, irregardless of if I need to or not ...




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« Last Edit: July 09, 2012, 02:56:34 AM by acara »
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Offline MnSportsman

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Re: 3 strand braid making
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2012, 10:26:17 AM »
I believe that Angerland( The OP) said he was leaving to trp into the BWCA for a spell yesterday(Sunday). So, it might be sometime before we find out how his project went.
Unless someone wants to take 3 10' pieces, or what-ever length they like, & braid them to help find a ratio.
 ;)


As far as ridgeline goes, in most situations/short trips, for me, I use 1 strand. I use a rope or a lashed pole when the need might arise. Or f I was worred about falling trees/branches, unexpected snowload, etc..
 As far as having "drip" problems, a short forked stick hung over the tarp at both ends is a field expedient way of slowing them. Another way to almost completely stop them, is to tie a short piece of cordage to the ridge line just outside the tarp ends using a prussic knot, or for that matter almost any cinching knot will do. Works for me anyway.
 :)
I love being out in the woods!   I like this quote from Mors Kochanski - "The more you know, the less you carry". I believe in the same creed, & think  "Knowledge & honed skills" are the best things to carry with ya when you're out in the wilds. They're the ultimate "ultralight" gear! ;)

Offline Angerland

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Re: 3 strand braid making
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2012, 10:49:22 AM »
Hey all, back from my trip. I didn't get a chance to finish my ridgeline before I left but since we stayed in a cabin mostly it was not needed.

as for why I wanted to 3 strand braid it:
Been using 550 cord for the past 23years I've been in the Army and National Guard so it's what I know. I know how knots tie with it and I know how much it stretches and shrinks and what happens to it when weather gets it.

Also, I have two 1200' spools that some supply guy was going to toss out when we were packing up to leave Kuwait in May.

but for my ridgeline/guy lines on my 10x10 tarp. I went to an outfitter in Ely on ourtown day and saw a neat cord that had a bit of reflective material woven into it for use as ridge/guy lines, etc...

I'm still getting used to the fact that my bivouac sight doesn't have to blend in and not be seen by "the enemy" when I camp so bear with me as I adjust to things like bright colors and reflective matierials.  ;D
"We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home."

Offline MnSportsman

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Re: 3 strand braid making
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2012, 11:23:13 AM »
I "prefer"to blend in,myself...Just cuz I like it that way. Also from military background & saw no reason to change. Particularly since it is possible that some folks would like to have some of my stuff, & if I am not around, I want to make it harder for them to find the setup, if I am away from it. Unfortunately, there are still thieves/vandals in the woods that will steal, or ruin things.


I would like to offer a bit of advice in regard to guy lines & not running into them..Particularly in the dark. I simply place logs/chunks of wood under them, so I know that I would have to step over the log, thus it s a reminder that the guy line is there. ( extra wood for fire if necessary also... ;)
For overhead/head level type lines, & sometimes on the slanted ones...I just place some forked branches on them as another reminder that they are there. Or I hang some clothing on them like a clothesline. Either way, these methods have worked well for me. They might help you also.
:)


Looking forward to hearing how your braiding goes.
:D
I love being out in the woods!   I like this quote from Mors Kochanski - "The more you know, the less you carry". I believe in the same creed, & think  "Knowledge & honed skills" are the best things to carry with ya when you're out in the wilds. They're the ultimate "ultralight" gear! ;)

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: 3 strand braid making
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2012, 08:43:36 PM »
I don't want to derail the OP here, but I'm seriously wondering what that motivation is to braid 3 strands of cordage together to make a ridge line, rather than using 7/16", 750 pound test poly cord and be done with it? Aesthetics? Accomplishment?  I don't get it......

That's a very valid question. Isn't the polypropylene a bit lighter in weight than nylon anyway? I know they use poly for river rescue rope since it floats and nylon does not.