Have you ever done a project with paracord that involved trying to fit a thick piece of paracord through a thin space or into a small hole? To say the least, this can be frustrating. Over the years I have used several techniques to accomplish such feats, including angular burns and using object to push and/or pull the paracord through holes. It always wound up getting messy and I lost a couple of inches of paracord in the process due to mangling it all up. Recently, however, I was introduced to something that would have saved a lot of hair pulling frustration had I known about it years ago. That, my friends, is the paracord fid.
A paracord fid is essentially a device that allows you to transform your paracord into something that can be easily sewn or manipulated thanks to needle-like metal ends. You can buy yourself a fid or make your own. There are a couple of ways to do this and being handy as well as having access it tools comes in handy for this project. Brought to you here today are the two simplest means I have found thus far in my experience.
Start with a two inch aluminum screw post with a screw. These are commonly used for scrap-booking and can be found in the crafts section of big box stores. Take it apart and remove the small screw. With a hack saw, carefully cut the flat head off of the other end. This will give you a metal tube that is threaded at one end. With that metal tub, you need to create a point for threading purposes. This can be done by filing manually or with a drill. If you use a drill, place the threaded end on your drill chunk and start it turning. With a file, carefully shape the other end to a rounded point. When finished, rub with a polishing cloth to remove any debris and smooth surfaces.
It is possible to add extensions to your fid if you wish it to be longer, but in my case, two inches is good enough as it is harder for me to manipulate longer fids into tight spaces. If you wish to add a length to your fid, you can do so with another aluminum screw post. Just cut the head off and bond the two posts together, being sure to keep the threading at one end. You can bond them with super glue and call it good; that stuff can pick up a station wagon according to the folks on Myth Busters so surely it will work for a paracord fid.
All that is left to do is attach paracord! While it is often advised that you burn the paracord at an angle before insertion, that is not necessary. Simply insert your paracord into the threaded end and twist like you are screwing it in to create a bond. This bond will generally be strong enough to get you through whatever project you have in your hands at the time.