Picture of How to make your own permalok needles
Those of you messing around with paracord probably know what these are already.
If you don't, they're basically large diameter needles that thread from the back, parallel to the needle body, so they don't create extra thickness from threading them on large diameter stuff ( paracord, leather...).

Although not essential, they can make your knot related work much easier and enjoyable.
I thought these needles were gadgets, and have always been able to make all my fancy knots without such tools.
But I must admit that since I began using my first homemade needle, the hobby went even more enjoyable than it was before,
give 'em a try !

My problem is that where I leave ( France ) these are impossible to come by.
Buying them online was the obvious alternative I've considered for some time, but I would end up paying three times as much in shipping costs than I would for an actual set of these.
So this is where DIY kicks in.

There's nothing really complex about these, and if you have a slightly equipped shop, it should only be a matter of minutes. ( My first try probably took me 20-30 min, half the time being spent looking for the right tools.

But since I wasn't able to find any resource online concernig making them yourself, I decided I might just publish my own attempt at it so others could benefit from it.
( Actually I've found some instructions on making lacing needles by hammering and filing brass pipes, but did'nt like their aspect at all.Also, it limited sizing options too much for me .)

These are easy, cheap, and work awesomely well !
What are you waiting for ?

Oh, and there are also a couple other advantages in making them yourself:

- You can quickly make a new one for most sizes of cord, string or anything.
- You can make them the shape, the length, the size, and nose form you need.
- This includes curved ones for works on coverings etc...

I will be covering the making of a needle designed to fit standard 550 paracord in this Instructable.

Have fun !

place name here- made it!10 months ago

Thanks for the Instructable, I saw this years ago & it always stuck with me. So tonight I finally made it! The few differences were I used #4 copper wire & used a screw to tap it because I didn't have a tap set.

ch5 (author)  place name here-10 months ago

Looks great !

Nice improvisation with the screw too.

Thanks for sharing the results.

borgem2 months ago
I saw a how-to a while ago where aluminum binding posts (http://www.amazon.com/Aluminum-Screw-Posts-Chicago-Screws/dp/B003O9J3GG) were used. they are already threaded on one end and solid on the other (after you cut off the flat head). You chuck the threaded end (not too tightly) into a drill and use your preferred file >> emory paper to create your desired tip
CementTruck made it!7 months ago

I made 2 of these with my metal lathe last night. It was so simple, thanks in part to this 'ible, that something tells me I'll have a full set of Paracord lacing needles in 64th inch increments by this weekend. ;)

ravenzero2 years ago
InstructAble Mobile Has Horrible Keyboard, Meant Make This A Million Times Easier
ravenzero2 years ago
BuyMillion Times Easier, BuY Some Knitting Needles In A Large Diameter,Cut To Size With Dremal.
weldor2 years ago
oncenteric should read concentric. My bad. I am a horrible typist.
weldor2 years ago
Nice idea! try this trick for shaping the ends- using a hand drill, put the rod in the chuck. go over to a bench sander. turn sander on, pull trigger on drill and GENTLY apply gradual pressure of the spinning rod to the sander. the finish and poit will come out very nice. You can put a really smooth oncenteric tip on using this method. NOTE 1: Do not use a grinding stone for this. it WILL clog up your stone. NOTE 2: Same technique can be used to re-point punches. Just remember to hold the hand drill up at the desired angle and adjust the speed of the drill and the pressure against the wheel. Remember, less is more.
Alt-Horizon3 years ago
Recently had a couple made by my mothers boyfriend, instead of copper or brass rods he used some old discarded knitting needles. They are lightweight, come in many different sizes, take threads very easily and can be bought by the fistful at most thriftstores for about a buck per bakers dozen.

...note though that he is used to working with metal and lathes and stuff and I only have his word for it that they are easy to work with. I am very happy with them though.
Wowow, that is a great idea for center drilling small diameter rods. I'd have never thought of that. Thanks so much!!
AWESOME! I love the upside down drill bit trick! Keep up the good work!
Great Instructable. I but knitting needles, which are hollow aluminum, cut to size, then just a quick threading with a tap. I can usually find a pair of needles for $0.50.

you'are great !
Aaronius3 years ago
micraman3 years ago
Great stuff! shoulda made one of these ages ago :D
I was thinking, since I don't have a drill press, maybe i'll get a brass tube and tap both ends. One end for the paracord, the other for the tip.
For the the tip I'll just shape it somehow (with lots of elbow grease!) and then put it in a die to make a threaded end.
This would allow me to change tips too! Whadya think?
tech_monkee3 years ago
I love this instructable.

on a side note for some that might want a thinner needle:

a few years ago i bought some "portable" stainless steel chopsticks online for like $5.00 usd shipped. these chopsticks unscrew from each other. the pointed end being the part where the paracord would screw into. i used these to make a few cases for my phone and it was very easy to thread with.

that said - i will be making some of those fatter diameter ones to have more options :)

thanks for the instructable.
zazenergy4 years ago
Great instructable, very thorough instructions. Thanks!
rimar20004 years ago
Very interesting. I like specially the step 4.
Yes, step 4 is very creative.
mblack34 years ago
Excellent! I have wanted to do this for a while and your instructable helped immensely!
Your needle is also called a fid. You can find them in various hardware stores and boating/maritime suppliers. I noticed a couple of different sized plastic ones in my local hardware store the other day.
Read yours right after posting mine, Man.. I hate reposting something someone else said.... Sorry!
richie_1144 years ago
Ohhhh.... I was trying to figure out what a "permalock needle" was, I think I remember them being referred to as a "fid" basically a hollow needle you weave ropes with (not just hollow braid either)
CementTruck4 years ago
Really good idea! Great follow through.

I was struggling with an idea on how to make my own Permalok needle a few months ago. I dug through my Box-O-Stuff where I toss things that might come in handy in the future and came across some proprietary IBM cable male/female gender benders. They had stainless steel screws that held 2 cables together. I cut the thumbscrew off the female screw and sharpened the tip. it works fine, but is a little short. I like your idea much better.

craftydan4 years ago
Nicely done -- a thorough instructable with a few good fabbing tricks.

There is a (IMO) simpler procedure over at KHWW (but when was simpler better for a weekend project?).  Involves small gauge copper tubing, a self tapping screw, a hammer and some finishing supplies.  It's little less machine intense, but I've got a feeling yours is a bit sturdier.