Instructables

Molten Paracord Pendant

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Here’s a fun and different to way to use paracord. The basic of it is that you make a wire design and fill it with molten paracord. I was happy with how well it shined up. If your going after a completely smooth finish use polymer clay instead.

Safety First: Molten anything can cause severe burns. Anytime you use a flame make sure you’re in a well ventilated area and that you’ve taken fire safety precautions. As always, be careful and work within your experience.
 
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Step 1: Cut some rings

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I picked up some 16 gage galvanized steel wire from the hardware store, 200’ for about 7 bucks.

Use your desired size socket bit to wrap wire around it. Snip a full circle out of the coil and file the edges so the ends fit together nicely.

For the pendant I’m making do it twice.

Step 2: Solder, drill, and cut

Arrange the rings on a piece of sheet metal. I’m using 22 gage again from the hardware store. Solder the rings on.

Use a drill bit and rotary tool to remove the material from the center of the pendant. Use metal shears to remove the material from the outside ring. File away any sharp edges.

Step 3: Fill the pendant

Since the wire is round the bottom curve against the sheet metal will hold the solidified cord in place. This is where you have to be extra careful. Light the cord enough so it become molten and begins to drip. Make sure you do this over a non-flammable surface.

Once you have the pendant filled let it cool off.

If you’d like to make the wire appear more prominent, file it down a little.

Step 4: Smooth and shine

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File away the melted paracord until your down to the wire. Use progressively finer sand paper to smooth out the pendant. I’m using 400 grit, 1000, and 2000.

Finally use buffing compound with a polishing wheel to make it shine. Attach it to a chain by making a jump ring out of the same wire.

Thanks for reading.
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msutton12 years ago
Finally finished mine (after melting the paracord over 5 times because it kept breaking from the metal haha). This is my very first metal working project so I am happy how it came out despite lacking the professionalism that yours has! Also, I put a coat of hard clear nail polish to give it a nice shine and seal it all together. Awesome project though!
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Mrballeng (author)  msutton12 years ago
Looks great! You'd laugh at all the projects I've done that don't turn out at all. My hat off to you for keeping at it until you got it right. Good work.
Mudslag2 years ago
Just got done making this, thanks Mrballeng what a fun project
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Mrballeng (author)  Mudslag2 years ago
Cool!!!!! I like the design. Thanks for posting a photo.
Cool project! We had fun with our own version of molten paracord after seeing your project and we came up with a few interesting ideas. If you use an oven that can reach at least 450*F (that is the minimal temperature and, in fact, would be better if it could reach a higher temperature!) then it will not only melt the cord but save most of the color. We had fun doing it and at the end we created a rather interesting survival bracelet with our "parabead" as the main focal point. Plus, this gives you something to do with the leftover lengths from your paracord projects that are too short to do anything else with! (We used the same color paracord as the bracelet for this experiment.)
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Ooh, rainbow paracord! Must get some. Great idea to make a button with it!
Mrballeng (author)  Shadow Ranger2 years ago
Cool!!! Thanks for posting photos.
Cadet Park5 months ago
How bout you use paracord instead of a chain.
kweh11 months ago
How creative!
who would have thought of using molten paracord to make jewellery.
I am extremely impressed, well done :)
Mrballeng (author)  kweh11 months ago
Why thank you :). Glad you like it.
tomsmac1 year ago
excellent! i have over 5000 ft roles of paracord...alot of pendants!
Ijsbeer1 year ago
The air bubbles make it look kinda like basalt. Which is awesome.
This looks awesome, I have been playing around with homemade Micarta, but have yet to publish an Instrucatble on the process yet, but here is someone elses: http://www.instructables.com/id/Mokume-Kireji-DIY-Woodgrain-Composites/

You might want to try this, it's messy but fun.

I am going to try to combine your rings template with the fabric Micarta to create something cool, I'll keep you posted.
WouterZ1 year ago
Very nicely done!
RCBro1 year ago
As part of RRR I made this with key rings, one small key ring in the middle, and a larger one surrounding it.
Bekah092 years ago
Since I doubt my landlord would appreciate me soldering things in my apartment (and my dog probably won't like it, either), I was hoping to be able to purchase one from your store... Is there any particular reason you don't sell these?
Mrballeng (author)  Bekah092 years ago
No problem. Send me a PM if your still interested. PS sorry for the delay.
aoag5162 years ago
Does it matter what kind of sheet metal is used, if so what are you using here?
Mrballeng (author)  aoag5162 years ago
As long as it's not aluminum or stainless steel it should work just fine.
Why not aluminum or stainless steel?
Mrballeng (author)  Mudslag2 years ago
Those metals don't take very well to this type of soldering.
msutton12 years ago
Okay, so I have tried 3 times now on this step. I have melted the paracord (after removing all the white strands inside) over my template and let it cool. Problem is, when I go to file and sand it, it cracks and breaks away from the metal. I can not get it to stay in the metal! Not sure what I am either doing wrong of what I can change to make it stay...
Mrballeng (author)  msutton12 years ago
When I did it I left all the white strands inside the cord. The only place I had any issue was at the very top where the crescent is the thinest but all I did was drip more on that part and resanded it. Hopefully that makes the difference. Let me know.
msutton12 years ago
I am working on making this right now but there is one step I have never done. Soldering. Should I get just a simple 30w soldering iron? And what else do I need?
Mrballeng (author)  msutton12 years ago
Go to the plumbing section at walmart and buy some silver solder and a container of flux. You can also find this at home depot or lowes but they have a higher price for it. You'll find a plumbing torch in the same isle. It costs about $15. Of course you could also use a mini jet lighter. Check out my "how to solder amateur jewelry" instructable. That should take out the mystery of soldering. About soldering irons I've never used one to solder jewelry but I've heard you can use one for very small areas. Good luck.
So awesome! Just watched the other video and I learned everything I need to do! Can't wait to experiment and try some stuff tonight and see how much more I can do on this pendant! Thanks again!
black hole2 years ago
Just saw you made it to the finalists. Good luck!
pheenix422 years ago
Molten paracord? Now I HAVE seen everything!
Been collecting a few small tools, should be able to work on one of your projects pretty soon now!
Its nice to finally begin.. I have been collecting the tools needed too, hard to find them where I live, also the material, specially a good normal sheet of steel metal..
Im still unsure if there is a difference if I use a Non-lead 95% tin Solder than on with Silver.. If someone knows, it would be nice to know the info..
Anyways, hope to make my first instrutable or video about how I try to do some pendants..
Thanks Mrballeng!
jbounce2 years ago
Love the project! What size chain did you use? 18"?
Mrballeng (author)  jbounce2 years ago
The chain is a silver box chain I got from my daughter's jewelry box. I'm not sure what size it is but it came from target. Hope that helps.
hechao2 years ago
NICE!!!!
sparktech2 years ago
not having a metal back for it doesn't work...i tried it and it fell apart don't waste your time just have it use a metal back
sparktech2 years ago
if you used a different color of paracord would it still turn out the same? like if you used red paracord would the paracord have little wisps of black from it being burned or would it be solid red?
sparktech2 years ago
to go off what eschneck said, could you just lay the two rings on a piece of sheet metal that has been lubricated in some way so that the melted paracord doesn't stick but it still allows for a space for the paracord to go?
Mrballeng (author)  sparktech2 years ago
I'm not sure how hard that would be to do but it's worth a try.
Ray from RI2 years ago
http://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/articledisplay.cgi?key=8695

The above web site is about toxic zinc exposure from Galvanized steel!
The minute amounts of zinc burned off from heating won't cause huge problems for the hobbyist. If your job consists of heating galvanized metals, then OSHA has required safety precautions/regulations in place.

You should also note that most solders people would use for this type of work melt below 840 degrees centigrade, zinc boils at 900. Besides, soldering should be done in well ventilated location so fumes can't accumulate.

I'm not saying to throw all caution to the wind, but look at all sides of a debate. Only then can one make an informed decision.

Too much of anything can be dangerous, but the only toxic chemicals you should make all efforts to avoid are dihydrogen monoxide, hydroxic acid, hydroxylic acid, and hydrogen hydroxide. Don't get me started on how hazardous those things can be! The worst part is we are surrounded by them...

P.S. Great job Mrballeng!
vanmankline,
what you say is true, but if anyone decided they are going to constantly use metals for jewelry making other than gold or silver because they are cheap then you shoukld at least be aware of some of the dangers involved in doing so. Also if you decide you can make and sell a lot of cheap jewelry to make extra money or a living then you should make sure of ALL the dangers involved.

People DO develop sensitivities to copper, brass and zinc and if someone that you sold this jewelry comes to you demanding to know whay they had to spend a lot of money at the ER to treat an unknow sensitivity to zince what are you going to do if they demand that you pay for the expence???

TO be knowledgable and understand about these issue is a good thing for more than just one reason. I have several books on jewelry making and the Better books go over some of these issues. But none of the jewelry books I have deal or talk about making jewelry from galvinized wire or its possible safty issues.
No Doubt! I can't believe Obama hasn't regulated those dangerous chemicals you listed above. THOUSANDS of men, women, and children die EACH year because of them! Where is the OUTRAGE?!?!?
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