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Picture of Paracord Bracelet Fixture/Jig
This tutorial will show how to make a paracord bracelet fixture that can be used with or without side release buckles. As I began making more bracelets it became readily apparent that I needed to build a fixture for this purpose. I looked at several designs that were being used and decided to create my own version. When I decided to make the fixture, these were the objectives I wanted to achieve:

- It had to be simple to use
- It must be portable for traveling & camping
- It must be easy to make
- Must be inexpensive

I accomplished the objectives and decided to share my design. I was able to make this fixture in about an hour for under $12. It is adjustable from 3 to 12 inches.
 
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Step 1: Tools & Materials

Tools needed:
- Drill & drill bits
- Saw
- Screwdriver(s)
- sandpaper (optional)
- counter-sink drill bit (optional)

Materials list:
Quantity    Part Description (Approx Cost)
     2         ¼” x 1 ¼” flat head bolts ($ 0.20)
     1         ¼” wing nut ($ 0.10)
     1         ¼“ screw protector cap ($ 0.25)
     4         2 ¼” wood screws ($ 0.99)
     1         angle divisor - also called angle divider ($ 7.99)
     2         ½” cable clamps ($ 0.20)
     1         5mm x 10mm pan head machine screw ($ 0.19)
     1         size 8 x ½” screw ($ 0.08)
     1         5mm hex nut ($ 0.19)
   36”        1” x 4” standard grade board ($ 0.74)
     1         3/8” side release buckle ($ 0.40)
     1         5/8” side release buckle ($ 0.44)

         Total $ 11.77

Step 2: Disassemble Angle Divisor Tool

Picture of Disassemble Angle Divisor Tool
IMG_3319-1.JPG
In order to reduce the amount of woodworking skills required and make the project construction easy and quick, my design uses parts of an angle divisor. I used a Tool Shop angle divisor I picked up from my local Menards (hardware store). If you don’t have a Menards store nearby, the same angle divisor can be found listed under other brand names as angle dividers (Promax 79050, Big Horn 19050, etc.)

Start by removing the rivet connecting the three aluminum bars at the end of angle divisor (far right in the main photo). Tip: Grind off the backside of the rivet using a grinder or Dremel tool with grinding wheel bit, then remove the rest of rivet with pliers.

Remove the adjustable thumbscrew and keep the slotted bar and shinny rectangular guide piece (bottom of the second photo) – discard the rest of the angle divisor. Use a ¼” drill bit to enlarge the hole in the shinny rectangular guide piece. The hole is very close to ¼” already, but still needs to be enlarged.

Step 3: Cut Wood

Picture of Cut Wood
Saw the 1” x 4” board into one 22½” section (the base) and four 3½” blocks. Stack the base and 3½” blocks as shown in the photo. The grain of the wood of the 3½” blocks should run perpendicular to the grain of the base.

          For clarification: The size of the smaller blocks (3½” blocks) should be cut to the same width as the
                                  board - on dimensional lumber this is usually 3½”. If the piece of wood you are
                                  using isn't exactly 3½”, then adjust the length of your cuts accordingly.

Step 4: Drill and Assemble The Wood

Picture of Drill and Assemble The Wood
Drill two pilot holes through the base and each of the top 3½” blocks. On each of the bottom 3½” blocks, drill the pilot holes only ½ way through – don’t drill all the way through. On one of the bottom 3½” blocks, drill a ¼” hole through the center. Counter sink the hole using the tip of a ½” drill bit or a countersink bit. Insert one of the 1¼” flat head bolts into the center hole.

Take the 22½” base and drill a ¼” hole through the center. Countersink the hole – this will now be the bottom of the board. Insert the other 1¼” flat head bolt into the center hole. Assemble the wood pieces using the 2¼” wood screws.

Step 5: Attach Female Ends of Buckles

Picture of Attach Female Ends of Buckles
Attach a cable clamp, a female end of a 3/8” side release buckle, a female end of a 5/8” side release buckle to the side opposite the markings on the end of the slotted bar that had the rivet.

Step 6: Attach Male Ends of Buckles

Picture of Attach Male Ends of Buckles
IMG_3331-1.JPG
Attach a cable clamp, a male end of a 3/8” side release buckle, a male end of a 5/8” side release buckle to the 3½” block that doesn’t have the bolt in the center. See photo for correct placement of cable clamp, etc.

Step 7: Drill ‘Dimble’

Picture of Drill ‘Dimble’
On the opposite end of the base, drill a ½” ‘dimple’ near the inside edge of the base. During storage and transport the dimple will provide a hole for the nut of the 5mm screw to sit in (so that the slotted bar will sit flush to the base).

Step 8: Remove Sharp Edges From Wood

Picture of Remove Sharp Edges From Wood
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IMG_3337-1.JPG
I recommend all of the sharp edges of wood be “dulled” using sandpaper. Since I transport mine a lot I decided to round over the edges even more using a trim router with a round-over bit.

Use the ¼” screw protector cap on whichever bolt doesn’t have the wing nut – swap bolts when tying or storing. The cap protects your fingers while tying a knot and will prevent snagging by the other bolt when storing or transporting.

Step 9: Create Sizing Table

Picture of Create Sizing Table
Using a 3/8” bracelet as an example, measure the length around a person’s wrist – for this example I’ll use 8 inches. When making a bracelet a popular “rule-of-thumb” is to add an additional inch for the extra bulk due to knotting – so our modified length will be 9 inches.

Because the bracelet will be inserted into the buckles of the fixture, we need to adjust the slotted bar until there is 9 inches between the female end and the ‘rim’ of the male end.

Step 10: Record Initial Marks For Buckles

Picture of Record Initial Marks For Buckles
Record the marking on the slotted bar - in this case 57. In the future, each time we want to make an 8-inch bracelet using a 3/8” standard buckle by this vendor we will use the same setting. Using the same procedure for a 5/8” by this vendor, I found that the setting is 59.

Step 11: Determine Remaining Marks

Picture of Determine Remaining Marks
Knowing the reference marks for both buckle sizes enables us to create a table of the bracelet sizes for these buckles. Simply lay a measuring tape beside the slotted bar and align the respective reference mark with the 8 on the measurinng tape (original size of the wrist). The example in the photo is setup for the 3/8 inch buckle (57 on the slotted bar). 

Next, find the values for the wrist lengths you want from the measuring tape and read the corresponding marks on the slotted bar. Do this for both buckle sizes and you should get something like the next step.

Step 12: Finish Sizing Table

Picture of Finish Sizing Table
This is a table of sizes and markings for 3/8 and 5/8 buckles in our example. I then attached the chart to the fixture so it is always available.

wow, this is great.

It lends itself to other applications.

Thanks for posting

Wink791 year ago
Be careful with the plastic clamps that hold the buckles. If you like your bracelets to be very tight for a great finished look, the plastic clamps flex easily and will throw the size off.
mpowell121 year ago
i went into menards today and picked up most of the stuff. THe only thing that we couldnt find was the cable clamp. what section would that be in?
MacGyver9 (author)  mpowell121 year ago
The cable clamps are usually located in the aisle with electrical & cable TV parts. Menards usually hang's them on a wall display/rack. They come in small pack's of 10, 25, etc., and are used to secure TV/satellite cables to walls during installation. Just mention cable clamps for satellite cable installation to one of their floor employees and they should be able to take you directly to them.
0322white1 year ago
Do you still happen to have any left for sale?
MacGyver9 (author)  0322white1 year ago
I have an extra one that I recently made for the local scouts. For more information see email I just sent you.
jtay452 years ago
You don't make and sell these, do you?
MacGyver9 (author)  jtay452 years ago
I made a few of these for my wife to sell at her craft shows and several that I sold to others who requested them. My wife still has two left.

These sell locally fairly quick. Due to the weight and size, it costs about $10 or $11 to ship to most locations in the US, so many people who have asked have decided to make their own to save the shipping costs.
$10-$11 is nothing, people really declined?
Gregbot2 years ago
excellent! Thank YOU!
Gregbot2 years ago
excellent! Thank YOU!
This is fantastic! Exactly the type of design I was looking for. I live in a small town with a small hardware...hopefully they will have everything, I'm building this today!
MacGyver9 (author)  SimpleDiversity2 years ago
The most difficult item will probably be the angle-divisor. I got most of the hardware from Menards (local hardware store). The angle-divisor in particular is much lower in cost than I've seen advertised elsewhere. @smblock mentioned he/she ordered from Menards for $7.99 (shipping $2.50) if that helps. Here is a link: http://www.menards.com/main/search.html?search=angle+divisor
Well done. I plan to make one for my cub scouts to use. Or better yet, I'll have the boys make the jig too!
paracordist2 years ago
where did u buy all of the materials for so cheap? I checked lowes and home depot. please reply ANYBODY!
MacGyver9 (author)  paracordist2 years ago
I got most of the hardware from Menards (local store). The angle divisor in particular is much lower in cost than I've seen advertised elsewhere. @smblock mentioned he/she ordered from Menards for $7.99 (shipping $2.50) if that helps. Here is a link: http://www.menards.com/main/search.html?search=angle+divisor
paracordist2 years ago
do you sell these? you should if you don't. I would buy one for sure.
apperrault2 years ago
Dude, I know what I am doing this weekend (or at least when I can find the angle divider and buckles locally. :-)
WVSundown2 years ago
Presently, I'm using a clipboard with a graph paper scale taped to the board. It's working fine for now, but I can definitely see the need for a better jig. Thanks for the informative 'ible!!
billbob222 years ago
I have tremers and have a hard time doing some things. Is it possible to purchase one of these from the person who designed it?
MacGyver9 (author)  billbob222 years ago
Reply was sent via Instructibles email...
smblock3 years ago
Thanks for the 'ible, this is the first 'ible that I have actually reproduced. exactly what I was looking for, compact, cheap, simple, and easy to use. I used mostly scraps of what I had left over (this is where cheap comes in), I didn't have a menards nearby, but shipping was only 2.50, it is the last peice i am waiting on. can't wait to use it. Thanks again for the awesome 'ible.
engelnicht3 years ago
Very clean work! I'll be making one of these shortly.
Lavon933 years ago
Menard's...$7.99 for the angle divisor. Just picked one up while on a work trip in Burlington.

Thanks for the great instructional. I'll be making one of these when I get home!
while3 years ago
Where did you find the Angle divisor for $7.99? I have looked everywhere... With no luck..I would love to do this.. but just cant find one less than like $23....


Thanks for the post it looks great.. I will make one... just a matter of finding the angle devisor or something to replace it with.....
MacGyver9 (author)  while3 years ago
I'm lucky enough that I have a Menards store nearby, so I can pick them up for that price locally. Here is a link to their online store: http://www.menards.com/main/search.html?search=angle+divisor

Good luck!
stew683 years ago
Just resently made one for me....great idea Thanks for sharing..
wlinn713 years ago
Made my world a lot easier when it came to braiding, thanks for sharing the idea! I build one myself in about 30 minutes and it works great.
bonnerb583 years ago
On your sizing chart, are the numbers in the center and on the right the amount of cord that is needed for each bracelet?
MacGyver9 (author)  bonnerb583 years ago
The numbers in the chart indicate where to position the slotted bar in order to get the respective bracelet size (wrist size) for the two different buckle sizes I used (3/8ths and 5/8ths side release buckles).

When tying knots there are lots of variables that influence the fit of a bracelet. How tight the knots are tied, the type of paracord used, the type of knot tied, etc. A jig has several purposes. The main purpose is to ensure the distance between the buckle ends does not change while the bracelet is being tied, thus making it much easier to make bracelets for each size. Another purpose is to be able to make new bracelet sizes correctly the first time rather than do a lot of trial-and-error retying.

The length of cord to use for a bracelet depends on too many variables to accurately state a length. Most people will provide their best estimate when they demonstrate a particular knot, but since individuals tie knots differently it is still only an estimate. Hope this helps!
dman073 years ago
Thank you for sharing your ideas, another project on my to do list
I have been experimenting with a more simplistic idea, but I really like your design and am putting this on my list of projects to try. Thanks for an excellent tutorial.
Great job, and very nice jig!
benbar124 years ago
Wow very creative! (I voted five stars.)
ninja424 years ago
Brilliant!
triumphman4 years ago
Can I just make some aluminum bars and etch my own numbers onto them? I have scrounged an armful of flat aluminum stock a few years ago and have been making cool things ever since. One thing I made is window plant shelf brackets for my home as the windows don't have any shelf space or any way to place plants in a sunny window. Unless I open the windows, which is awkward and a bother to open and close every day in bad or hot weather. I have cut, drilled, polished, bent, the stock bars and made numerous things throughout the years. Just this week, I made a nice bracket for my brother's pancake compressor. The top is plastic and it spread apart at the seam, where you pick it up. I clamped it back together, made a bracket, and used nuts and bolts to hold it in place. It will never come apart again! When I return it he will be pleasantly surprised. I'm always fixing and improving stuff. It is what I do! Thanks for your 'ible! Just what I needed for my paracord projects. I was using a board and a screw in hook !
MacGyver9 (author)  triumphman4 years ago
"Can I just make some aluminum bars and etch my own numbers onto them?" Certainly. When I first designed the fixture/jig I chose the angle divisor to make the project quick & easy to finish - it had the long slotted bar, numbers were already etched on the bar, was in-expensive, durable and easy to take apart and re-use.

Making your own slotted bar and etching your own numbers shouldn't cause any problems. You can still use the same methodology to create your sizing table. Good luck!
dimdiode4 years ago
I like it, I've been mulling over something like this for a while. Yours ought to provoke me to get off my butt and make one! thanks,
putipa4 years ago
cool been tryin to come up with one i will make this soon thank you!!
ChrysN4 years ago
Cool jig!