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I would suggest a solder connection for a patch leads to the USB cable the slightly different patch lead lengths is a great idea, also some heat shrink tubing would be a good idea or some Meld Tape that forms into a nice bond, you can also use electrical glue for the wires that acts as a cold solder method. If you are testing this cable don't connect directly to a USB port on a Laptop or PC, Connect via a USB powered hub. If you damage the USB Port on your new PC or Laptop you would have a bad day, Damage a much cheaper USB Hub, still a bad day but much cheaper to fix. Cut your sacrifice USB cable in half that way both ends are usable for diffrent projects.
Woodworking: Making wood projects without using nails, screws, or glue.
A Folding and Steady Work Bench