Intro: Control the Cord Kudzu - Martha MacGyver Style
If you are not familiar with Kudzu - it's a really aggressive plant which can take over - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kudzu
To kill the Kudzu, here's a few variations of a cord tie that I have been using a great amount lately,
I say that this is done Martha MacGuiver style because this combines two often unrelated genres:
- Martha Stewart - crafting - "It's a good thing." (that is her famous line)
- Macgyver - improvising under pressure with testosterone
These Cord Ties have proven to be REALLY useful.
Step 1: Simple Concept: Elastic and a Keeper
All the variations you may see here are the same principle:
A closed loop of elastic is used to stretch around a bundle and then are held in place by some sort of keeper.
You could use a simple rubber band.
Elastic with a cloth component works nicely. See the round varieties as well as various widths of flat ones.
At the fabric store, it's sort of like pasta - you can get the really thin vermicelli or the broad lasagne noodles.
One thing that I found which works great: ELASTIC HAIRBANDS
You can get them in multi-color packs. Some heavier than others.
Wally World is a good place for them.
I have used buttons, dowel rods, pennies, nickels, wood beads, rings, plastic beads etc...
The rings (like a keyring) are really nice because they are really easy to hang.
After the cord is bundled up, just hang it by the ring.
Dowel rods are a nice source too.
Step 2: Tweaking the "Keepers"
Usually the "Keepers" needs a little tweaking.
In order to insert the elastic into buttons, I usually had to ream the holes a bit to make them larger.
You can also drill them - but be careful. When drilling plastic, you may end up welding as you drill.
A slower speed can help reduce the heat and avoid that problem.
With dowel rods, I used a larger diameter dowel (1 inch) and just sliced off a really thick piece.
Then drilled right down into the center of the ends.
When using smaller diameter dowels, I used 2 inch pieces. Then I drilled a hole into the side.
These are like the toggle fasteners you might see on some vintage coats (maybe new ones too?)
When working with wood items, I found that it was nice to also drill a fairly deep countersink into one end of the given hole.
This allowed a knot to seat nicely in position. This worked well for the dowel pieces as wells as the larger beads.
Also notice the shower curtain hook - you can get those at wally world too.
Those can be really useful. I believe they should be stainless - or something that does not rust.
(they are not aluminum)
Step 3: Trick to Threading the Keepers
Sometimes it's difficult to get the elastic into the keeper.
Using a very thin piece of wire can be VERY helpful.
I used some ties from breadbags.
All you have to do is bend the wire in half and use it to "thread" the keeper.
Another note: To reduce fraying, you might want to melt the ends of the cut elastic.
I know the rubber is not really going to fray - but you probably have a nylon fabric encasing which will fray.
Step 4: Examples
Here's some examples of the mini-bungee cords in action...