Make a Wide Sturdy Handle With the Portuguese Sinnet




Introduction: Make a Wide Sturdy Handle With the Portuguese Sinnet

Messenger bags are great but sometimes the long shoulder strap gets tangled when you're trying to make a quick exit or easy entrance. Since they all seem to have a couple of 'D' rings on the back, I decided to make a quick short strap that won't get hung up on stuff as I drag it out of the car to avoid the coming zombie apocalypse.  But the problem is that if it's too narrow, it's too uncomfortable to use zombies or no. So, enter the Portuguese Sinnet (also known as Solomon Bar and referenced as knot #2496 in Ashley's Book of Knots).

Step 1: The Setup:

Here's the front and back of my messenger bag. The distance between the middle of the 'D' rings is about 6.5 inches (16.5cm for those metricly inclined). I started with a length of #550 paracord 82 inches long (2.08m). I also had the following:

x. lighter
x. scissors
x. 2 12.5 inch (35cm) pieces of thin (2 mm) cord

Step 2: Begin:

Start by folding the cord in half and running it through one of the 'D' rings.

Next take a strand and run it through the opposite 'D' ring (I went 'over' the ring as you can see). Now do the same with the other.

Step 3: The First Knot:

Note: I've rotated the image to make it a little easier to reference.
Take the length on the right and bring it over the two main strands.
Now take the left strand and pass in over the strand that was just brought over and then pass it under the two main strands and through the loop that was made by the first strand.

Step 4: The Second Knot and Beyond:

Now that I have my first knot made, I'll refer to the strands as they are in their "current" position not as they started out.

Tighten up the first knot and take the strand on the right and place it underneath the two main strands. Now take the left strand and pass it under the strand that was just moved over now put it over the two main strands and into the loop that was just created by the right strand.

The key to making a flat (non-spiral) Portuguese Sinnet is to keep the strand that is on the bottom on the bottom during the next knot. If you keep the same strand on the top-bottom-top-bottom order you get a real nice double-helix.

Step 5: Prepare to Finnish Off:

Now that I've made about 5 inches (13cm) of the bar, I need to get set to pull the remaining strand ends back into the sinnet body.

Middle the two 12.5 inch pieces and place them inside the next knot. Now the trick to finishing up is to tie the sinnet snug enough to keep it looking good but not so tight that you won't be able to pull the remains through.

In the second pic, you can see how it looks once it's all knotted up and ready to finish off.

Step 6: Finishing Off:

Now that we've got it all knotted up, it's time to finish up by pulling the remains into the body which will hold them inside just by friction alone. In this image, I've arranged it in a more top to bottom to make more sense.

Take the "top" strand and place it "behind" the 'D' ring and through one of the 'finishing loops'. Be sure to leave enough slack in it so that it's easier to pull it into the body (pic 3). Now pull it through.

In the forth pic you'll see how it looks just before pulling it completely through.

Now take the bottom strand and pass it "over" the 'D' ring and through the loop and pull through the body.

Step 7: Dressing Up:

Now that everything is pulled through, it looks like this. To dress it up, just cut them off but not too close to the body because you'll want to but a flame to the ends to seal them. After they are sealed, push them into the body and cover over (see 3rd pic).

Step 8: All Done:

Now it's all set and you can bug-out "fast"!!!  Cuz let's face it....even though zombies move slow, they've ate the brains of everyone that thought they have plenty of time.....



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    49 Discussions

    your idea of weaving in those black strands to pull excess cord is ingenious. It took me the same amount of time to pull the excess cord through as weaving the whole thing. Thanks!

    1 reply

    Thanks! that's why I came up with a took me a disasterously long time and I didn't like how loose it was when I finished using tools.

    Is there a formula for determining how much cord to use for a specific span between the anchors when making a Portuguese Sinnet?

    1 reply

    For every inch to be stitched figure about a foot of cord. So for a 8inch handle 8 feet would be needed. Hope this helps.

    Great instructable. You have inspired a project for me. Maybe I will take pics and make another 'able!

    1 reply

    please post the pic here if no where else!! love to see em

    Hmmmmm, I have been wondering for several years how I'm going to fix the broken handle on my Autoharp case ..... this looks like the answer! THX

    1 reply

    Here's my shot at it. I have been wanting a strap for my coffee mug for a while with nothing metal touching the cup. I already had a carbiner and the paracord around anyways. Still need to tidy the ends of the cord though.

    tankard strap.jpg
    1 reply

    very nice! you can use some very small tubing with a point at one end to push them back inside the sinnet.

    I have had an Israeli paratrooper bag for uh.. oh god, 25 years. (feels old..) I got it in high school, carried through 10 years of grad school, and used it to drag my laptop all over the world. Then the frickin' *strap* wore out, dag-nabbit! But I didn't want to throw out my bag. It went too many places with me to just be trashed. So it's in the bottom of my "tote bag tote" in the hall closet. I was going to fix the strap with some webbing like they use for belts, but that stuff is hard to sew and tends to unravel. WTF is WRONG with me, I make macrame and chinese knotted jewellery, and I have a ton of paracord in my studio. Duh duh duh... I love you, man. I really do. That was my favorite bag evAr. Now I can use it again. *SMOOCH*

    Indeed, I use them alot. In this sort of sinnet, I've found them to open up the weave a little more than I like.

    Ahh. Well I weave the 'stats into the knot much like you do your pieces you pull through. Then I tighten with a pair of rounded pliers:

    nice! Is your method of finishing holding up well? It looks great.

    1 reply

    Yes, it's still picture perfect. I've done this with the PS for some years now and never had a problem. Especially since the 'covering' doesn't get stressed.

    Portuguese? i'm from portugal and see nothing portuguese about this, just for the info, this is an art called macramé, meaning "the art to make nots" and it was invented by arabian people not by us portuguese ppl, we learnt it from them, ok it's used a lot by us, by the navy and the airbourne forces, and portuguese women to make wristbands and stuff like that. i just wanted to add the info. BTW i love the airbourne pouch, if it would be green it would be perfect

    1 reply

    I don't name them just tie them. I'm afraid you beef with the name will have to taken up with folks dead some hundreds of years. Good thing you're not a Turk ;o) (google: turk's head) As far as the bag, green would probably get them all killed as it's mostly desert in Israel 80)