This instructable shows you how to quickly and inexpensively build your own paracord jig of any length and width.
Step 1: Materials
scrap tongue-and-groove lumber (flooring works great!)
(2) 1/4"x3" bolts
(2) 1/4" wing nuts
(4) 1/4" x 1" washers
A handful of 1 1/4" wood screws (say 2 dozen)
Screw Hooks or Cup Hooks or Nails or Screws
Step 2: Tools
Jig Saw- you can do this entire project with just a jig saw and careful cutting, but since my husband has all these tools, I'm gonna use them!
Power Drill with screw driver bit that fits your screws, and a 5/16" or 3/8" drill bit
Miter or Chop Saw or Circular Saw
Palm or Orbital Sander
Step 3: Plan!
Decide how long you want your jig to be- if you are using 4" wide planks to build it, you'll need to add 8" to the longest length you want to be able to make.
For example- I wanted to be able to make a 22" long dog collar- so I built this jig 30" long.
You can cheat this a bit (I'll tell you how later) and get another couple inches out of it if you want to do some extra sawing.
Step 4: Cut the Main Boards
Start by measuring and cutting 2 pieces of board to make up the body of your jig. These are 30" long on mine. A miter or chop saw makes this easiest but a circular saw or jig saw can be used.
Next, you'll want to cut out part of the tongue on one board, and the groove on the other board, leaving 1 1/2 to 2" of the tongue and groove at each end, as pictured. Using a table saw and jig saw is the neatest way to accomplish this but I was lazy and just used the table saw, which left it pretty ugly!
When you put the two boards together it should now have a slot down the middle.
Now, if you desire, use the table saw to completely trim off the tongue and grooves off the two outside edges. This just makes it look nicer when completed.
Sand everything smooth.
Step 5: Cut Everything Else
For the remaining pieces you'll want to cut the tongue and grooves off a longer, or a few shorter, boards, to create a regular looking board. Or if you already have a 1x4 laying around you can use it!
Measure the width of the body of the jig. This is your cut length.
Using the board you cut the tongues and grooves off of, cut 6 pieces the same width as your jig.
Now, take two of those small boards you just cut, and cut them lengthwise evenly, so you wind up with 4 skinny boards all the same size. These will be the feet.
If you want to squeeze another inch or two of length out of your jig, take the remaining 4 boards and trim them down to be skinnier- be sure to leave at least 2 1/2" to 3" of width and be sure all 4 boards are the same width!
Sand everything smooth
Step 6: Assemble Jig Body
Get your wood glue!
First, put a little glue in the grooves at either end of your jig body boards, insert the tongues, and press together firmly.
Lay the jig body face down.
Get two of the feet you cut. Put glue on one foot piece and stick it onto one end of the jig body. Use a couple screws to fasten it in place. Put glue on a second foot piece, place it on top of the first, then use a couple more screws to fasten it in place.
Repeat at the other end of the jig body.
Turn the jig right side up- now it has feet!
Get two of your remaining 4 pieces of wood, and attach them to one end of the top of the jig the same way you attached the feet.
Step 7: Assemble Sliding End of Jig
Get the two remaining pieces of wood and glue them together, then attach with two screws, being sure not to put the screws near the center of the piece. This is your slide.
Line up the slide with the slot on your jig and mark the slot location. This tells you where to drill your holes.
Drill 2 holes along the slot area of the slide-space them evenly and be sure they are at least 3/4" away from the front and back edges. The holes need to go all the way through.
Now get your bolts, washers, and wing nuts.
Put 1 washer on each bolt and insert both bolts up through the slot from the bottom of the jig, through the holes in the slide. Put a washer and wing nut on each bolt. Tighten until the slide will move back and forth in the slot. Position the slide wherever desired and tighten the rest of the way.
Step 8: Add Hooks
Now you can add nails, cup hooks, screw hooks, buckle ends, whatever you want to allow you to fasten the buckles or other hardware onto the jig.
If you want a built in ruler, you can draw one on.
If you want to get really fancy you can stain, varnish, or paint the jig.