Intro: Paracord Tree
So this is sort of an ad-hoc 'ible, because I wasn't planning on it from the start, just kinda started documenting halfway through! I had been planning for about a week to make something to aid in my paracord management, and do double duty as a tool.
My main goal was to have a place to hang my 1000' spools, and that was wonderfully fulfilled by my end product. Secondarily I wanted something that could help me coil paracord/rope, then hold it while I secured it, whether by a daisy chain 'easy-off' knot, or another way.
Let me again stress that there was little pre-planning that went into the development, just some abstract ideas. It was really cool to make something as it came to me, and turned out really well too.
Lastly, this 'ible requires the use of super dangerous tools like saws, be careful with them and you should be able to keep your fingers.
Step 1: Ingredients (Supplies and Relative Cost)
In terms of time, this took me all of about 2 hours, with a hand saw and a power drill, not including the time it took to gather supplies at my local hardware store.
In terms of supplies, what I used are listed below:
$3 * 1 - 2"x4"x93" A regular stud would work just as well (2"x4"x96")
$5 * 1 - Package of screws, mine were nice deck screws, #8 x 2.5" (total count in project is 10 screws)
$3 * 1 - 3/4"x48" Wooden Dowel
Total - $11
In terms of tools, I suggest using:
- Handheld drill (for holes and screws)
- 3/4" Spade bit - sized for your dowel
- Bit for your screws (Mine required a square bit...)
- Pencil for marking things
- Handheld Saw - a miter saw would have been perfect here, but I don't have one :(
- Measuring Tape - for measuring twice
and of course, a nice, open, ventilated workspace...or the floor of your apartment (be careful with the tools not to mess/tear anything, including yourself, up)
Step 2: Cut a Hole in the Box...I Mean Upright
To start with, you should cut to length the stud. For ease of transportation, I had my local big box hardware store guy to make my 2 free cuts, to give me 2 - 2' pieces, and the rest. These two pieces would then become my uprights.
The easiest way to make a hole that will be spanned by a bar or the like (needs to be the same height on both sides) is to clamp or hold both pieces together, and drill straight through both of them. Ideally these would be clamped to your work table, and drilled through with a drill press, but I don't have one of those in my apartment. I set the spool next to the uprights, and eyeballed a good place where it wouldn't extend over the top, and drilled the hole in the center of the boards. Then I rolled the spool farther down and drilled another hole so the total capacity would be two spools on the inside of the uprights.
Next I eyeballed (yes I know, but I was flying by the seat of my pants still) about in the middle of the two holes, and drilled another hole in one of the uprights, and again at the top of the board. These intermediary holes were intended to help me make coils, or do other wrappy type things with paracord and rope. I could even use them as a peg to hang a bit of cord, like in my 'finished' picture there.
Step 3: Fabricate the Lateral Supports
This step is easy. All you need to do is cut 12" (1') off of the leftover piece of 2"x4" twice (for 2 pieces), and screw them into the uprights. I suggest measuring twice and cutting once. I put the 2 screws in each lateral support, approximately 3/4" inch from opposite corners of the square where the two pieces overlap. Also, to attach the supports, try screwing the screws into the lateral piece just enough to poke out the other side. Then set both pieces correctly oriented on a flat surface, and while holding/clamping together, finishing screwing in the screws.
One last note is that I have the lateral supports on the outside of the uprights. I did this thinking that I'd want as much space between them as possible, and also that I might put an angled brace between a lateral support and its upright, but I'm saving that for when I have an easier way to cut the angle (than a hand saw...).
Step 4: Add Another Lateral Support
Instead of the angled brace, I opted for a support behind the whole assembly to unify it, set it off of the wall a bit, and provide the spacing necessary. I decided based on the 8" spool and my 1" spacing on either side (I just decided, end of story) on 10" between the uprights. I measured to the middle of the remaining piece, and marked it. Then I marked 5" from there toward both edges, and another 3/4" from that (which would be about the middle of the short side of a 2"x4"). There I used the same screwing method as before with 2 screws for each upright. Be careful to make sure that you aren't going to screw into one of the screws already there, that is never fun. After that, I used one screw into the back of the lateral support just for giggles.
Step 5: Insert Dowel, and Twist
Now that this wonderful monstrous creation is assembled, it is time to add your features (dowels). I started with the main dowel for the spool, and as you can see it took some doing, as it was a tight fit! Keep working at it until it is all the way in, then you get to mark how much you want on the outsides (if any), and cut. I decided I wanted 4" of over hang on one side of the main dowel, so I marked that and cut it. Rinse repeat until out of dowel or places for dowel.
I ended up with a piece that is 3" on both sides of the upright, and a piece that is only 4" on one side of the upright, and I just used the rest on the bottom shared hole.
Step 6: Boss Stage
Just kidding, this is just where you populate the tree with any spools you already have, and get to work using it! I hope you find this 'ible useful!