Ok, so this is not strictly backpacking related, but it involves 550 paracord, knot tying, some creative use of wood glue, and the final result is pretty darn cool, so I thought I’d share it anyway.
A woggle, for those of you that have never heard the term, is a device used to fasten the neckerchief, or scarf, that is worn as part of the Boy Scout uniform. I can remember making these when I was in the British Cub Scouts and was reminded of them when I stumbled upon a really nice step-by-step illustration showing how they are made.
I thought that I could use up some of my paracord by making my own woggle that I could then share with all of my Tiger Cubs, now that I am a Den leader. Typically the woggle is not secured, so that the cord could be used by the scout if they needed it for something in a pinch. However, for the purpose of being able to have mine handed around and studied by a bunch of very eager Tiger Cubs, I decided to make mine somewhat more bullet-proof.
Using the step-by-step illustration previously mentioned, I began wrapping some paracord around a tube to fashion my woggle. The tube I used was actually the long part of a turkey baster – its what I had at hand! After working the paracord as tight as I could get it to form a neatly shaped Turk’s Head knot, I trimmed the two loose ends of the paracord, making sure that they both ended up on the inside of the knot. In order to do that I had to slide the woggle on and off the tube a few times, but it easily retained it’s shape.
This is the point at which I got a little creative. I poured a small amount of Titebond wood glue into a plastic cup and added a few teaspoons of warm water. I stirred the mixture around until I had a very thin/runny version of glue. Then, while leaving the tied woggle on the tube, I liberally painted the paracord with the watery glue mixture. Once it was well and truly soaked, I left the woggle in a warm place to dry overnight.
The next day I repeated the process, slathering on another coat of the watery glue mixture and leaving the woggle on the tube to dry overnight. When I finally removed the woggle from the tube the next day it felt like a piece of rock in my hand. The wood glue mixture had completely penetrated the paracord and as it dried it turned the paracord totally hard.
The result is a paracord woggle that won’t come undone or be easily squashed when it is handled. I can tap it on a table and it sounds like it’s made of wood. I can’t wait to share this with my Tiger Cubs to see what they think. They’ll probably just yawn!
Anyway, I thought it was a novel way to use paracord and in such a way that you can make it set hard and maintain its shape. This would be a great way to create a set of tied knots that can be used as examples without them coming undone. It was a lot of fun to make and I have some more ideas of how I might use this next.
Have you ever used glue with paracord or any other cord to make it set hard like this?