I told my buddy Seth the other day that I feel like I’m nesting – I stumbled onto Archery Talk’s DIY forum and I just can’t seem to get enough of those projects. Maybe it’s related to my lack of success in the field from February through November. I don’t know. Anyway, I recently purchased a new bow (that’ll be the subject of a future blog) and wanted some accessories with a new paracord wrist sling chief among them. I stress wanted over needed as I have a few old-style nylon strap ones lying about, but hey, that just doesn’t bling enough for a new bow.
A commercially available wrist sling.
I bought my first paracord wrist sling, the one pictured above, earlier this year for $3.59 while Overhauling a Hunting Bow. I wish I could remember where. They usually run $7.99 and up. When I stumbled on the Archery Talk DIY Sling thread by user akgator about making one’s own I started rummaging through my cra., err, treasure in the basement.
I needed the following materials:
- (3) lengths of 30-36″ long 550 paracord
- (1) piece of scrap leather at least 1 3/4″ wide x 4 1/4″ long and at least 1/8″ thick (thicker is better).
- (2) lengths of 12″ long small thread or cord.
- (2) lengths of 5/16″ heat shrink tubing 1/2″ long.
- Thick card stock – an old cereal box.
I couldn’t find the black paracord I only recently used to unstring a recurve (humphhh!), but found some green and a big hunk of leather. Paracord is often available from Army/Navy surplus stores for around $7.99 per 100 feet. Leather sources would include Tandy Leather or other local leather suppliers as well as old or Goodwill belts or bags. I have all kinds of small thread/cord lying about and I had to buy the heat shrink tubing, twelve inches for $1.98, but I use that stuff all the time. Since I could buy the sling for $7.99 I didn’t want to pay $7.99 times two for multiple colors so I decided to use the green I had on hand. Also, a simple three-braid version fit my need quite well vice the fancier four-braid models.
Step 1 – I made an outline of the leather piece from the commercially made sling using an old cereal box as template material. It is attached here in .pdf file format for your convenience (’cause you’re a Mostly Archery reader and I love you…), Sling Leather Template (clicking the link will take you to another screen where you must click the link once again – weird, but it works).
The template and two leather pieces marked out.
Step 2 – I was able to cut the shapes out of the leather with normal, but very sharp scissors.
Step 3 – I didn’t have punches for the holes, but did have some brad-point drill bits that I thought I’d try. They worked surprisingly well. The smaller, internal five holes are 5/16″ and the larger perimeter holes are 7/16″. I saw where some folks said they used old aluminum arrows as punches by sharpening them. See what is available and what works for you.
Drilling holes in the leather.
Step 4 – There wasn’t any leather dye hanging around the house so I used some wood stain. Turned out well, I think.
The leather was dyed with some wood stain.
Step 5 – I braided the cord by first lashing them together with the smaller thread/cord. It was helpful to leave the ends long and hook them over a stationary object as pictured here in order to maintain tension. To braid follow the mantra, “Right over middle, left over middle, right over middle, left over middle….” Note that “middle” changes with each braid. I made the braids as tight as my hands (they rebel in just a short amount of time) would allow as that will make the resulting sling more rigid. If you don’t know how to braid see the photos below or go over to your mommy’s house with some flowers (or her good casserole dish she loaned you with the tuna and noodles) and ask for help. The finished length on the commercial version was 21 inches, but whatever length you desire should be fine. Finally, I lashed the ends together and applied the heat shrink tubing leaving about 1/16″ of it hanging over so when shrunk it covered the cord ends well.
The extra long ends of the lashing cords are handy for hooking onto a solid object.
Braiding, the beginning.
Step 1, right over middle.
Step 2, left over middle.
Step 3, right over middle.
Step 4, left over middle.
A few finished braids.
Step 6 – Assemble according to the below photo.
There it is, one finished wrist sling.
While doing research for this post I found references on how to make your own paracord bracelet that while giving you some roguish, outdoor personal bling also serves as a back up supply of paracord should you need it in an emergency – simply unravel the bracelet. That’s just blasted smart! Make one to match the colors in your wrist sling and you will be ssstylin’.
happy hunting, dv
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- Overhauling A Hunting Bow
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