Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Making a New Luggage or Toolbox Handle with 550 Cord

A lot of times you can find an old toolbox or suitcase that, with a little work, is quite usable... except the handle has fallen off or is coming apart.

If you have the time and inclination to fix it, or just need to make a carry handle for something, here's an easy way to do that with 550 cord.

This toolbox has two 'D' rings on top.

It originally used a leather strap for the handle, with more leather wrapped or stitched around it to make it more comfortable.
  1. Start with a length of 550 cord in whatever color suits you. 
  2. Take one end, and run it back and forth through the rings a couple of times; in my case it was three. Make sure it's slack enough that, when done, your hand will fit comfortably.
  3. At one end, start feeding the cord through and wrapping it around the long loops. If you start this on the side where the end of the cord is, it'll lock it in place.
  4. Keep wrapping until you reach the other end. 
  5. Cut the cord so you have enough to feed it back through the last loop, and pull it tight. 
  6. Trim the cord so about 1/4" sticks out, then use a lighter or match to melt it down to just above the wraps. Or, if you really want it to stay put, until the melted end contacts the wraps.

That's all it takes to make a handle that'll hold all the weight you can put in most boxes or bags.

If you want the handle larger in diameter you can double the wrapping, or wrap some cloth or leather around the loops before you start wrapping. Want a stiffer handle? Put a piece of dowel rod in with the loops, and wrap the cord over it.

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