But it turns out that's not too helpful because it's too general.
So the goal is to figure out how much paracord it takes to tie a solomon bar but also to work out some method and formula so we'll know how much cord we'll need for any project in the future.
This is a Solomon Bar which is just a series of square knots.
Finished-length-of-solomon-bar = Starting-length-of-paracord multiplied by X or
f = s (x), where f = Finished-length-of-solomon-bar, s = Starting-length of-paracord, x = the change made by tying knots
and to find out what x is, I'll tie some knots and measure the paracord before and after.
I start with two lengths of navy blue paracord (leader lines) and two lengths of orange paracord (working lines). The starting length for each of the orange cords is 37".
Say you want a solomon bar length of 5" for a lanyard you're making...
I finished tying at 7" but it doesn't really matter. I just needed a decent sized finished-length to measure.
Since all I want is the length of the paracord used to tie the knots, I subtract the remaining orange paracord which is about 3" on each side (37" - 3" = 34").
So two strands of 34" each makes 7" of solomon bar.
With a starting length (34") and a finished length (7"), and using the formula f = s (x), we get x = f / s = 34" / 7" = 0.206 but 0.2 is good enough. We're figuring paracord not building rocket ships.
And that's it.
So let's use the formula on a real example -
starting-length = finished-length divided by 0.2
s = f / (0.2)
s = 5" / 0.2 = 25"
The fomula says you'll need each length of paracord to be at least 25" long.
(If you went by Ashley, you'd have set aside 35" - 40" of paracord for a 5" solomon bar instead of the 25" it actually requires.)
Try it on another real situation -
You want to know how long of a solomon bar you can tie with your 2 lengths of paracord 62" each.
finished-length = starting-length times 0.2
f = s (0.2) =
f = 62" ( 0.2) = 12.4"
The formula says you can tie about 12 1/2 inches.
But remember, we're just trying to come up with a close approximation. The x = 0.2 is a guide so always add a few inches on the end of each working line. And the 0.2 is only good for the solomon bar - each chain of knots will be different. Also, the number that comes out of the formula is for one strand so double it for total length of paracord. One more thing - your x for a solomon bar may be slightly different than mine but now you can determine your "x" for this and other knot chains. Experiment.
And since this formula is only concerned with ratios, and with all things being equal (like using the same diameter cord for all 4 strands - 2 leaders and 2 working), it should also work on any diameter cord.
Well, in theory, maybe... But will it?
Here's a solomon bar made with string -
Please comment on this. Easy to understand? Too complicated? I can do more of these, if you're interested. Thanks.