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Hi Paul, I heat cut the ends, but am to cheap to but one of the heat knives. Instead I heat an old kitchen knife clamped in the vise with a propane torch. It works great for rope and shock cord. West Marine has shock cord ends with several different types of hooks an such. http://www.westmarine.com Try Model numbers 548248 (1/4" hook) and 548271 (1/4" eyelet fitting). There are some pictures of how the ends look on my web page if you want to check them out.
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Guillemot Kayak - High Performance Wooden Sea Kayak Designs