Easy -n- Cheap Dredlocks Tutorial w/pics

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PredatoRay31

New Member
All,
I tried to come up with a way to make predator dredlocks from all kinds of stuff and one day it hit me----heat shrink tubing. Heat Shrink Tubing is used in electronics and it is just rubber tubing that shrinks when heated. They make all kinds of sizes and it comes in black--perfect. I heard people use regular pool cue sticks to dip in latex becuase it gives a nice tapperd shape to the dredlocks, so that's what I used. I'm going to post several pictures for several posts until I'm done.

In these pics, I used a cheap pool stick (Wal-Mart $7) and cut it in half. Measure about 23"(inches up and made a line) so I have good length for the finished dredlock. In the first pic I'm spraying it down (drenched) with PAM cooking spray, because when you shrink it down it will get real tight and not want to come off, unless it's well lubricated. PAM has a polymer that acts as a good lubricant to slide the dredlock off when done. I'm sure you could find somehting else, be sure to experiment first. I lost 2 prototype dredlocks because Vaseline did not do the trick.

The Heat Shrink Tubing I'm using is Black, 3/4" (OD) 3M Brand (2:1 shrink ratio) and can be found here: Heat Shrink Tubing
The Tubing comes in 4 Feet pieces for $3.98 and I was just cutting them into two pieces (2 feet per dred).

Next is to slide the tubing on and leave about 1"(inch) from the end not on the pool stick.
Then using a heat gun, I shrunk down the tubing to the shape it to the pool stick.

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PredatoRay31

New Member
Next I used the Heat gun to melt the tip a little (it will get shiney---if it starts smoking you heated too long). Then I used a pair of pliers to twist the end and let it cool this way. This will fuse the twist and the tip is too hot to twist by hand, so those pliers are handy.

Next I cut the tip off and slid off the dred.
* You don't have to do this, but I did becuas eI like the crinkled look to the dreadlock. I would hold the tip but pull the dredlock back and forth to scrunch up the dreadlock. This will make creases and look neat.

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PredatoRay31

New Member
Then finally I filled the dredlock with poly stuffing. Most hobby stores sell it in bags, but I got mine from an old couch I threw out some time ago. I have a huge garbage bag full for filling the dog and cat beds after they get worn out.
Anyways, here are pictures of the process. I used cotton ball sized pieces and the pool stick (to push it in to stuff it). I stuff it all the way until it has about 1" to 2" (Inches) left then use the heat gun to shrink just the end.

The only thing else I do is supper glue the inside of the end and use a clamp to flatten it out. Then once dry I use scissors to round the end. Another thing I will do is dip the tip in black PlastiDip to seal the twisted end and fill it in a little better.

You can see a comparison of the before and after using the Heat Shrink Tubing. I hope this helps as this is the easiest and cheapest way I found to make dredlocks, since I don't like using Backer Rods. Please feel free to post and add comments as I'm always open to improving my methods or may have missed somehting. You can easyily finish 10 of these a night, whe you get the hang of it and heat gun.

Also they are very light and move around a little when you turn your head left and right. Not as flexible as latex but are quit flexable. Filling them gives them a wierd squishy realism factor too.

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PredatoRay31

New Member
As a quick note. you could go to 1"(inch) OD Black Heat Shrink Tubing for thicker longer dreds. Just move further up the pool stick.
 

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