wrapping a handle?

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by BullRunBear, Jun 21, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. BullRunBear

    BullRunBear Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,657
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    I have an old Case R503 SSP fixed blade knife which I like. It has a practcal 3.5" drop point blade, full tang and the weight is in the grip which makes it easy to control. It also has an excellent sheath.

    The problem is the size and smoothness of the grips. I have hands much larger than average. The polished wood panels look great but don't work well with sweaty/wet hands. I thought a paracord wrap would solve both problems. I do like the general shape of the grips.

    What thickness cord should I use?

    Are there different types of paracord? If so, are some better than others for this use?

    I thought to give it a whip finish like when I tie off a rope end. Is there a better style to use? Would a braid (sennit or turks head?) be more effective? (I am new to knot work so this will all be an experiment.) Any other suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Jeff
     
  2. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Messages:
    34,961
    Location:
    Central PA
    I do a little cord-wrapping. The basic 550 cord is about 5/32" diameter and makes for a grippy cushioned handle.

    You can also get Type I Accessory line which is very similar but only 1/16" diameter or so. Obviously that's a much slimmer grip, but very grippy as well.

    The biggest problem with either IMHO is that they get gooey and icky with much use (especially dressing game) and have to be removed and re-wound to clean. Not terribly convenient. Or sanitary.
     
  3. P.B.Walsh

    P.B.Walsh Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,287
    Location:
    Tuscaloosa,Alabama
    How are you wraping yours? I did it to a Condor cutlass machete and have found that it (paracord) offers hardly no additional grip.
     
  4. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Messages:
    34,961
    Location:
    Central PA
    Truth is, I've never wrapped a large handle with scales, just smaller blades, usually skeletonized, like the EsKabar types, and a few I've made.

    If you were looking to really bulk up a handle, the best way might be to do your warp as a series of half-hitches, so the cross-over points will progress around the handle in a spiral. (Like this: http://www.thehulltruth.com/attachments/sportfishing-charters-forum/148603d1294347721-custom-made-gafts-untitled.jpg) That will give you more grip than a basic wrap, certainly.
     
  5. P.B.Walsh

    P.B.Walsh Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,287
    Location:
    Tuscaloosa,Alabama
    Yea, no problem with the Buck Packlite style grip, easy. Need to figure out how to do the other knots.
     
  6. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    62,726
    Location:
    0 hrs east of TN
    I don't like paracord for handles unless you impregnate it to make it solid. It simply shifts too easily.

    I'd recommend drilling out the pins and putting a new set of scales on as a nice project.

    One of our members used a hard curing epoxy putty from a sculpture supply to form handles. That may be a good option as well.
     
  7. P.B.Walsh

    P.B.Walsh Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,287
    Location:
    Tuscaloosa,Alabama
    Hmm, what do you mean (impregnate) with the paracord, this would be my best option seeing as how I do not have a drill.....
     
  8. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
    Messages:
    8,609
    Location:
    Arizona
    Athletic (baseball bat) tape or vulcanizing electricians tape for me. I only ever used the cord to have the cord if I needed it later or if it was mandatory like on a couple of "custom" knives.
     
  9. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    62,726
    Location:
    0 hrs east of TN
    Slow set super glue
     
  10. heron

    heron Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2007
    Messages:
    1,062
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    I made a really bad knife once -- a fixed blade with a narrow tang. For the handle, I built up layers of epoxy until it was just about right. Then I spread a layer of epoxy all over the handle and wrapped it very carefully with a rawhide boot-lace, rough side out. Clamp the end of the lace to keep it from unraveling while the glue sets. If you do it just right, once it's finished, all you see and feel is leather. The final effect is very much like a stacked-leather handle.
     
  11. ivankerley

    ivankerley Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2012
    Messages:
    442
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    as was stated before paracord might move around a bit since this isnt a skeletonized handle... and the afore mentioned trapping dirt, blood, sweat etc.
    the problem you might run into with epoxy and the cord would be if you end up not liking it or have a problem, could prove difficult to remove or change.
    It might be easier if the temporary para wrap doesnt work out to just find a knife that fits you better or find a guy to rehandle it. That knife looks to be full tang? so it wouldnt be impossible to rehandle yourself with basic tools.
    my first rehandle years ago was unfortunately a rabbet tang, had to mortise out the wood, etc. i'm happy with the results but the journey was trying;)
    done with nothing more than a drill, chisel, files and a hand sander
    best of luck to ya
    gene
     
  12. BullRunBear

    BullRunBear Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,657
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Thanks for all the good information. I'm going to get some of the 550 cord just to try it on the grip. I'm curious to see if I can make it work. But I'll probably end up using bat or first aid tape. I have some around since I use it to mold thumb guards for whittling. Just hadn't thought of it. I have a few Mora Classic knives I use for woodcarving and a bit of everything. The tape should help with those as well.

    Jeff
     
  13. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    62,726
    Location:
    0 hrs east of TN
    I'm afraid that the tape will cause friction and you'll have hot spots.
     
  14. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
    Messages:
    8,609
    Location:
    Arizona
    Hot spots? Possible given individual user styles though I've never had an issue on knives and certainly not on bats and axes either.
     
  15. RaceM

    RaceM Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    676
    I use cotton clothesline, whipped with the fat side towards the palm, dipped in spar varnish until it quits bubbling. When dry it is hard, totally waterproof, and easy to clean.
     
  16. p35

    p35 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    999
    Location:
    Puget Sound
    I just regripped an SAK I bought for a song because it was missing scales. Used glow in the dark FIMO- it's a "plastic clay" that comes in all sorts of colors at the craft store. Knead it, put it on the knife to the shape you want, bake at 230 degrees for 1/2 hour, and Bob's your uncle.

    You may want or need rivets and/or Super Glue to get it to stay on. SAKs have rivets permanently attached that the scales more or less snap on to, and they seem to do a good job of holding the new scales in place. It may not just stick to a plain tang.

    I don't think 230 degrees for 1/2 hour would affect the temper of a knife, but if anyone else knows more I'd like to hear it.
     
  17. BullRunBear

    BullRunBear Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,657
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Guys,

    I finally tried the paracord wrap and it was a partial success. The wraps stayed tight and didn't shift (to my surprise) in a couple days of light use and it did fill my hand better. But the material was more slippery than expected and I didn't like that. The control wasn't good enough. I have a junker blade with a full length but tapered tang. I'll try the wrapping on that at some point for practise.

    The bat tape is the next try. The worst thing is that I'll have to slice it off if it doesn't work or gets too cruddy.

    Thanks again for the help and suggestions.

    Jeff
     
  18. EnglishmanInArizona

    EnglishmanInArizona Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    Messages:
    58
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    I also don't like paracord wraps - I think they're too slippery and a bit mushy.

    I've never tried bat tape - it would look ugly as sin though, IMO.

    What worked for me was cotton parcel string, believe it or not! I had a sword made for which I intend to cover the grip in tooled leather, in the style of an original somewhere in Germany. In the meantime I wrapped the grip with parcel string and then applied a lot of watered down woodglue to it. That grip has taken a serious beating and still works well, even after someone's (blunt) blade came down right between my hands and ripped a chunk out of it - the rest of it hasn't moved at all. Grippiness is really rather good, even when wearing old, smooth leather gloves.

    RaceM's cotton clothesline in spar varnish is almost certainly better.
     
  19. Saakee

    Saakee Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    449
    Location:
    Downtown Salem, Oregon
    When y'all are doing paracord wraps are you taking out the core and using just the wrap? Makes it much thinner. I check this blog pretty regularly though i don't wrap myself.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice