Hints and Tips Page 16

Click on any of the thumbnails below for a more detailed photo

Leather Wrapped Handles
 Before there was paracord, there were leather wrapped handles. Classic looking and very comfortable, I thought it may be time to take another look at these hard working handles.  I picked up some 1/8" leather strip to get started. This was a small knife, but I still used about 6 feet.
First we need a road map and I figured that the easiest way to do this would be to draw it right on the blade. I figure that I'll need to drill two ne 1/8" holes for the leather to start and end at.1
I normally hate to drill new holes in handles for fear of weakening them, but in the case of this knife, there's plenty of metal there. Notice how I screwed the blade down to scrap piece of wood for added control while on the drill press? Always think safety!
The wrapped leather handle alone would have made too slim a profile, so I made some "padding' out of some scrap walnut and shaped and tapered them on the belt sander. I was more concerned about getting the shape right than giving them a fine, smooth finish since they'll be hidden under the leather wrap. 3
I just used a couple drops of super glue to hold the pads in place since they're not under a lot of structural  or functional stress 4
I used a pair of fingernail clippers to put a point on one end of the leather strip and then twist it into the forward hole. I was going to put a knot on it but the tight fit, along with a drop of super glue, more than held it firmly in place. I'll trim the end when the super glue cures. 5
OK, just keep wrapping. Use both hands to keep drawing it tight and hold it in a uniform. Keep inspecting as you're wrapping. When you get to the end, cut the strip about 1" too long, put a point on it and pull it through the last hole. Another small drop of super glue will hold it place. Trim when the super glue cures. 6
  I was thinking about using a waterproof carpenters glue  to hold the strips in place as I went along but was worried that this might affect any stain I might decide to apply later, resulting in a splotchy appearance. As it turns out, the strips were held tight in place without any adhesives. 
And this is what I ended up with: verdict: very comfortable handle and I kind of, sort of like the look. Although I'm not sure I like the effect all by itself, I could see this as a very attractive treatment when done as a segment bordered by a nice attractive hardwood. Stay tuned for Part 2 of the experiment. This might have some potential. If anyone wants to experiment with this particular technique, mail me some pictures!
  Submitted for your consideration: here's a few ideas I plan to try in the very near future. Feel free to try your own ideas and send me pictures!
Another variation to think about is on Boker/Magnums Survivor Tanto. This looks downright comfortable and begs for experimentation!  

  Making Slots, Holes and inside Curves in Leather
Leatherholes1 Square corner cuts in leather for sheaths may be prone to ripping over the long run. To relieve the stress and make for a longer lasting sheath, rounded inside corners are the way to go---plus they look a lot more professional also!
Easy to do. I use a short piece of 3/8" or 1/4" brass tubing, put it in my hand drill, and use a small rotary tool sharpening stone to sharpen the inside edge. Run the drill at low speed while holding the sharpening stone still.
I use a scrap piece of paper like always to figure the size of the sheath, and trace the pattern on a piece of leather
Position the brass tubing where you need the hole and use a slow speed to cut it out.
 And this is what you should end up with. You can now proceed to cut out the rest of the sheath.
Slots can be done by drilling out two holes and then using a sharp utility knife to cut out the middle section
After final construction, this is what you will end up with. Looks a lot better without the square corners, doesn't it?
  Reserved for future tips


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