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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
|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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