Author Topic: Knot-covering knife handles & sheaths?  (Read 14292 times)

Lasse_C

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 305
  • The price of skill is neverending practice
    • Photo galleries (Text in Swedish)
Knot-covering knife handles & sheaths?
« on: December 21, 2004, 01:24:31 PM »
Hi!
I have a few knife blades lying around, and plan to make some knives of them. I play with the idea of decorating handle and/or sheath with knotwork - a long TH or hitching on the handle would give a very safe non-slip grip, to begin with.

As I believe it is not necessary to make all mistakes myself, I would like to know if any of you have any experiences of this?

Suggestions/recommendations? Any caveats of things I should avoid?

Lasse C

And, also: A very merry X-mas to you all!

« Last Edit: December 21, 2004, 01:25:41 PM by Lasse_C »

PatDucey

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 312
  • IGKT Pacific Americas Branch
Re: Knot-covering knife handles & sheaths?
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2004, 11:03:14 PM »
Lasse,

A Turks Head will tighten up and be a suitable grip for a handle.  Be sure to take into account the thickness of the ropework which will add to the diameter of the handle.  If you use a Turks Head the knot may act like a "Chinese finger trap" and slide off a smooth handle that has no shape.  To solve this problem you might also want to have some shape to the handle or use a coating which will act as an adhesive.  The shape I refer to is either concave or convex over the length of the handle, or a knob at the back end of the handle.  Whenever I have used a Turks Head as a handle, there has been some notch to land the knot in, or the handle had a shape that the knot conformed to so it would not slide.

I have never used adhesives or coatings on handles, perhaps there are others who can add their two cents in this matter.  

Pat

JimC

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 18
Re: Knot-covering knife handles & sheaths?
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2004, 11:36:24 AM »
Hi Lasse,

My best results (todate) have been with nested 4bight TH's. I work out how many leads necessary to cover length of handle based on 8bight TH (8bight is almost always enough), divide by two and work two nested 4bight TH's each with half number of total leads necessary. 4bights have advantage of forming a square at end and closing to a point leaving no gap. Nesting two 4bights gives results in an 8bight width with only 4bights at end. Have found 3bight foundation too limiting and +4bights too busy and increasingly difficult to get neat closure at end. Personal preference only but, I much prefer leather thonging to cordage but use cordage when looking to increase diameter of handle. Hope this helps.

Regards and merry Christmas
JimC

KnotNow!

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 366
  • IGKT-PAB PAST PRESIDENT
Re: Knot-covering knife handles & sheaths?
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2004, 05:57:51 AM »
I have put coachwhipping, turk's head knots, underhand round turn hitiching, spanish hitching, grafting et al on knives.  There is just about nothing that goes over a full size handle without becoming too bulky. I have a very cheap belt sander and can reshape handles in a hurry, but you could do it with files and wood rasps (inexpensive tools).  As Patrick says, some knots will want to slide, however tightly made.  I have used, with pretty good success:  pre-coat with shelac, pre coat with varnish (with these two I have the knot pre-tied and work it while the handle is tacky and then re-apply the same finish over the completed knot).   I have also "parceled" the handle with "friction tape" (the old fashiond "electrical tape" with a cloth tape impreganted with sticky tar-like stuff) and then tied the knot.  I have tied the knot on a slippery handle and then soaked the whole mess in shellac or varnish, both effectivly "gluing" the knot to the handle.
 In short the whole world is open to you and almost anything will work fine.
 I love the smell of pine tar so I use "boat soup" or "black varnish" of 1/3 boiled oil, 1/3 pine tar (stockholm)/1/3 pine turpentine or subsitute spar varnish for the oil.  Both make a really nice handle and sheath.
 The whole success or failure depends on making (or reducing) the handle to a size to accept the covering "gracefully".  The older my hands get the bigger the handles can be and still feel good.  I have a knife called the "Pixie"..... Now I hold it between thumb and forefinger..... one time could close the whole hand on it!  Merry Christmas!
ROY S. CHAPMAN, IGKT-PAB BOARD.

Kenneth Chan

  • Guest
Re: Knot-covering knife handles & sheaths?
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2004, 07:41:47 AM »
Any of you try soaking the cord in water before tying the knot? That way, the cord will shrink round the handle as it dries and wont slip off. But then, I think you should be careful not to get water on the knife, unless the parts are stainless steel.

KnotNow!

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 366
  • IGKT-PAB PAST PRESIDENT
Re: Knot-covering knife handles & sheaths?
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2004, 05:04:50 AM »
Hi again, Rawhide (untreated animal skin) when worked wet and then allowed to shrink is almost too powerful.  Cotton will shrink a bit but not enought to tighten a loose knot.  Linen is unaffected.  Wool is too soft and after shrinking is "felt" is still pretty soft.  I have not found anything that I can put on "soft" and then tighten with water or???  We made toy airplanes with balsa and put rice paper skins over the balsa.  We could shrink the rice paper with water  and apply "dope" (which may have been shelac).  Still not enough to tighten a knot.  Hard work and some skill will still make a tight knot.
ROY S. CHAPMAN, IGKT-PAB BOARD.