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David Sutton




Location: Bolton, UK
Joined: 06 Mar 2007
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Reading list: 39 books

Posts: 230

PostPosted: Sun 05 Jul, 2009 1:02 pm    Post subject: First Grip Re-wrap Project.         Reply with quote

Many moons ago I decided to have a go at re-wrapping some of the grips on my swords. The plan languished on my 'to do' list for while, along with all the other innumerable projects I've started or thought of starting but never got round to finishing. But recently after having seen some of the excellent jobs people have done on their grips and scabbards I was resolved to actually complete this one! So a few weeks ago I finally had a stab at it.

I decided to practice my technique on my old Hanwei arming sword blunt. Its actually the first sword I ever bought about 7 years ago and since then its become scratched and worn, with the hilt loosening up until it noticeably rattled when you swung it; I thought I'd give the whole sword a bit of refurb while I was at it.

I ripped the shiny black leather off the grip and thinned it down somewhat from its original round cross section. I repeened the pommel, wedged the loose guard; then refinished the metalwork and blade with wet and dry emery paper and oil, then with fine grey Scotchbrite and oil for the final finish; aiming for an Albion Next Gen style look.

For the wrap I purchased some chamois leather from Halfords (a UK auto accessories store) and ordered some hide glue and brown dye from Tandy Leather Factory UK. I played about with the chamois a bit and practiced wrapping a couple of pencils (simply the first things to hand) and over-binding them with cord.

This is a WIP shot of the hilt. I've started thinning the grip core and also begun on the pommel finnish. Thats one of the pencils I wrapped with chamois, it came out pretty well.


I decided to add some risers using thick sisal twine. I found it a little tricky getting them to stick, but eventually worked out the the best way was to soak the twine in white PVA glue, allow it to go tacky and then place the riser, letting the glue hold it while I applied some thin Cyanoacrylate (superglue) to permanently fix them. After they had hardened I cut off any untidy fibres and gave them a light sanding to even out the surface.

I made a rough pattern out of paper to get an idea of the size of chamois I needed. A decided to give myself quite a bit of leeway when I cut the leathe; too much can be dealt with but too little would be a real problem. In the end I was just about spot on. I skived down the edges with a scalpel, which is tricky until you get the hang of it.

Using the youtube Albion sword video as a guide (a really invaluable source) I dyed the chamois and let it sit for about 10-15 mins then spread a good amount of glue on the underside; folded over the top and bottom edges and applied it to the grip; carefully spreading it out. I had a little trouble with the foldover being slightly too much at one end, but i managed peel it back and refold it, giving a touch more 'slack'. When I was satisfied with the grip I bound it with some thick hemp thread (about 1mm in thickness), wrapping more above and below the risers to better define them. I also wrapped more at the top and bottom of the grip so that the leather stretched flush at the pommel and guard, leaving no gaps. Then I left it overnight to set and harden up. In the morning I removed the hemp thread, cleaned up any dye or dried glue and then applied some brown shoe polish, buffing it lightly.

The final result: The seam disappeared quite well though its a little noticeable in places.




I think it came out pretty good for a first attempt, better than I expected and I'm very happy with it. The shoe polish was a bit tacky at first but it seems to have cured now. The new grip is comfortable and firm.

There are a few things to improve; I need to skive down the seam a little more as there is a slight ridge; I think I'll use thinner string for the risers as they are a little chunky and I might source some slightly thicker cord or lace to do the over-wrap with. I also plan on using some veg tanned leather too instead of chamois.


My next project will be re-wrapping my Windlass Ulfberht sword (as you can see, I've already done the easy bit! Big Grin)

Thanks for reading, I would love to hear any comments or suggestions you have guys!

Dave.

'Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all'

'To teach superstitions as truth is a most terrible thing'

Hypatia of Alexandria, c400AD
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Nathan Keysor




Location: WV
Joined: 15 Apr 2007
Reading list: 9 books

Posts: 255

PostPosted: Sun 05 Jul, 2009 2:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very cool. I've been procrastinating about doing this as well.
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner.
Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!"
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Krist Martens




Location: Belgium, Bruges
Joined: 01 Jan 2008

Posts: 13

PostPosted: Tue 07 Jul, 2009 9:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's beautiful david, onto the next project Happy

May I ask what brand of dye you used, the waterbased dye or fiebings
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M. Eversberg II




Location: California, Maryland, USA
Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Reading list: 3 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,435

PostPosted: Tue 07 Jul, 2009 12:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice work!

M.

This space for rent or lease.
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David Sutton




Location: Bolton, UK
Joined: 06 Mar 2007
Likes: 15 pages
Reading list: 39 books

Posts: 230

PostPosted: Tue 07 Jul, 2009 12:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Krist Martens wrote:
It's beautiful david, onto the next project Happy

May I ask what brand of dye you used, the waterbased dye or fiebings


Hi Krist,

I used some of the Fiebings dye (dark brown). It seemed to work pretty well, I had no problems with the dye being affected by glue or anything like that.

The only problem I had is that its also very good at dying skin too, I had orange fingers for a day or so! Big Grin

Latex gloves are a must!

'Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all'

'To teach superstitions as truth is a most terrible thing'

Hypatia of Alexandria, c400AD
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Krist Martens




Location: Belgium, Bruges
Joined: 01 Jan 2008

Posts: 13

PostPosted: Wed 08 Jul, 2009 11:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've been there too,

I still have green fingerpoints from my wrap Happy

For my second wrap I ordered Fiebings dye and bought a pair of gloves
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