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Tjarand Matre




Location: Nøtterøy, Norway
Joined: 19 Sep 2010

Posts: 155

PostPosted: Mon 17 Jan, 2011 12:22 pm    Post subject: How do I wire wrap my sword grip?         Reply with quote

My trusty Del Tin DT5140 is starting to look a bit worn. I use it about 4 - 6 hours a week to bash vikings (wrong era but good training). I use the lower part of the grip a lot for shield hooking, axe disarming and also blocking. The leather wrapping is obviously not holding up (the attached photo don't really show the myriad of small cuts and loose leather bits).

I was thinking of wrapping the whole grip with steel/iron wire, mostly for practical reasons but also because it would look good as the grip would blacken from sweat and the occational drop of blood. I have access to some high carbon steel or iron wire in various diameter. Any pointers on how to do this properly? I have tried to search the forum but could not find any how-to's.



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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

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PostPosted: Mon 17 Jan, 2011 2:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dear Tjarand,

I don't know if this is the best way, but here is what I have done several times.

First, of course, remove the leather and do any shaping desired to the wooden handle. Then you might want to play around a bit with a lengths of wire of various thickness to see which one you like and how long a section you need (cut off a bit more than you need).

To really get started, jam one end of the wire as deep as you can get it in any gap between the grip and the cross (if there is no gap, you could make a little hole). Then start twisting the wire around, maintaining as high tension as possible and minimizing gaps. I stop after every turn and push the wire down if there are any gaps and/or straighten it out/redo if it looks wrong. Keep the sword in a scabbard - there is no need to cut yourself. I make the turns by placing the sword upright on the tip of the scabbard and turning it slowly, rather than trying to turn the wire around the handle. This results in a uniform wrap.

I find the toughest part what do do when you get to the end. The pros seem to shove this in the other end but I find this difficult. I have tied a single knot, minimizing unsightly overlap, then cut the wire to desired length, and then either shove it into an available gap between the handle and pommel or shove it beneath the final wrap and cover it with some glue or sodder to keep it in place and avoid pricking the hand. Somebody else might have a better method than this to end.

It sounds complicated, but after 1-2 practice runs its pretty easy, doesn't take very long, and looks great. The biggest trouble I noticed the first few times was gaps between the turns of wire, but this is avoided if you follow the steps mentioned above.

Here's an example I already posted on myArmoury: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/download.php?id=31882

-JD
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Tim Jorgensen




Location: Fargo, ND
Joined: 10 Sep 2010
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Posts: 40

PostPosted: Mon 17 Jan, 2011 2:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm ready to start my first wire-wrapped grip as well and am doing as much research as I can, so I'll be following this discussion closely. I have some 22 and 28 gauge silver-plated wire that I'm going to try using and experimenting with alternating rows of thick and thin twists. If it looks good, then it's a winner, if it looks bad, then it'll get a tight whip-stitched leather wrap (this goat hide is giving me the evil eye) and a coat of hot beeswax.

Best of luck to all of us in our first attempts. Let's hope it goes better than my first attempt at dating.

Tim Jorgensen
Midwest Viking Festival Coordinator
Hjemkomst Center
http://www.hcscconline.org/secondarypages/mid...tival.html
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Tjarand Matre




Location: Nøtterøy, Norway
Joined: 19 Sep 2010

Posts: 155

PostPosted: Tue 18 Jan, 2011 3:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for input and ideas. I now have a cunning plan that includes drilling, epoxy and a lot of cursing. I will try to take pictures of the process and post here. The only thing I'm worried about is that I do not know how much iron wire I actually have on that stack. Running out halfway down the grip would be most annoying ...
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Larry Bohnham





Joined: 20 May 2010

Posts: 98

PostPosted: Tue 18 Jan, 2011 9:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've never done this, specifically, but I have done some leather and then para cord wraps on my Albion 15th cent bastard sword to bulk up the grip and I'm seriously considering the wire wrap as a final solution. I've looked at close up photos of Albion factory wire wraps on some of the reviews on this web site and it looks to me like they start the wire tied to a very small tack that's been nailed into the grip core and then finish in similar fashion at the pommel end. I'm sure they must use soem sort of rotisery type fixture to rotate the blade while maintaining tension on the wire, probably the same fixture shown on the How It's Made video of Albion making one of their swords. The video shows the technician doing the cord wrap prior to putting the top leather on, so I would think the techniques for cord and wire are similar.

I did my field expedient para cord job by using a technique called rope whipping. It leaves a reasonably tight and secure wrap but with a longitudinal "bump" running the under the length of the grip from the cord strand that must pass under the wrap to provide the final tension. There are several You Tube vids showing rope whipping, so you might want to check them out. Personally, I don't think this would yield a authentic looking wire wrap and I'd lean toward the originating and terminating post system that Albion seems to use. You could just call Albion and ask them how it's done. They might even be willing to do it for you, hopefully and a reasonable cost.

Good luck, we're all counting on you. Big Grin

"No athlete can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows; he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack under the fist of his adversary..."
Roger of Hoveden, d.1201

a furore Normannorum libera nos Domine

"Henry, get down off that horse with that sword, you'll put someone's eye out!" Mrs. Bolingbroke's advice to her son, Henry, on the eve of the battle of Agincourt
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Ozsváth Árpád-István




Location: Romania
Joined: 27 Apr 2008

Posts: 131

PostPosted: Wed 19 Jan, 2011 8:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Please post some photos with the results. I'm interested how it feels to the bare hand and maybe I'll use this method for my home-made sword. The thin goatskin simply can't take so much abuse. I had some problems with the crossguard fitting too. Now I found a solution that's maybe not historically accurate, but it's not visible and can hold on to some heavy bashing.
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M van Dongen




Location: NL
Joined: 22 May 2010

Posts: 29

PostPosted: Wed 19 Jan, 2011 10:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://sbgswordforum.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=swordcustom ( old forum )
And the linked new forum have tons of tips on sword customisation.
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Tjarand Matre




Location: Nøtterøy, Norway
Joined: 19 Sep 2010

Posts: 155

PostPosted: Tue 01 Feb, 2011 12:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Finally found some spare time to wire-wrap my grip.
I bought a 25m reel of 0,7mm steel wire. Not entirely sure about the specs but it's quite soft and will not snap if twisted.
I tried a test-wrap with a 1m lenght of a slightly thicker wire but it was impossible to ensure a tight fit on my octagonal grip. The 0.7mm is rather pliable.

First, stripping the leather. It basically peeled off very easy. Only the risers and some superglue-infected leather stuck to the wood and required some sanding. I also had a crack near the crossguard I glued while it was exposed.



I started wrapping from the pommel. I was told by a jeweller that he always started from the tapered end if there was one. Assumingly because the wire will bunch up at the thinnest point and that is eliminated by starting there to get a tight fit.

Before I started, I heated the end of the wire with a propane torch and hammered it flat so I could wedge it in between the wood grips and the pommel. I tried to punch it and hammer a small rivet through it but decided the rivet was too big so I just stuck it in and wrapped it a few times.



The I started rolling the wire. I held the wire very tigh in my left hand and spun the sword with my right while using my thumb to compress the wire ensuring it was tight all the way. It was surprisingly easy to apply the wire very straight. I had to loosen the wire a few times to adjust it but not a problem at all.



After endless spinning and very very sore fingers I was halfway and cursed meself for taling on this task with no beer in the fridge. The wire came on in a slightly wavy pattern due to the reel. It actually looks good and add some texture.



After 1,5 hours from start I was done and secured the crossguard end by sticking it under a few rounds of wire, wedging it in under the crossguard and applying some superglue to that area. And then some gentle hammering to flatten the wires a bit and locking the end.

Then I hammered gently up and down all sides of the grip (8) to make sure no rounds of wire stood out too much. This also distributed the wire more evenly in some places where I had been less accurate.



Finally I rubbed in my magical homemade putty made from beeswax and turpentine. Flows in every gap, bind to the wood and fixates the entire wire. It also works like a non-slip layer. And it smells wonderful ;-)
What remains is to see how well this relatively soft wire holds up to wear and tear. I use the grip and pommel to block so it will take quite a few edge hits.
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Tjarand Matre




Location: Nøtterøy, Norway
Joined: 19 Sep 2010

Posts: 155

PostPosted: Tue 01 Feb, 2011 12:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The entire sword. I think the wire grip looks good with this blade.

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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

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Posts: 1,573

PostPosted: Tue 01 Feb, 2011 12:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice going Tjarand!

I think the finer wire like this is more comfortable on the hand. I have tried this, although I also have currently swords wrapped by myself and professionals with heavier wire or multi-wire wrap that is rather rough on the hand but gives a better grip with gloves.

Your method sounds pretty similar to mine, except I always started at the cross end. The logic of starting at the small end of the handle is perfectly sensible, but I guess I found it easier to finish at the end where there are less obstructions to get in the way of the fingers. Also, I haven't fixed mine in place because I don't plan any heavy use and generally get tired of the look after a while and want to change it. I would be curious to see how yours holds up under heavy use.

Congratulations on doing it yourself. Happy
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Aleksei Sosnovski





Joined: 04 Mar 2008

Posts: 313

PostPosted: Wed 02 Feb, 2011 4:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have wrapped lower part of grip on my longsword with twisted wire and it has held up to use and abuse pretty well. I don't like simple wire wrap though, it's too plain and slippery. I don't like twisted wire wrap for the whole handle either because it is too slippery once your hands become sweaty and it is not very comfortable if you are not wearing gloves, but for lower part of the handle it is OK. Full handle wrap should probably be OK if you are not using your sword with bare hands. The main idea for wire wrap was to protect the handle from occasional strikes to it when the sword is used one-handed. It also looks damn beautiful. I have also twisted wire wrap on two other swords, but they have not been used as much. I have used several ways of fixing the wire end: soldering, placing it between handle and pommel and putting a metal ring over it. I am also planning to wire wrap middle part (between two raisers) of a handle on zweihander I am making now, but this time I will fix wire end by a small tack, like it's done on Albion Dane.
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Tjarand Matre




Location: Nøtterøy, Norway
Joined: 19 Sep 2010

Posts: 155

PostPosted: Wed 02 Feb, 2011 8:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The single wire grip is slippery with bare hands as long as it's new. I tried a well used wiregrip made with approximately the same thread and that was very rough due to corrosion.
Also, my beeswax trick makes for a very good grip. It goes "squeak" when I handle it. Anyhows, I fight wma / hærkamp with this sword so it's never handled without padded gloves.

A part of this project was to see how hard it was to do. I did it from scratch with no training in about 3 hours so now I know I can redo it when some viking breaks it again ;-)
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Tim Jorgensen




Location: Fargo, ND
Joined: 10 Sep 2010
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Posts: 40

PostPosted: Wed 09 Feb, 2011 8:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ok, I tore off the old Hanwei black leather grip and the underlying cord. Then I used some 22 gauge wire and spent about 45min. wrapping the original wood core. There were a few millimeters of a gap between the wood core and the pommel, so that was a good place to start the wire with some overlapping that eventually locked itself in place. To finish, I just tapped in the end of the wire into the wood core because the wood was soft, like pine. I think the Tinker Viking is great and this shines even more now, but maybe it's not the best match for a linen scabbard.

So, next I'm going to try making a birch scabbard with a corebox router bit, progressively raising it towards the outer edges. I'll attempt a leather over linen for the shell.

I'd like to thank all of you who post of the forum. It's been great fun and I appreciate all the pics and advice.

Tim



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Tim Jorgensen
Midwest Viking Festival Coordinator
Hjemkomst Center
http://www.hcscconline.org/secondarypages/mid...tival.html
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Tjarand Matre




Location: Nøtterøy, Norway
Joined: 19 Sep 2010

Posts: 155

PostPosted: Wed 09 Feb, 2011 12:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My wire grip has now seen a few hours of action and is holding up very well. Took a few edge hits from an axe and also the usual sword hits. There is no damage to the wire whatsoever. And after another few hours of drills with bare sweaty hands the wires have darkened and looks really ... medieval ...
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Joel Chesser




Location: Oklahoma
Joined: 23 Oct 2003

Posts: 714

PostPosted: Sat 19 Feb, 2011 9:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tim, I really like your upgrade, on the Viking sword. I'm getting ready to do the same thing on a Windlass viking sword. It looks like you used single strand non twisted wire on yours, is that accurate? If so do you know about how much wire you used?
..." The person who dosen't have a sword should sell his coat and buy one."

- Luke 22:36
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Eric G.




Location: Arizona
Joined: 08 Feb 2011
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Posts: 249

PostPosted: Fri 18 Mar, 2011 5:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am very glad to have found this post. The wife recently told me that I'm not allowed to buy any more of "those stupid swords" so I'm trying to find ways to make what I have new via some DYI projects. =)

I am about to begin a half wire wrap on a longsword that is currently covered in leather. It seems that the general agreement is to remove the leather before adding the wire, but I was reading this review today on Albion's Munic and it indicates that they leave the leather on and wrap over it. http://www.myArmoury.com/review_alb_munich.html

I guess that must have something to do with a half wire grip verses a full wire grip. Additionally, I assume that Albion's Dane is also wire over leather.

What do you guys think? Does anyone know how those pins are applied, how deep they go into the sword's hilt, and where I can get something similar?

Also, as most of the furniture on this sword is blackened, I am wondering if there is a good way to darken up the wire after it's on the hilt. What do you think?

Eric Gregersen
www.EricGregersen.com
Knowledge applied is power.
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Aleksei Sosnovski





Joined: 04 Mar 2008

Posts: 313

PostPosted: Sat 19 Mar, 2011 12:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello,

I have made wire wrap both over wood and over leather. It does not matter what is beneath the wire as long as it is smooth. If your leather is smooth just wrap the wire over the leather. But if your leather has grooves in it (left by cord that was wrapped around the leather while the glue was drying) then you have to either remove the leather or (a better idea in my opinion) somehow make it smooth. I personally simply "shaved" the leather with a very sharp knife to make it smooth and then sanded it a little.

Those "pins" are called tacks as far as I remember. They are simply short nails with large heads. They should go as deep as possible, but obviously they cannot go into the tang. I used them only once and did it the following way: bought nails with large heads, cut them down to desired length (which varies depending on where the particular tack will be placed on the handle), sharpened them. I then drilled VERY small "guide" holes for the tacks (it is optional), covered tacks with superglue and hammered them in. Superglue is also optional, but I think it reduces the chances of the tacks falling out. I then also applied the superglue to the wire under the tack heads and after the glue dried removed excess with a wire brush.

You see, wire wrap will never stay black if you use the sword. On the contrary, blackened and then worn wire wrap looks better (IMHO). I bought a soft steel wire that is already black, degreased it with acetone, twisted it and wrapped my handles. that's it. Wire brushing the handles will make them look shiny as if they were extensively used. If you buy shiny wire (that is usually zinc covered) then blackening it is a real pain in the butt since you will have to somehow remove all the zinc coating.

By the way, you can see my hilts in this thread (last post as of now): http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=10870&start=88
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