simple handle wraps

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josh stout
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simple handle wraps

Post by josh stout » Wed May 16, 2007 9:53 am

I am trying to learn the traditional handle wrapping, but it seems that many antiques have a very simple wrap of a cord around the handle in a spiral. It doesn't seem to be as secure as the more elaborate wrap, but it only takes ten minutes, looks nice, and is secure if coated in the way that Phillip Tom recommended in another post.

What do you think of such wraps, and are there other simple wraps found on antiques?
Josh
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B.Ko
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Post by B.Ko » Wed May 16, 2007 10:41 am

I have bought a thin piece of leather and then cut a long spiral 'lace' about 1/8" wide which I have used to wrap hilts in the simple spiral you described. The leather is 'tacky' which seems to secure it better than the cord. Wrapping takes less than 30 minutes with this method and is quite usable. It even seems to cling to very smooth hilts.

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Post by josh stout » Thu May 17, 2007 10:08 am

B.Ko wrote:I have bought a thin piece of leather and then cut a long spiral 'lace' about 1/8" wide which I have used to wrap hilts in the simple spiral you described. The leather is 'tacky' which seems to secure it better than the cord. Wrapping takes less than 30 minutes with this method and is quite usable. It even seems to cling to very smooth hilts.
That is a nice tip. I think we do not see so much leather on antiques because after a century or so it falls apart, but as a practical and authentic wrap it sounds great.
Josh
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B.Ko
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Post by B.Ko » Thu May 17, 2007 1:46 pm

depending on the type of leather you buy, even if the wrap is a little loose, the leather's tackiness bonds to itself. When I wrap it there is 1-2mm of overlap between the loops.

It holds up to forms, and even test cutting.

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Graham Cave
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Re: simple handle wraps

Post by Graham Cave » Sat May 19, 2007 9:15 am

josh stout wrote:I am trying to learn the traditional handle wrapping, but it seems that many antiques have a very simple wrap of a cord around the handle in a spiral. It doesn't seem to be as secure as the more elaborate wrap, but it only takes ten minutes, looks nice, and is secure if coated in the way that Phillip Tom recommended in another post.
Have you tried soaking the cord in water prior to applying it? It may shrink slightly as it dries giving it a more secure hold (depending on the type of cord, of course). Applying cord in this way may also prevent it from stretching and becoming loose in the rain.

Were Chinese grips ever wrapped in ways similar to the Japanese tsuka-maki styles?

Graham

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Post by Graham Cave » Sun May 20, 2007 1:28 am

You could also try sizing the wooden handle first and letting it dry thoroughly before applying the damp cord. This should reduce any water penetration of the wood as well as helping to fix the cord.

Size is dilute water-based glue - I would try using a traditional hot glue for this as it raises the grain and sinks deeper into the wood.

Graham

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Post by Scott M. Rodell » Sun May 20, 2007 11:19 am

These are all good suggestions. To keep a grip wrap tight, one can paint on dabs of glue to the wood handle as each section is wrapped. Also keep in mind that many of the antique grips found with the orginal grip wraps intact have been lacquered over, this certainly helps hold the grip wrap tight & together.

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Post by Graham Cave » Sun May 20, 2007 2:53 pm

Scott M. Rodell wrote: many of the antique grips found with the orginal grip wraps intact have been lacquered over.
Is it possible that a high proportion of lacquered grip wraps have survived because the lacquer has helped to preserve the wraps from decay?

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Post by Scott M. Rodell » Mon May 21, 2007 9:04 am

Graham Cave wrote:... possible... a high proportion of lacquered... wraps... survived because the lacquer has helped to preserve...?
That's an interesting observation. Perhaps. The problem with drawing a conclusion either way is that only a very few antique grip wraps have survived, not so many that I would feel comfortable to say that this is the case, but the suggestion does make sense.

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Post by josh stout » Wed May 23, 2007 11:04 am

B.Ko wrote:depending on the type of leather you buy, even if the wrap is a little loose, the leather's tackiness bonds to itself. When I wrap it there is 1-2mm of overlap between the loops.

It holds up to forms, and even test cutting.
How wide is the leather strip that you use for wrapping?
Josh
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Post by B.Ko » Wed May 23, 2007 11:25 pm

I cut it about 4-5mm wide. It was about 2mm or so thick.

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Re: simple handle wraps

Post by Peter Dekker » Mon May 28, 2007 3:49 am

Graham Cave wrote:Were Chinese grips ever wrapped in ways similar to the Japanese tsuka-maki styles?
I have seen some woodblock prints from dandao manuals that appear to suggest that it was indeed also used on Chinese swords. The dao on the pictures are Ming dynasty Chinese but resemble Japanese katana and nodachi in many other ways as well.

There is some debate on wether the Japanese copied them from the Chinese or vice versa, but we know for a fact that the typical facetted blade and it's construction method came into Japan from China first. Later in the Ming there may well have been Japanese influence on the Chinese blades again in terms of grip wrapping. The typical disc guard also made its way from Japan to China in, I believe, the Ming dynasty.

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