Help making a Japanese type grip for a knife

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Help making a Japanese type grip for a knife

Postby swordflasher » 29 Apr 2013 12:31

I have a knife with quite a slim and rounded hardwood handle. I'm making a kashira-type pommel cap, and gluing on panels of red unpolished rayskin. Where I'd like some advice is how to source leather ito and how to wrap it. Where do I find a roll of good leather ito, are there any exotic types [you know, ostrich or something] and are there any good guides online to wrapping it correctly, please, as I believe there's different ways to do this?

Here's the knife. http://www.woodsmonkey.com/index.php?op ... &Itemid=55

Here's some leather ito. http://www.theknightshop.co.uk/catalog/ ... -1236.html
How much would I need for a knife with a 4 and a half inch hilt?

Forgive any mistakes in terminology, but I just want to make a nice Japanese-style hilt for a knife.
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Re: Help making a Japanese type grip for a knife

Postby MEversbergII » 29 Apr 2013 16:44

I'd practice with some cloth, first. Cut it the proper width and give it a very long length. Wrap it a bunch (plenty of tutorials on youtube) until you've settled on what style you'd like (there are a few). Then, simply cut off any excess and take a measurement.

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Re: Help making a Japanese type grip for a knife

Postby swordflasher » 29 Apr 2013 22:52

That sounds really good advice, thanks!

Is the reel of leather ito I linked to real leather? If so, where do they find such long cows?
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Re: Help making a Japanese type grip for a knife

Postby MEversbergII » 30 Apr 2013 15:51

It claims it is, but I can't tell without seeing it in person. No idea how they get it so long, though. Perhaps it's glued every so often, or cut and straightened in some way. While the hide is still fresh, you can stretch it and cure it so it comes out longer (and thinner) - may be how that's done.

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When I was a fighting-man, the kettle-drums they beat,
The people scattered gold-dust before my horses feet;
But now I am a great king, the people hound my track
With poison in my wine-cup, and daggers at my back.

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Re: Help making a Japanese type grip for a knife

Postby leonardo daneluz » 30 Apr 2013 20:40

Most leather ito from the internet seems to be done from segments glued together.
Btw I don't think it is going to work if you don't reshape the handle. Keep in mind that if you wrap something in the japanese more commmon ways (either twisting or pinching the intercrossings) the cross overs wil be way thicker than the rest of the wraping. In a nearly cilindrical handle you'll end with a section that is thicker than wider. The handle region of a japanese sword or dagger is quite flat without the wraping.
You'll have to get a rasp and take away some meat from the scales to start with.
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Re: Help making a Japanese type grip for a knife

Postby swordflasher » 30 Apr 2013 22:31

Thanks! I'll practice on a few bits and pieces.
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Re: Help making a Japanese type grip for a knife

Postby swordflasher » 07 May 2013 14:33

OK, after some experimenting I've realised I don't need the cotton or leather ito for a knife, just the ray skin. It moulds into shape after five minutes in water, after which I wrap cord round to hold it while it dries, unwrap the cord, glue, and rewrap with cord until dry.
I've made a hilt for a Mora with red and green ray skin seperated by a strip of pewter that's turned out OK, and a two piece case for my mobile phone from green rayskin and strips of pewter with a rusted tin effect.

top tip: the best thing for removing excess glue and bringing out the quality of the shagreen is WD40. :)
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