Falchion Project, 4a

Posted 2008.11.04 1.00 in Swords by Stephanie

So last night I was looking at my falchion, moving it around, getting a feel for it. I realized how much I really, really like this sword. Then I decided to go ahead and redo the grip wrap. One of the things I didn’t like was it was too skinny. So I got out the knife and slit the grip, carefully peeled it off, then filed down some of the remnants on the core. Once I had the bare wood core, I started to wind cord over the core – this would have the effect of adding some thickness to the core.

wrapping the cord on the wood core

The method I used for this was to wind the cord tightly and evenly (as evenly as I could get) without any glue. This way I could readjust as I was going, and it was not messy. Once done, I left the end of the cord weighted to keep tension on it.

Then I mixed some glue and water about 50/50 and used a brush to paint it on, making sure it was evenly applied and got to everywhere on the grip. The water helps the glue to soak into the cord and the wood too. The glue takes a bit longer to dry, but when dry it results in a very hard, very strong cord grip.

Once the cord was dry, I trimmed the ends and then applied my risers again. I used the same technique as before – saturating them in glue then winding them and holding them in place by hand for a few minutes till the glue set. Then once it was dry, I trimmed the ends.

three risers on the cord

Finally, once the risers were done, I trimmed a piece of leather to size (a bit over size) and painted some water-thinned glue on the back of it. I then wrapped it tightly around the grip, and then carefully wound a cord overwrap to hold the leather tight and to help add the cord impressions to it.

leather in place, overwrap to hold leather and form wrap impressions

After about an hour, I removed the overwrap and trimmed the excess leather. This is where I messed up a bit and my seam is very ragged. It is an aesthetic issue but it annoys me. I guess it’s a matter of trial and error but someday I’d like to learn how the pros get such a perfectly straight seam on their grips.

Seam issues aside, once I was done with the trimming I put the overwrap back on for a while more to help secure the edges. Another hour later and I removed the overwrap, and then waited a while longer before applying some wax / sealant to the whole grip. I let that dry overnight, and this morning I buffed / polished the grip to bring up a little bit of a shine on it.

So, I like it better than the first try, but the ragged seam really bugs me. I still need to mend the slight damage I did to the pommel and guard, polish the blade, then do the scabard, but I’ll probably revisit the grip again some time.

Finished grip, second attempt

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