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Einar

A jig for wire wrapping handles.

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Posted (edited)

I watched this video on wire wrapped handles on "That Works" youtube channel, and the jig he uses is so brilliantly simple, I just had to make one myself. I've done wire wrapped handles before, but this jig, and the toothpick trick he uses makes it SO much easier.

The brilliant thing with this jig is the little ratchet wrench you mount on it which only lets the handle turn one way, so you can keep tension on the wires easily.
 

 

Here is my first attempt at using the jig. I used 0.5 mm steel wire, and 0.6 mm copper wire.

 

IMG_20200504_211835.jpg

IMG_20200504_212138.jpg

Edited by Einar
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I love those brilliantly simple solutions.

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That is slick indeed!  Personally I couldn't live with a synthetic grip core, but I understand. 

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

That is slick indeed!  Personally I couldn't live with a synthetic grip core, but I understand. 

 

I wouldnt really mind a synthetic core as long as I dont see the plastic. I used hickory for my attempt though. I'll try to use this jig next time I do a leather wrapped handle too. I like to do the kind of grips where you tightly wrap the leather with string to make a texture in the leather, and I bet this jig will work nicely for that too. 

Edited by Einar

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Ooh, right you are!  I learned the leather and string thing from Peter Johnsson where you literally stand on the string to maintain tension while wrapping,  but a ratcheting crank is much more punk. B)

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I saw that jig, and thought the same as you.  Definitely need to build one.  That handle wrap is sweet!  I like the copper accent.

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23 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

Ooh, right you are!  I learned the leather and string thing from Peter Johnsson where you literally stand on the string to maintain tension while wrapping,  but a ratcheting crank is much more punk. B)

 

Yup, I believe he had a thread on this forum, which is where I learned how to do it. Fell in love with that kind of grip when I bought an Albion sword.

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13 minutes ago, Brian Dougherty said:

I saw that jig, and thought the same as you.  Definitely need to build one.  That handle wrap is sweet!  I like the copper accent.

 

Thanks! Yeah, you really should make one, I am loving it. 

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I will be modifying the jig slightly, because just having a the threaded rod through the grip, I had trouble with it slipping under tension. I was a bit afraid of tightening the nuts too much and cracking the wood. I'll weld a false tang in the middle of the rod, like in this video, at 25 minutes and 30 seconds in. I dont even think it needs to be tang sized, just a small flat bar would be enough to stop it slipping.

 

 

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Pretty cool.  Thanks for sharing.  Great job on your wrap, the copper wire really sets it off.  I'm going to have to add this jig to my "to build" list.

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7 minutes ago, Alex Middleton said:

Pretty cool.  Thanks for sharing.  Great job on your wrap, the copper wire really sets it off.  I'm going to have to add this jig to my "to build" list.

 

Thank you! I have one of those lists too. Keeps getting longer...

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18 minutes ago, Joshua States said:

I thought about that for a moment. If the false tang is undersized, there will still be a bit of play.

As the bar rotates toward you, it makes contact with the insides of the tang slot in the handle. as you pull tension on the wire/string, you move the handle forward and release the flat bar. You will always be playing give and take. Am I over thinking this?

 

You may be right, but the way I am imagining it, i would put the flat bar roughly in the middle of the rod, and since the tang hole in the handle tapers, just slide the handle up until the flat bar wedges firmly inside the handle. I'll try it out and update the thead and tell you if it worked or not.

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Posted (edited)

I thought about it some more and decided I was incorrect. So I deleted the post.

But, your plan would work and eliminate whatever play does occur.

 

BTW-I wouldn't worry about cracking the wood by tightening the nuts down. The compressive strength of wood on th end grain is pretty high. That's why wood columns work so well in construction.

Edited by Joshua States

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25 minutes ago, Joshua States said:

I thought about it some more and decided I was incorrect. So I deleted the post.

But, your plan would work and eliminate whatever play does occur.

 

BTW-I wouldn't worry about cracking the wood by tightening the nuts down. The compressive strength of wood on th end grain is pretty high. That's why wood columns work so well in construction.

 

Yeah, good point about the compression strength of the wood. And it was hickory after all. Wood doesnt come much stronger than that, so it would probably easily take the strain. 

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I like it, but . . . 

You're making a grip with a perfectly round hole through it. This seems to imply that the tang of the sword would also be perfectly round (like the all thread rod of the jig). If so, what's to keep the grip from spinning? Just epoxy? 

Dave

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Dave Stephens said:

You're making a grip with a perfectly round hole through it.

I had to go back and watch this again.

At 1:40 he says it is slotted to fit the jig. So I think Einar has it right. The jig has a flat bar in the middle of the rod that fits the slot in the handle that fits (or can be expanded to fit) the tang. He just doesn't show you that critical piece of information.

Edited by Joshua States

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21 hours ago, Dave Stephens said:

I like it, but . . . 

You're making a grip with a perfectly round hole through it. This seems to imply that the tang of the sword would also be perfectly round (like the all thread rod of the jig). If so, what's to keep the grip from spinning? Just epoxy? 

Dave

 

 

In the second video I linked, they use a similar jig but with a tang shaped flat bar welded onto the rod. Not sure what he does in the first video. I think he just really cranked the nuts that hold the handle in place until it doesnt move just from the friction. Thats what I tried to do, but I was afraid of splitting, with too much torque, so I experienced some slippage of the grip on the rod. By the way, his tang hole is only round at the back end of the grip. On the front end, the hole is rectangular. On the handle that I made, its just a drilled hole, because I just wanted to try out the jig, its not a handle for a specific project, just a test piece. 

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50 minutes ago, Einar said:

 

In the second video I linked, they use a similar jig but with a tang shaped flat bar welded onto the rod. Not sure what he does in the first video. I think he just really cranked the nuts that hold the handle in place until it doesnt move just from the friction. Thats what I tried to do, but I was afraid of splitting, with too much torque, so I experienced some slippage of the grip on the rod. By the way, his tang hole is only round at the back end of the grip. On the front end, the hole is rectangular. On the handle that I made, its just a drilled hole, because I just wanted to try out the jig, its not a handle for a specific project, just a test piece. 

Ah! i see. That makes sense.  Thanks!

19 hours ago, Joshua States said:

I had to go back and watch this again.

At 1:40 he says it is slotted to fit the jig. So I think Einar has it right. The jig has a flat bar in the middle of the rod that fits the slot in the handle that fits (or can be expanded to fit) the tang. He just doesn't show you that critical piece of information.

Missed that bit. Thanks, Josh.

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I plan on making something like a Spanish dagger with many firsts for me, including a wire wrapped handle, so thank you, some timely advice, thanks.

 

I was more worried about twisting the wire than wrapping the handle thanks to having wrapped many eyes to many fishing rods, bit of false logic I realise now.

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13 hours ago, Gerhard Gerber said:

I plan on making something like a Spanish dagger with many firsts for me, including a wire wrapped handle, so thank you, some timely advice, thanks.

 

I was more worried about twisting the wire than wrapping the handle thanks to having wrapped many eyes to many fishing rods, bit of false logic I realise now.

 

Twisting the wire is pretty easy. I use a little hook in a cordless drill, like he does in the video. I will add a bit of advice though: When you've twisted it as tightly as you want it, run the drill back in the oposite direction for a bit to ease off the tension in the wire. If you just slip the wire off the hook without doing that, the wire will spin quite violently and the whole strand might corkscrew. So spin it back for quite a few revolutions, and keep a firm grip on it when you take it off the hook, so you can ease the tension off it.

 

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10 hours ago, Einar said:

 

Twisting the wire is pretty easy. I use a little hook in a cordless drill, like he does in the video. I will add a bit of advice though: When you've twisted it as tightly as you want it, run the drill back in the oposite direction for a bit to ease off the tension in the wire. If you just slip the wire off the hook without doing that, the wire will spin quite violently and the whole strand might corkscrew. So spin it back for quite a few revolutions, and keep a firm grip on it when you take it off the hook, so you can ease the tension off it.

 

Thanks, they never show that part:lol:

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For some patterns you need two wires twisted opposite directions.  However, you need to keep the twist rate the same on both.  I've had really good luck doing this by setting my cordless drill to it's slowest speed, and using a stopwatch or a timer to make sure I twist both strands the same amount of time. (In opposite directions)  The few revolutions of difference I am undoubtedly getting between the two strands isn't noticeable over the 10 or 15 feet of wire. 

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On 5/5/2020 at 6:58 PM, Dave Stephens said:

I like it, but . . . 

You're making a grip with a perfectly round hole through it. This seems to imply that the tang of the sword would also be perfectly round (like the all thread rod of the jig). If so, what's to keep the grip from spinning? Just epoxy? 

Dave

 

You got it all wrong, Dave, they're using one of those square drill bits! 

 

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Wire wrap looks really good on a spiral fluted handle! Most rapier-wielding courtier fops and soldiers of the time would wear deerskin or otherwise soft leather gloves, so the wire wrap is a good grip.

 

I also don't like using synthetic plastics like Delrin for any part of a sword, although epoxy is a synthetic polymer and unless you like the smell of hide glue, it's hard to get around it.

For one, the amount of plastic in the world needs to decrease, and for two the stuff isn't natural or period-correct, and for three I hate having plastic dust all over the place.

At least nitrocellulose dust does you the favor of exploding if it's not properly disposed of.

A wood with interlocking grain like elm heartwood or hickory is a good core wood for wire wrapping. If you're not using epoxy, pine tar/pitch inside and out seals it well enough to last a few hundred years.

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2 hours ago, Brian Madigan said:

 

You got it all wrong, Dave, they're using one of those square drill bits! 

 

I've been looking everywhere for those thing!

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