Introduction: Paracord Wrapping a Knife Handle

When I make a knife, I usually use micarta or wood for a handle, but sometimes I'll do a cord wrap.

When people think of a cord wrapped handle they usually think of a single color wrapped circularly around the handle, BORING!

 
So I decided to come up with a good way of mixing two colors for a wrap, this is the second knife I've made with this method, the first one was black and glow in the dark paracord. I was sitting in front of the tv, a knife in one hand, and some glowing and some black paracord in the other, I started messing around, and this wrap is what I came up with.

Hope you like it.

Step 1: Supplies

You need:

ruler

paracord (2 colors)

lighter

multi-tool (or you can just get pliers, pointy pokey thing, and a knife for cutting cord)

Step 2: Cut and Gut.

Cut the paracord into the needed lengths, I used 4' of each color, just remember that it's easier to cut off extra cord than it is to add cord.

Go ahead and gut the cord also, make sure any melted ends are trimmed and pull out the inner strands.

Step 3: Readying for Wrapping

Ducttape the blade (I hate cutting myself while wrapping a knife).


Push an inch or so worth of cord through the starting hole. This is where we need to think this through. Whichever side you put the strands on, it will create a bump on that side, so I always put them on the inner grip side of the handle. The inner side of the grip is the side where you fingers wrap around, not your palm. It's more comfortable to hold it with the bump on the inner grip side, so I always put it there. 

Did that make sense? 



Okay, after you push the end of the cords through the starting hole, take a drop of superglue, and glue the ends of the cords down, this just helps keep them tidy and out of the way.  Just don't superglue your fingers together.

Step 4: The Wrap

You know the first knot you do when you tie your shoes? This is the knot we'll use.


Pull the cords around to the same side that the cord ends are on. Make sure the black goes under the orange, then pull it over the orange (just look at the pictures, I'm not really making sense here am I?).

Then you flip the knife over and do that knot on that side. Make sure you pull it tight. Then you just keep flipping and repeating.

Step 5: Entertainment

I like to watch a good tv show or something while doing wrapping. Just make sure your still paying attention to what your doing.

Step 6: Ending

When you get to the end hole, one cord will be right at the hole, one will be further away. In this case black was closest. Pull the closest cord through the hole right there, and pull the other one around and then through the hole. Tie a knot to end it, and do what you will with the rest. Typically I would end it by putting on a cool looking bead and knotting it again. But, I don't have anything good on hand, so I just trimmed them at about 1" long and left them there.  

Step 7: Resin Coating

Take the now wrapped knife, and tape off most of the blade and any areas you don't want resin on, you can typically pop the resin right off of bare steel, but might as well just tape it and save time.

Mix up a small amount of fiberglass resin, I used 1 oz, but 1/2 oz would have easily sufficed, I just couldn't measure that small in my mixing cup.

Use a cheap (I repeat, cheap) paint brush and carefully brush resin all over the cord. Let it soak in, and brush on more as needed. Then carefully clamp in vise to cure.


After a few minutes, remove knife and turn it over, that way any resin gathering at the formerly bottom end, will not cure into drops or bumps on the side facing down (did that make sense?).

Comments

author
RobertC85 made it!(author)2015-09-12

I would point out to anyone planning to do this for a survival knife that by removing the inner strands you compromise the paracord's strength. this should be done for aesthetics. that being said even the empty paracord shells are better than no cordage at all.

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Adika+Briikase made it!(author)2015-08-18

Did this for my (decoration) mandalorian-knives :D didnt resin it yet. thanks for the great tutorial!

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jdrew7 made it!(author)2015-08-18

This was awesome, thank you! I didn't have a nice straight handle like you did but I made it work. I took the factory grips off and used the screw holes, twas kind of a pain but it worked!

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ConnorW8 made it!(author)2015-08-11

Bought a machete and did the wrap over the existing handle with od green and black cord.

10/10, would wrap again.

handle wrap.jpg
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DouglasM7 made it!(author)2015-06-21

Recieving paracord from a friend to attempt my first wrap but don't know how to estimate the length needed. Is there a format for that. Hole to hole length is 6" with a raw handle width at 3/4"-1/2" tapering down from blade..

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jwren3 made it!(author)2015-06-19

what knife is that?

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ZooberEthan made it!(author)2015-01-22

Where would I get a knife like yours to wrap? is it a kitchen knife?

I would like to make one so please respond!!!!

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AharonH made it!(author)2015-02-26

I have seen knives like this at my local sporting goods store and I believe at Walmart, again in the sports section. Some of these knives come in little kits with paracord and knife included. I personally would rather braid/build/forge my own knives and archery supplies. There is a certain quality found in the things one makes by hand that cannot be found in a store-bought product of the same nature, this is why I prefer hand made tools and trinkets.

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oldanvilyoungsmith made it!(author)2015-01-23

I forged mine from a bar of 1084, and ground it out and Heat treated it.
I'm not sure where the best place to find a blade without a handle is. You can look on bladeforums.com and see if you can find a knifemaker to buy one from.

author
VietyV made it!(author)2015-02-13

I have a machete that had some cheap wrap on it, it doesn't have any holes for tying the cord though, the entire thing was wrapped and then glued at the ends, any idea how to wrap it this way if there are no holes to start or end with?

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AharonH made it!(author)2015-02-26

I've had that "no starter holes" problem before, though not on a flat handle like these. Anyway, to solve this problem I typically use either a clove hitch or constrictor knot. Despite not having run into flat handles yet, I'm pretty sure that these two knots will do the job well and keep a low profile as well. Hope this helps!

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Phoghat made it!(author)2014-08-01

nice ible, clear and concise. Why resin though? leave cord free for emergency use

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oldanvilyoungsmith made it!(author)2015-01-23

Because I was using a paracord handle because I like the look of them, and the grip they provide as a handle. If you leave them uncoated, the paracord becomes loose with use, gets very dingy and ugly, and on a non stainless steel blade (as this one is), when it gets wet, will cause rust behind the cord wrapping.

I'm not making this knife as an emergency survival knife or anything, I only like the look.

If you want to use a knife wrap as a survival cordage supply, I would suggest a wrap style that uses one very long length of cord, instead of two short pieces...

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im+not+miguel made it!(author)2014-10-22

used what i had...black and pink, still rocks!

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oldanvilyoungsmith made it!(author)2015-01-23

Looks good!

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kristie.barry1 made it!(author)2014-12-19

Is it possible to do the same thing without a starting hole near the blade. If so, would you have a photo to illustrat?.

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oldanvilyoungsmith made it!(author)2015-01-23

If you don't have a starting hole, or don't want to drill one for some reason, my advice would be to start the same way I show here, but instead of going through the hole, put a twist in the two cords, and wrap them around the handle, ( I don't have any pictures unfortunately), then start tying the wrap like the tutorial shows.

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ZooberEthan made it!(author)2015-01-20

you could just drill a hole.

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Ryanoxpqz made it!(author)2014-04-14

Top shot is one of my favorite shows!

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JoMoFroBro made it!(author)2013-07-25

Just out of interest, what brand of knife is that? I've been looking for a basic skeleton knife and have been considering the ka-bar ZK Acheron but that looks way cooler.

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cortchops made it!(author)2013-10-11

he made it himself, his website is: http://eagleeyeforge.com/ or his blog: http://eagleeyeforge.blogspot.com/

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jestaq made it!(author)2013-06-20

wear gloves

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will+i+am93 made it!(author)2011-08-19

why take the core out of the cord it makes it useless and if you are going carry the knife with you why not have the rope intact so if you need some rope you have it there

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oldanvilyoungsmith made it!(author)2011-08-19

I'll just copy my reply to a similar earlier comment -

If I need cord, 4 feet of each color is almost useless.


The point of this handle is not for a survival wrap. If it were, it would be a solid color (so I would have more cord) and I would use a wrap that held more cord. This is for looks, pure and simple. The same as using wood, I don't put wood on a knife handle so I can start a fire with it do I? I keep 100 feet of paracord in my truck for an emergency, and I usually carry 25' with me in my satchel. That is useful in an emergency, two 4' sections are useless.

At least, that's my opinion, take it or drop it as you please. I've been known to be wrong before.

author
arcstyles made it!(author)2012-09-23

2*4=8', 8 feet of 550 paracord contains 7 strands of nylon thread. If you do the math that's approximately 56' of nylon thread, which could serve as a tripline, trout line, tether for a spearhead, or whatever you can dream up.

author
oldanvilyoungsmith made it!(author)2012-09-23

Once again, let me copy and paste.

The point of this handle is not for a survival wrap. If it were, it would be a solid color (so I would have more cord) and I would use a wrap that held more cord. This is for looks, pure and simple.

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Basement_Craftsman made it!(author)2013-05-30

Ha...internet people....aren't they just so funny?

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xfirexstarzx made it!(author)2011-10-09

I've used a short strand of paracord as a shoelace when mine broke in the middle of a 25 mile hike. 4 feet of paracord can be a lifesaver if you're stuck in a situation like that.

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oldanvilyoungsmith made it!(author)2012-09-23

Just imagine how handy 25 feet would be.

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SwaggeringPagan made it!(author)2011-08-26

Well said....

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ginger20037 made it!(author)2013-03-07

I've actually found that spit, no I'm not kidding, can actually help to get the super glue off your fingers. I've done it a few times, and just kind of 'chewed' the remnants of it off, I can't stand the hard feeling that the glue gives your fingers/skin.

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basicLaser made it!(author)2013-01-26

LOL why do you have a picture of your wallet and some money with the knife? bling bling. Great instructable nevertheless

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oldanvilyoungsmith made it!(author)2013-01-27

This knife wasn't made in my usual style, and the photography wasn't either. The knife was inspired by Mike Snody's work, and this is his photography style, so since the knife was a knod to him, I decided to do the same for the photos.

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sonofstone made it!(author)2012-01-19

being a beginner, my question is, why do you put resin on the paracord?

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Lazy+H+Blades made it!(author)2012-08-08

It's to seal the cord, it prevents water or other liquids from soaking into the cord and also makes the handle stronger. I don't usually seal the cord handles that I make, since the cord helps maintain your grip if the handle does get wet from something, I've only ever sealed the handles on my heavy duty work knives for durability or knives wrapped with a natural cord to prevent rotting, though for natural handles I usually use a natural sealant like shellac.

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lakurfiss made it!(author)2012-07-15

Duct taping the blade is a VERY good idea. I ripped my hand open one Friday night, cord wrapping a blade onto a spear handle. The folks at the local emergency room just couldn't get over it. ""you were making a ....SPEAR? Wow..." Twenty cents wort of duct tape would have saved me $1200. Live and learn.

author
A+Dello made it!(author)2011-11-19

You just failed son... Acetone (nail polish remover) dissolves Cyanoacrylate (superglue). Don't mess with the C5H5NO2 without it...

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lol+link made it!(author)2011-11-13

i love survival knives and the outdoors so this is perfect

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triumphman made it!(author)2011-08-25

Nice contrasting colors, if you drop this in the thick brush, you won't lose it! Been there, done that! Keep up the good work. Nice 'ible ! Seek Peace & Joy, Triumphman.

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dook made it!(author)2011-08-18

Good Job Ser!

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kilroy1958 made it!(author)2011-08-18

Really nice work. I like very much.
Only thing I question, why put resin on cord? If you need the cord it is useless.

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oldanvilyoungsmith made it!(author)2011-08-18

If I need cord, 4 feet of each color is almost useless.


The point of this handle is not for a survival wrap. If it were, it would be a solid color (so I would have more cord) and I would use a wrap that held more cord. This is for looks, pure and simple. The same as using wood, I don't put wood on a knife handle so I can start a fire with it do I? I keep 100 feet of paracord in my truck for an emergency, and I usually carry 25' with me in my satchel. That is useful in an emergency, two 4' sections are useless.

At least, that's my opinion, take it or drop it as you please. I've been known to be wrong before.

author
smilin-buddha made it!(author)2011-08-17

Nice work Sir

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Mr.Sanchez made it!(author)2011-08-15

That´s a Big Rock Forge Blade...?

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young+skipper made it!(author)2011-08-17

Man I love Big Rock Forge blades. They're amazingly beautiful.

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oldanvilyoungsmith made it!(author)2011-08-15

That is an oldanvilyoungsmith custom.

I forge and grind all my knives, check out my blog - eagleeyeforge.blogspot.com to see some of my other knives.

But I do know Scott (the guy behind bigrockforge) cool guy, and some GREAT knives, he's been an insipiration for at least one of my knives.

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Mr.Sanchez made it!(author)2011-08-16

Ohhh sorry i apologize myself ..but indeed very neat blades. I´m a fan of Scott work too and Knifes Drives Me Crazy.

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JustinJalapeno made it!(author)2011-08-15

like this wrap tried it helpful step by step 5/5 good job man

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bruc33ef made it!(author)2011-08-15

Excellent work, Stephen. I think there's enough value added here for you to make a nice little income selling at flea markets and such, if you want to do that.
Good luck!

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Bio: Hi, I'm stephen, I'm a certified welder, working on my machinists cert, and working part time at a hardware store. Mixing in all ... More »
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