I had a plain white oak bokken laying around and thought it could use some flair. I also had a good bit of paracord to spare, so I decided to play around with a Turk's Head. I doubled a two bight knot, then threaded a third strand through the middle. This knot ended up being tight enough to use when actually swinging the bokken. I cored the paracord to keep the girth down.
Step 1: Materials
For this project you'll need:
Paracord (I used a 25 ft length and a 12ft length)
Something to wrap
Something to pry with
A Dremel (optional)
Step 2: Prep Work
The bokken has a very slippery surface. This isn't so bad with bare hands, but the cord slides right over it. I used a fairly fine 320 grit sandpaper to evenly rough up the grip so the cord would stay in place.
Step 3: Cord
With such long lengths of cord, removing the core strands is tedious. Just be patient with it. Do it while you're watching tv. When you're done, remove any fraying that occurred and singe the ends. Be sure to crimp them flat.
Step 4: Start Your Knot
Luckily for me, my bokken had a thick rubber grommet to hold the cord in place. Otherwise you can use a rubber band. To keep your knot from migrating, you can use a Dremel to carve a ridge to tighten the knot into. I'd suggest doing this after you tie your knot, but before you tighten it. I'm starting a little bit down on the wide edge of the grip. From there, bring it around and make 7 complete rotations. Now, make an 8th rotation, but cross it over the last in front. Continue wrapping, crossing the first pass in the middle of the grip. From the third picture you can see how the cord should come around underneath the starting point. Make another pass, going in between the first rightward passes. You should now have X's, connected by slashes that meet at the top and bottom.
Step 5: Lace Under and Over
Unfortunately I do not have a clear picture for this step. Take the working end and lace it under the last wrap at the top of the grip, then over the wrap on the side of the grip. This should make the crossings all identical. The Continue the under over pattern until you reach the front. This will complete one pass of the knot. Next we will double it.
Step 6: Start Doubling
Now lace the working end under the first back pass, following the start of the knot. Keep the working end on the right side of the starting point, and follow it under and over. Keep following it for 4 passes, and you'll have a doubled knot. If you need more room to lace, you can scrunch the knot to loosen it a little. To lock the knot, bring it around one more time and tuck it under the first cross pass.
Step 7: Introduce Middle Cord
If you want all 3 strands to be the same color, just keep going with your first cord. To add the second color, start at the beginning and introduce this cord in between the two passes. Follow them over and under until you find yourself back to the start. Pass it under one more strand, just as you did with the doubled knot, to complete and lock the knot.
Step 8: Finish
Now, tighten your knot. As you go through all of the passes, you'll notice that some of the strands will have a tendency to turn over. To prevent this, place your thumb on the section you're tightening, right near the strand it is going under, then pull it tight. Cut the two protruding strands a few millimeters away from the strand they're under. Singe the ends and be careful to make them flat as possible. Use a flathead screwdriver to carefully pry the next strands up, and push the ends underneath.
Step 9: All Done!
Enjoy your newfangled grip! Mine is tight and slim enough to be used comfortably. I hope you find the same with yours!