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I bought a cheap hammer and wanted a nicer grip than the bare wood. Thinking of how nice a linen wrapped pool cue feels, I decided to try wrapping this handle in cotton string.

The only tools I used were a knife, a pair of scissors (but I should have used the knife!) and a bowl of water. The only material (aside from the hammer itself) was a length of cotton string and a short piece of nylon monofilament, which I did not even have to detach from the spool.

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Step 1: Carve the wrap area

Picture of Carve the wrap area
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I carved notches at the edges of the area I planned to wrap, to give the string boundaries it wouldn't easily slide over. I measured by simply holding the handle and marking a half inch or so past where my hand went. I drew a careful line all the way around, at each end, with a ball-point.

I started carving using my little pocket knife but soon switched to a big K-Bar which went a lot faster. I considered carving away the top layer of the entire wrap area but decided this was not necessary. I carved only as deep as the thickness of the string, leaving a sharp cut at the ends of the wrap area and gradually smoothing the cut towards the middle of the wrap area.

I added a vertical notch at each end to tuck the string ends into so they would not disturb the surface of the wrap with an Unsightly Lump.

craftclarity10 months ago

I took a class in natural fiber composites at school and we did some tie-wrapping experiments with hemp twine and epoxy that were really interesting. There are people making bamboo bicycle frames with a similar technique...guy named Craig Calfee out here in California...

Kiteman11 months ago

The technique you've used is called "whipping" - it was originally invented for finishing the ends of ropes to prevent fraying, but, as you've found, it also makes a good grip.

I've used it successfully a few times: