Intro: Double-perfect Whipped Paracord Staff Hand-grip
Whipping is the traditional way of binding the end of a rope to prevent it fraying. Synthetic cords can be melted, but natural fibres need whipping, and melting is ugly.
Whipping can also be used to create hand-grips on walking sticks.
This is my own variation on a method known as "perfect whipping". As far as I am aware, this is unique.
Step 1: Materials
The exact amount of paracord you need depends on the length of the grip you want, and the diameter of the stick you are using.
I used about three metres each of 2mm and 4mm cords.
The only tools you need to do the actual whipping are your hands, and a pair of pliers with a slightly-serrated face.
Step 2: Starting
Arrange both pieces of paracord side-by side.
Leaving about 15-20cm of paracord below where you want the grip to start, lay both cords up the stick, make a bight (loop) just above the point where you plan the grip to stop, and bring the working end back down to the bottom of the grip.
Look at the photos: notice that the cords have not yet crossed.
Because you are using two cords at one, you will definitely find it much easier if you tape the starting bight into place on the stick.
Step 3: Wrapping.
Whether you find it easier to use one hand to align the cords, and the other to turn the stick, or hold the stick steady while you wrap the cords, there are two things to remember:
- Do not allow the two cords to twist over each other.
- Keep it as tight as you possibly can.
Using two thicknesses of cord, this will give an evenly-ridged grip to your stick.
Step 4: Finishing, Part 1.
When you get to the top of the grip, just before the first bight you made is completely covered, thread both cords through the loop.
With the pliers, get hold of the lengths of cord hanging out of the bottom of the grip and pull.
If your wrapping has been nice and tight, it will be very hard to pull the cords.
As you pull, the loop at the top of the grip will close on the cords through it, and drag them down inside the grip.
Once the loop is inside the grip, stop.
The grip itself is finished.
What you need to think about now is the way you deal with the loose ends.
Step 5: Finishing, Part 2a - the Closed Loop(s)
Trim off the working ends of the cords (the end that is sticking out at the top of the grip) to about the same length as the cord sticking out below the grip.
Use the knot of your choice (most likely the reef knot) to join the ends of the cords from each end of the grip to make a loop. Either knot the ends of both thicknesses at once, or knot the thinner and thicker cords separately. You could also use a sheet bend to fasten a thick and thin piece together.
I was making this for my youngest to use as a walking stick when he goes out with his granddad over Easter - he had a look through our knot-books and requested a fisherman's knot, which is often used to make necklace cords adjustable. Normally not the best knot to tie in smooth paracord, it seems to work quite well when tied in both cords at once - there must be extra friction with two cords in one knot.
To tie a fisherman's knot, lay the two ends side-by side. Tie the first end in a simple overhand knot around the second, and then tie the second cord in an overhand knot around the first. Officially, the two knots are then slid tightly together, but for a necklace adjuster they are simply slid to wherever they are needed.
Step 6: Finishing, Part 2b - the Bottom Loop.
Cut the top ends of the cord off flush with the grip, and pull the botom ends to make the cut end disappear inside the grip. Do not pull it too far inside, or it will come out of the loop that is locking it in place.
Now tie the ends of the bottom cords together.
You could use a simple two-strand overhand knot to tie them side-by-side, or tie them end-to-end with a sheet bend, maybe add beads - the possible variations are too many to cover in a single Instructable.
Step 7: Finishing, Part 2c - Loopless.
You may decide to have no loops at all.
In this case, cut off the top ends flush to the grip and pull them down a little, as for the previous step, then cut the loose end off flush with the bottom of the grip.
It is better, though, both decoratively and practically, to have some form of loop on the grip of your stick - you can slip your hand through the loop, giving you a chance to catch the stick, should it slip out of your hand.