A good handle grip is essential for your weapon. You will want it to absorb sweat without getting slippery, provide good traction for bare hands or gloved, and to look good as well. A rope grip is a fantastic step up from the basic athletic tape handle, and is still very simple to construct. You will of course need to add your grip after any counterweighting and shaping is done. You may want to wait until a pommel and guard are added, since those components are more durable if taped directly to the core.
- A good rope. You may need anywhere from 2-5 feet, depending on your handle size and rope diameter. For thicker ropes, it may be beneficial to remove the nylon “core” that many ropes have. This allows for a flatter grip that adheres better to the handle.
- Double sided carpet tape. DAP contact cement or spray glue work as well.
- Some athletic/cloth tape or electrical tape.
1. Test wrap your rope around the handle to make sure you have enough.
2. Cover your handle in adhesive. If using DAP or spray glue, wait for the glue to tack up before proceeding. If using double sided carpet tape, lay the strips against the handle running parallel. Try and avoid leaving gaps where adhesive doesn’t cover.
3. Place the end of the rope on the core, adjacent to the guard or pommel. Hold it there with your finger and wrap tightly around the core.
4. After you have wrapped an inch or so down the handle, use tape to secure the end where you previously held it. Cover this location entirely with two or three layers of tape.
5. Continue wrapping down the handle. Use a firm hand to keep the rope tight and secure. You want to minimize gaps between the rope. If you screw up, carefully lift the rope off from the adhesive and re-do your work. Some ropes have a tendency to bind up and grow kinks if you rotate them as you place, try and be conscious of this to avoid bumps.
6. When you come to the end, you may need to trim the excess rope. Try and do this without pulling up too much of what you already placed. Tuck the end snuggly against the pommel or guard, and tape over it. Do a few wraps around this point, just as you did in step 4.
7. Congrats, you now have a fancy rope handle! Never drop your sword again.