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Decorative Knot-work on a Knife Grip

This knife is done with two Turks Head knots and a French Whipping.  The line I used is a tarred-soaked, twisted white nylon twine. The cool thing about this twine is that over time, the tar on the outer edges fades and gives it a great antique look. I like to use this line when making decorative mugs and steins too, although I prefer to use a thicker twine. Only one piece of twine was used on this knife handle.


The Turks Head knot is a little tricky to learn, but once you get the basic principle, you can vary the knot to include more or thicker braids. Also, wrapping a Turks Head knot around a small heavy object, makes for a great heaving line!  The French whip is very easy to learn, and can be as useful as it is decorative. For example, a French whip from top to bottom would make a pole or rail very difficult to break and provides excellent gripping. You will see both of these knots used frequently on boats. I often see a Turks Head on the wheel of a ship indicating top-dead-center, and whipping around the hand rails.

These are knots I learned many years ago in Job Corp in the Seamanship Program. More precisely, the Marlin Spike Seamanship program, which is everything you would learn in a typical seamanship program these days, along with learning the art of line tending.

If you are interested in learning how a Turks Head knot is made, I have a great resource for you. There is a great website called Animated Knots by Grog, and a step-by-step animated guide for tying a Turks Head.  www.animatedknots.com/turkshead


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