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Hints, Tips and Solutions (Do NOT post requests for help here) If you have any useful general hints and tips for vintage technology repair and restoration, please share them here. PLEASE DO NOT POST REQUESTS FOR HELP HERE!

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Old 28th Oct 2020, 4:26 pm   #1
greenstar
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Default Getting a handle on it

Being a cheapskate, and with the cost of decent original looking leather handles, and not being a great leather worker, a lot of my handled things don't have one, the originals having dropped off.
I bought a microscope recently and the case was of course missing the handle, but the last owner had wound string around to make an improvised job.
I have a small pile of items needing handles.
I thought to use paracord in a similar way, and feel it does a serviceable and attractive job. For more of a vintage look perhaps cotton boot lace would be appropriate.
3mm brown paracord is on ebay in abundance. I bought a reel for 7 pounds. As boot lace this starts to come apart quickly, so for heavy wear the more expensive stuff may be better. But for this use the cheap stuff looks to be fine. There must be a neater way to tie up the ends. I simply wound four times between the metal loops, and then around the handle, before tying up and knotting the ends.
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Old 28th Oct 2020, 4:42 pm   #2
Nickthedentist
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Default Re: Getting a handle on it

That looks very respectable, thank you for the idea.
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Old 28th Oct 2020, 5:00 pm   #3
Radio Wrangler
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Default Re: Getting a handle on it

Very neat indeed.

If you did the outer wrapping with leather thong it could easily look in-period.

David
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Old 28th Oct 2020, 5:19 pm   #4
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Default Re: Getting a handle on it

And round (cross section) handles are easier to carry, the original flat ones tend to dig in a bit. I do bet there is a macrame version involving intricate plating/weaving/knitting, fun, if not time consuming, to make. It is hard to hide the last end though!
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Old 28th Oct 2020, 5:50 pm   #5
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Default Re: Getting a handle on it

Yes, I think leather bootlace would look suitably vintage. It's surprisingly strong - even the original string version was easily strong enough. It also lies flat when not being carried.
Tony
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Old 28th Oct 2020, 8:00 pm   #6
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Default Re: Getting a handle on it

great idea a hunt round the web found this if needed
https://www.instructables.com/Making-Braided-Leather/
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Old 29th Oct 2020, 12:01 am   #7
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Default Re: Getting a handle on it

Thanks, lots of useful.ideas here.
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Old 1st Nov 2020, 12:14 am   #8
mark_in_manc
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Default Re: Getting a handle on it

That looks nice - I've done something like this with a scouts knot I know as 'whipping' - which makes dealing with the ends easy. Here's a link

https://www.netknots.com/rope_knots/common-whipping
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Old 3rd Nov 2020, 11:01 pm   #9
greenstar
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Default Re: Getting a handle on it

Great, thanks Mark - that about ties it up!
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Old 7th Nov 2020, 4:27 am   #10
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Default Re: Getting a handle on it

Great job. Very inventive!

Personally, I go to a 2nd hand store and buy a couple of leather belts and make replacement handles out of them. Typically I get 3-4 handles per belt for a total cost of under $5.00 USD, If I hit the GoodWill surplus stores, it runs me about $1.08 USD for 2 belts. (They sell everything by the pound at 2.16/lb. and over 50 lbs. 1.08/ lb. This includes tape recorders, stereos, power cables, connection cables, clothing, the whole Magilla).
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