In today’s project we will be making a paracord spike cover.
Spikes are one of the major knot tying tools, so making a cover for them makes sense. It is both decorative as well as practical, making your spikes less pointy until you need them. You can use this design to cover all sorts of spikes, be it awls, marline spikes, fids etc.
The design that I will feature here is a beautiful, but simple one.
Let’s first take a look at the small list of supplies that I used for this project.
- the particular spike that I will be covering is the C.S.Osborne 478– a scratch awl. This is a small, quality tool that you can use to trace patterns onto leather. If you blunt the tip it can also work as a braiding fid. Finally, I have also used this one to make holes into canvas when stitching it.
- for the cover I will be using 3 strands of micro cord (1.18mm diameter). These strands are 3.5 feet long each (105 cm). This should be more than enough.
- scissors and a lighter are the final two supplies needed.
We can now begin the tying tutorial.
Spike cover tutorial
Start off by taking your 3 strands of micro cord and cross them at the middle points. Note that I am using a piece of wood as a base.
If possible, stick your spike into the wood to hold your cords in place. If your spike if not sharp enough, you will need to work freehand.
Tie a crown knot. In the counterclockwise direction, our first strand passes over the next one.
The second strand passes over the third one.
Third strand passes over the fourth one and so on.
Reach your last strand.
Pass the last strand into the loop created by the first strand.
Tighten up. We have tied a single crown knot.
From this point on we will be tying over-two crown knots. Again counterclockwise, but going over-two.
So our first strand passes over the next two.
The second one again over two.
And the third one.
The fourth one.
Fifth one passes into our first loop.
Sixth one passes into the second loop going under two. At this point all of our strand pass over-two, under-two.
And repeat. We will be covering the entire spike using the over-two crown knot. We stack one on top of the other.
Reach the top of the spike with your knots.
Pluck the spike out of the wood.
Push the knots down over the tip of the spike.
Continue lining up over-two crown knots until you again reach the top. At this point we have to work without the help of the piece of wood.
We have now covered the spike. Time to tie a 6 stranded diamond knot with a Spanish ring knot look.
Each of our strands travels over one strand and under the next. In the counterclockwise direction.
The second strand again over-under.
After using all of your strands this is the look of the knot.
Take each cord over-one, under-one towards the bottom of the knot. Parallel to another strand.
First strand done. Parallel to the strand above.
Do all of your strands the same way.
Final step of the knot is to travel over two-under two with all of our strands.
Over-two, under-two with the first strand.
Do the same over-two, under-two with all of your strands.
Tighten up the knot. Generally I pull on all 6 strands, then work through the strands coming out from the last crown knot. The slack is pulled into the working ends.
Trim and melt the ends.
To stiffen up the cover I apply a bit of heat with a lighter. You need to be careful not to burn the cords. Using a lighter also blackens the cord a bit (you can wipe most of the black off with a wet cloth).
For the absolute best result you should use an alcohol burner (spirit lamp) which leaves little soot. But I don’t own one so a lighter it is :).
The second thing that I do to stiffen up the cover is to dip it into boiling water for about half a minute to a minute.
Finally I use some sort of a substance to make the cover even stiffer. Varnish or shellac (flakes dissolved in alcohol) can be used. Water soluble hair gel can also work (mix it with water).
In my case I take a plastic bottle cap and mix wood glue and water. To apply the mix I use a scrap piece of rope (since I can just throw it away later). A brush will work just as well.
I do 2-3 coats minimum. If you apply too much and you get some glue showing in between the gaps of the cover, remember that glue can be washed off with water and a tooth brush.
After a couple of coats, work your cover in by twisting the spike into it. Voila! A nice looking spike cover that can save you a few stab wounds!
A video tutorial can also come in handy: