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Thread: Working with rayskin?

  1. #1
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    Working with rayskin?


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    I am going to try my hand at making a set of rayskin grip inserts for my Socom Elite, the grip tape is getting to me. I've heard stingray is hard to work with. Anything specific I should know? Do I need anything special to cut it? I have a nice piece of orange skin on the way...

  2. #2
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    I messed with some once that stuff is really hard. But the looks and feel are worth it.

  3. #3
    I have used scissors to cut it.
    Felt like cutting bathroom tile!

  4. #4
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    I use a pair of Buck shears for cutting rayskin to general shape, but I use a belt grinder for finishing it up. Raysklin is some tuff stuff

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the tips guys. I'm going to try and make some templates tonight.

    Here is the skin


    I want to try and split the white diamond between the 2 front inserts on the Socom. I think that will look great if I can pull it off without buggering it up.
    Stand TALL for the BEAST of America!

  6. #6
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    My little trick. Take the knife apart and heat the handles with a heat gun, a blow dryer might work. Pop them out with a small punch through the little hole. Get a sheet of lables from staples and take all the labels off, stick the grip tape insert on there and the cut them out with an exacto knife. You can use them as templates.

    Trying to work around the diamond is going to be really hard. It's a lot easyer to work with the material around the edges. Try a set of inlays with material from around the edges first, if u get the hang of if then go for the diamond in the center.






  7. #7
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    Post pictures when your done!

  8. #8
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    I work with it all the time. It has issues and needs care in cutting. The 'bumps' are dentine, like as in tooth material. It will wreck your cutter. I like to use heavy aviation scissors for this stuff. Take your time. Splitting the diamond will be a pain in the a@@ and you won't be happy with it. It is the heaviest and thickest part of the dentine material and may crack where you don't want it to. Good luck with your project. You can color it with whatever you want to if you use a lacquer based paint.

  9. #9
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    Wow thanks for the tips! Looks like I'll be taking it apart when I get home tonight. Luckily mine is the older version with normal screws- I hope. My luck it's some sort of proprietary Microtech star key. I'll keep y'all posted.
    Stand TALL for the BEAST of America!

  10. #10
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    If you have the microtech screws and don't have a way to take it apart its ok, you can still do it with the knife assembled. It's easyer with the knife taken apart though. I lay the template face down on the back side of the rayskin and cut around it. I hold the template down with the one hand and cut with the other. I tryed tracing it with a pencil but it doesn't seem to come out as good. Cut all the straight sections first. I use a leather hole puncher after I cut all the strait lines and then I clean it up with the exacto. I use the extra large exacto knife and blades. Make sure to have a bunch of blades, they get dull fast and u always want a sharp one.

  11. #11
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    Yea, I tried a couple times tonight and I will have to find a better method. I tried the pencil tracing and got a bunch of mangled scraps. No good. I will try the just holding it method tomorrow. And I'll have to try and find a leather punch.
    Stand TALL for the BEAST of America!

  12. #12
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    This is the kind of exacto knife and blade I use. I found this type of blade to be the absolute best for ray skin. I think the reason it works so good is because you push the blade into it instead of slicing it.


  13. #13
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    Ah, I'll have to find one of those! You just push it through huh? I've just been using a hobby knife. looks like I'm heading to the store after work.
    Stand TALL for the BEAST of America!

  14. #14
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    It's really a huge differnce. U get a lot more leverage and it produces much cleaner cuts.

  15. #15
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    fugazy, you are a life saver. I tried with the new knife and managed a near perfect piece on the second try. Going to try the other pieces tonight.

    One more question, what should I use to glue this with?

  16. #16
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    I'm not really sure. I used elmers white glue. I cut mine a little on the tight side so they actually stay in without glue. I only wanted them in there semi permanent because I might take them out to ceracoat the handles. I'm glad I could help you.

  17. #17
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    I was wondering about Elmer's. I may be doing a set for it in a different color later. I'll glue them in tonight and put it back together tomorrow and get some pics. They aren't exactly 100% perfect but I'm happy enough with my first try.

  18. #18
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    I've worked with rayskin (same') a lot for Japanese swords. The trick is to work it when it's warm and soft - soak it in hot water until very pliable, then you can cut it with heavy scissors (I actually use tin snips). Make your pattern first, cut the soft rayskin to
    the basic shape, then finish with a grinding wheel or if precision is needed, use a Dremel type sanding drum. Once you get the
    hang of it, rayskin is really not difficult to work with. Also, be sure to mold it to shape before it hardens again. I use cardboard and strong rubber bands to hold it to shape. Of course on a sword handle you're trying to get a large piece to take an odd shaped, slightly cylinderical shape. Doing an insert for a knife shouldn't be anywhere near as difficult. You'll also want to sand the surface some. Rayskin has very sharp little points. I doubt you want to be gripping that on your knife.

    Rich S

  19. #19
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    Thanks for the tips. I will try those next time. My next project will be a Blur. I got home from work early so the two front inserts are glued and clamped right now. I will do the last/rear insert in a couple hours and might be able to get it put back together tonight.

  20. #20
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    Well, here it is. I'll admit it isn't perfect but the pics make it look worse than it is. You can't see any trace of the glue in person. I'm going to order another piece of skin and maybe try again. Maybe try on some other knives.






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