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Working with rayskin?

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by Bigfatts, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. Bigfatts

    Bigfatts

    Mar 12, 2012
    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. thebrain

    thebrain

    Dec 12, 2007
    I messed with some once that stuff is really hard. But the looks and feel are worth it.
     
  3. incaorchid

    incaorchid

    338
    Jul 28, 2011
    I have used scissors to cut it.
    Felt like cutting bathroom tile!
     
  4. tique

    tique Gold Member Gold Member

    953
    Oct 28, 2000
    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. Bigfatts

    Bigfatts

    Mar 12, 2012
    Thanks for the tips guys. I'm going to try and make some templates tonight.

    Here is the skin
    [​IMG]

    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.
     
  6. fugazy

    fugazy

    47
    Jun 25, 2010
    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.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. fugazy

    fugazy

    47
    Jun 25, 2010
    Post pictures when your done!
     
  8. broe

    broe

    485
    May 8, 2011
    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. Bigfatts

    Bigfatts

    Mar 12, 2012
    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.
     
  10. fugazy

    fugazy

    47
    Jun 25, 2010
    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. Bigfatts

    Bigfatts

    Mar 12, 2012
    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.
     
  12. fugazy

    fugazy

    47
    Jun 25, 2010
    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.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Bigfatts

    Bigfatts

    Mar 12, 2012
    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.
     
  14. fugazy

    fugazy

    47
    Jun 25, 2010
    It's really a huge differnce. U get a lot more leverage and it produces much cleaner cuts.
     
  15. Bigfatts

    Bigfatts

    Mar 12, 2012
    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. fugazy

    fugazy

    47
    Jun 25, 2010
    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. Bigfatts

    Bigfatts

    Mar 12, 2012
    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. Rich S

    Rich S

    Sep 23, 2005
    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. Bigfatts

    Bigfatts

    Mar 12, 2012
    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. Bigfatts

    Bigfatts

    Mar 12, 2012
    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.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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