I've read about wrapping the haft in leather or nylon cord. I know that carpenters wrap their hammers tightly with black electrical tape. Would this be better? Perhaps, then, wrap the nylon cord over the tape? Any downside to this?
What use do you anticipate that is so rough as to make this necessary? Andy has already covered 2 methods to take care of any head that is loose on a Vietnam hawk and I have yet to hear of a Rogers Ranger hawk having the head come loose in the first place. I doubt wrapping is going to change anything much at all.
Yea, you are probably right. I just think wrapping looks good. I just ordered one of the Vietnam hawks and was hoping to wrap it. I don't know if I have the ability to do so with leather, as I have never attempted it. I like the looks of the cord wrapped hawks, but thought it might aid in strength to first wrap it in tape. Just a thought. Honestly, the only thing I'll ever do with it is admire it in my bedroom and walk around the CA desert. I don't intend to do any hard pounding with it.
Artillery units throughout the centuries used a practice of wrapping cannon barrels with wire to strengthen the cannon. They then overcharged the cannon to get more distance from the rounds. I understand this was rather risky business.
Try wrapping thin gauge stainless steel wire (obtainable from any hardware store)for several inches to provide protection to the handle. This may be covered with leather, rawhide or tape.
The handle is wrapped under the head not to strengthen the attachment of the hawk but to prevent the handle from breaking in the case where you misjudge the target and the handle not the head slams into it. You can do this chopping as well as on a throw. Tape will do next to nothing, you want something like cord as it will mash and thus draw out the time of the impact and lower the impulse that the handle recieves.