What is a Gripfid?
A gripfid is a tool for ply-split braiding that (1) splits the cords and (2) grips another cord to pull it back though the split plies. Its key parts are a smooth tip, a hollow cavity into which the cord is placed, an interior vee-groove to grip the cord being pulled, and a smooth shaft that glides easily through the plies. A knob on the end is often included to provide better handling.
How to make gripfids?
The gripfid is the invention of Stuart Granger who fashioned a tool for ply-split braiding by adding a vee-grove at the tip of a knotter's fid. This vee-groove acts as a jam cleat (the "grip") to pull the cord back through the splits. Granger's method was to start with a hollow brass tube, cut a special profile, and hammer this to a rounded point. Here is his method in profile:
The problems with Granger's gripfids and those who use his method are that it is time-consuming and very often leaves an imperfect tip that catches on the work piece.
Our method is a big improvement over Granger's method because it starts with a hollow knitting needle rather than a tube. Thus the point is already perfectly formed. We need only make the hollow cord channel and interior vee-groove.
Our processes and tools are designed for making gripfids as quickly and reproducibly as possible, but always within a defined quality specification. One gripfid maker, who attempts to imitate our design, makes them with handheld techniques. We believe our methods are superior. See Video
We make our gripfids in our own studio/workshop and offer them online in three standard sizes: Small (3.7mm), Medium (4.5mm), and Large (6.5mm). Standard length is 4 inches. Special diameters and lengths are available on special order: 2.5 mm to 8 mm diameter and lengths to about 8 inches. To order gripfids click here or write PSB-tools @ louisefrench.com .
New to Ply-split Braiding? See Getting
Started in Ply-split Braiding.