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How to Avoid Basket Hilt Bracket Breakage

I've heard a few stories of the stainless steel brackets that I use on my basket hilts breaking. There are a few theories as to why. It's possible that there's a weak point in the metal. Others think that hilt blocking too much would cause breakage. I don't think that's true, but I suppose if that bracket got hammered overmuch, it might break. 

What I think contributes most to bracket breakage that the fighter attaches the basket to the sword using some kind of hyper rigid method. Some folks use the holes in the brackets to use screws to attach the basket. Others use hose clamps and tape to create a super rigid bond between the bracket and the stick. Whatever your method, I'd advise to ease back on how rigidly you attach your basket to your sword. I think you'll find your brackets last longer.

I find what works best is to use tape. I use hockey tape (Americans might call it athletic tape) or fiber tape. Take the tape, wrap it around the bracket and stick a couple times to hold everything in place. With the tape still attached, take a long strip of it (say 2 feet or so) and twist it into a bit of a rope. Take that rope and hard wind it around your stick and the tab. Finish it off with a few more wraps of tape.

I find that never breaks, and allows for just enough flex that the bracket doesn’t break either (I’ve never personally had one of my stainless brackets break). It's not so flexible that the basket is in danger of moving around on the stick, and is still plenty rigid for what we do. And it will help to avoid breakage.

For more detail on what that tape process looks like, see my complete sword build video on YouTube. The basket hilt attachment part starts at the 41 minute mark: