I have a few of these Stanley 78s and surprisingly the handles all seem to me to feel different. in my hands. I have a couple that have very smooth castings and so too the painted finish. Some however feel quite rough and somehow cold to my touch in that they seem uninviting to work with. In cold workshops they feel cold to handle and one year I remembered that my father had a wrapped a coffee pot handle with string to work as an insulator to stop burns. I did exactly as he did and it worked fine.
Two things work well to improve the handling of the plane. One, the insulation factor means that in winter in a cold workshop you don’t have need of warming up the handle by friction in use every time you pick it up and put it down. Two, it feels remarkably comfortable and less slippy in the hand.
I used superglue to start with so that I could pull the string tight as I wrapped each circuit. It takes about four yards of string but not all string is the same thickness so it can take more or less.
Once completed I used superglue to seal the concluding wrap, knowing that the next stage would glue each wrap permanently in place.
A heavy coat of shellac is quickly absorbed into the string fibres. Leave overnight to fully harden and cure.
I used 150-grit sandpaper to even out the surface.
Two additional coats of shellac brushed on and left to harden gave sufficient adhesion of the string to the handle and built up the coating to fully protective level. A coat of wax furniture polish finishes the whole.