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Don Nguyen
07-12-2012, 01:43 PM
How should it be done properly?

What size is the hole normally drilled? Does the pin taper? What else is there to know?

Thanks. Sincerely,

-Don

Sara@JKI
07-12-2012, 01:53 PM
Japanese saya pin sizes differ depending on the maker. A lot of them do taper a little bit... I think. Some makers use the same sized pin for everything, and cut the length of a pin to adjust. Others have 2 to 3 sizes for different sayas. It's probably safe to wait to drill a hole till you know the size of the pin.

Don Nguyen
07-12-2012, 01:59 PM
Thanks for the quick answer!

Seems like a lot of them use ebony for the wood. I will be making my own, but I wonder if the type of wood is of crucial importance?

Andrew H
07-12-2012, 02:01 PM
Thanks for the quick answer!

Seems like a lot of them use ebony for the wood. I will be making my own, but I wonder if the type of wood is of crucial importance?

As long as the wood is stable / stabilized you should be fine.

99Limited
07-12-2012, 03:51 PM
I think tapering the pin is a good idea. One reason is you will always have a snug fit. Also, over time, as the pin hole gets enlarged from use, the taper will accommodate the larger hole. You just need to allow for a little extra length in the pin.

Seth
07-12-2012, 05:08 PM
Most of the original pins for mine are tapered.

SpikeC
07-12-2012, 05:22 PM
If you don't use ebony the saya will collapse in upon itself.

Eamon Burke
07-13-2012, 11:38 AM
I use guitar bridge pins. I find them cheaper, easier to replace, and way more reliable than saya pins. Not traditional at all though.

bieniek
07-13-2012, 11:44 AM
If you don't use ebony the saya will collapse in upon itself.

+1
But is it stil a "saya" then?

Twistington
07-13-2012, 12:20 PM
I make my saya pins a bit tapered and longer to compensate for the anistropic features of the wood i find around my parents house.

Customfan
07-13-2012, 01:44 PM
I have a question that has been looming in my mind.... One of my first serious knives I purchassed was a masamoto KA 270mm yanagiba from Korin and the Saya came with had a very small hole in place where the "normal" pin hole would go... Why do they do this? Is is so that you create your own pin?

Thanks!

Don Nguyen
07-13-2012, 02:03 PM
I use guitar bridge pins. I find them cheaper, easier to replace, and way more reliable than saya pins. Not traditional at all though.

That's a good idea!

bieniek
07-13-2012, 04:51 PM
or you can just grab a leftover piece of hardwood and a pocket knife and make your own.

Marko Tsourkan
07-13-2012, 05:59 PM
How should it be done properly?

What size is the hole normally drilled? Does the pin taper? What else is there to know?

Thanks. Sincerely,

-Don

Put your knife on top of the saya, so that the handle is flush against saya side's edge. Mark where you want your pin hole. I typically drill it flush against the heel, but you might want to give yourself a little room for error.

If you make your own sayas, it makes sense to drill a pin hole on the cavity side before gluing, and then transfer it to the other side.

Most Japanese sayas are without distal taper, so you don't need to worry leveling it when drilling a hole.

Holes on Japanese sayas vary, Masamoto can ship with a tiny pin hole, while Nenohi are close to 4.5-5mm.

I find best hole size for me to be about 4mm, not too big and not too small. Bamboo skewers are about 4.5mm, so should you need a source of cheap pins, those could be had in abundance.

I make pins myself, so I normally shape them to fit 4mm hole. I do taper my pins.

M

Don Nguyen
07-17-2012, 05:25 PM
Thanks for all the help everyone!

The bridge pins work fantastic. I shortened them just slightly, but enough to account for the taper.

http://i917.photobucket.com/albums/ad18/dthenguyen/DSC00242.jpg
http://i917.photobucket.com/albums/ad18/dthenguyen/DSC00244.jpg

I think it looks pretty good too. Certainly better than one I would make.

bieniek
07-18-2012, 01:25 PM
Looks very nice.

It certainly is a quick fix!

Eamon Burke
07-18-2012, 04:27 PM
Nice! You can thank Son for bringing me the enlightened idea. Can't believe it was under my right hand for years and I had to find it on a phone call from across the country!

You can really squeeze them in there too, if the knife is going to get jostled around, like for travel--just push it in until you have to press it against the counter to get it to pop out.