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Thread: Adventures in handle and saya contruction by hand

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnxiousCowboy View Post
    ... How do you guys hollow out the saya? I was going to dremel it, but my dremel is as old as I am and it just seems like a bad idea in general. I was thinking about chiseling, but I have no chisels or chiseling experience... File that **** and hand sand I suppose?
    I saw pictures of a Japanese shop making sayas. They would take a block and saw it into three pieces. The two outer pieces being the same thickness and the middle piece slightly thicker than the blade. They then traced the blade on the middle piece and used something like a coping saw to cut out the shape. They then glued that outer perimeter of the middle piece between the two outer halves.

  2. #22
    Traditional way of making a saya is to re-saw a block into two pieces and carve a cavity into one. Then glue them together, shape and medium grit sand them. Shaping is very basic - rounding spine edge and giving a slight bevel to the edge side and smooth the wood.

    I like to shape sayas the way a knife is shaped - bevels, taper, rounded spine and edge. All of these can be done with hand tools (rasps) or a belt sander. All final rounding and finishing I do by hand. If done properly,
    you won't see a glue line and the whole piece will look like a single bock. People ask me all the time how I carved the cavity without splitting the wood.

    Some makers, including Carter and Tsil, use inserts, as Dan described in his post above. It works, but a fit is not as precise as in a carved cavity - a cross-section of cavity is similar to that of a knife, and you will end up with two extra glue lines, so I never considered it. However, this is not how Japanese do it. At least I have not seen a single Japanese saya done in this way. For Japanese this method would be too labor-intensive.

    M


    "If there’s something worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” - An US saying.

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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marko Tsourkan View Post
    Would love to see that picture, Dan.
    Yeah, I was afraid someone would ask that. I'm not sure how I found it. I'll go back through my Google search history and see if I can find it. It had a young Japanese woman doing the work. I think she was working inside a blacksmith's shop. Seems like it was a family thing, father, son making knives and maybe a daughter making sayas.

  4. #24
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    This isn't the same thing I was talking about, but it is the same method.

  5. #25

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    Tsills wife if pretty talented. But it seems like the the Marko route might make a more secure fit. Of course I have never tried so I am just basing this on observations.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by kalaeb View Post
    Tsills wife if pretty talented. But it seems like the the Marko route might make a more secure fit. Of course I have never tried so I am just basing this on observations.
    Carving to exact shape can give you a better fit, but the best way to secure a knife in a saya is with a pin.

    M


    "If there’s something worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” - An US saying.

    If my KKF Inbox is full (or not), please contact me via Email: anvlts@gmail.com

  7. #27
    IMO Marko does it the closest to the sword saya maker's way. It's certainly not the easiest but the best work never is.

  8. #28
    Senior Member rockbox's Avatar
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    That belt sander is to die for.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." --Albert Einstein

  9. #29
    I know right! But the belts can't be easy on the wallet.

  10. #30
    Tom, why would you need such a big belt sander? 6x48 is perfectly adequate for all I do. That big sander if probably less flat on sanding surface than mine. I have 6x48" Shopsmith. Fantastic sander. I also have 11" Shopsmith bandsaw. Fantastic too.


    M


    "If there’s something worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” - An US saying.

    If my KKF Inbox is full (or not), please contact me via Email: anvlts@gmail.com

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