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Thread: ? Power or hand tools for saya makeing ?

  1. #1

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    ? Power or hand tools for saya makeing ?

    I'll bet you have answered this question before but I don't see it posted here?
    Do you use power tools like a router and sander to make your saya or hand tools chisel and plane? If you you both how do you use them (I.E. Power to shape and form, hand to finish)?
    Side question have you ever tried and succeeded at making one out of Burl? If so how did you keep the "pull out" under control.

  2. #2
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    I'll answer the start of this, because I used to hassle Marko all the time about tools. For sayas, he uses Japanese woodworking chisels, because there is more control, and you can give it a more "natural feel".
    I'll let him handle the Burl question.
    I'd guess, if you had the right piece of Burl, you could pull it off. I've seen some pretty tight work in a set of
    Burls bowls that wouldn't be too far off from a saya, minus the glued together pieces.
    Just thinking out loud, here....
    09/06

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    Email me at: tmclean@sharpandshinyshop.com

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty View Post
    I'll answer the start of this, because I used to hassle Marko all the time about tools. For sayas, he uses Japanese woodworking chisels, because there is more control, and you can give it a more "natural feel".
    I'll let him handle the Burl question.
    I'd guess, if you had the right piece of Burl, you could pull it off. I've seen some pretty tight work in a set of
    Burls bowls that wouldn't be too far off from a saya, minus the glued together pieces.
    Just thinking out loud, here....
    No router just chisels, wow he must love to make life hard? I wood think a router wood get the jod done in 1/2 the time.

  4. #4
    I use the following hand and power tools for making sayas:

    Band saw for splitting wood, cutting out a profile ( I do it after glue-up)
    6x48" sander for rough flattening, rough-sanding, distal taper forming
    Granite plate for precise flattening
    Saya chisels for carving
    Drill press for pin hole drilling
    Bessey clamps for gluing
    TD-90 for grinding to shape and rough finishing
    Final hand-sanding and oil/shellac finishing

    The Process
    I typically let re-sawn wood sit for a couple of days, to release tension, then flat-sand glue-up sides, carve a cavity on one side, glue the halves together, profile, form a distal taper and bevels, and then shape it. Some woods I finish with tung oil and shellac and some with natural oil/wax blend.

    M

    PS: with sharp chisels, you have a better control and a better result. As Devin and Mario can attest, I can carve a cavity in 10-30 min on most woods. Some woods like burls are trickier, but sharp chisels will do. You might have some tear-our, but not too much, as long as you are "shaving" the surface with chisels, and removing a little material at a time. It's important to carve with the grain, though sometimes the grain on burls is all over the place and sometimes I carve against the grain to get a better grain figure on the saya.

    Router would be faster, but you won't be able to remove the material to mirror the blade geometry for a tight fit. I made a few sayas from walnut burls and even red wood burl. Didn't hear any complains about twists or shrinkage. On a red wood saya I ground tip area too thin, so it chipped off on a burl figure, so it is for a re-make. Red wood is pretty brittle and have to be left a little thicker.


    "All beauty that has no foundation in use, soon grows distasteful and needs continuous replacement with something new." The Shakers' saying.

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  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    The key is a chisel that is SHARP, not just sharp.
    Spike C
    "The Buddha resides as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain."
    Pirsig

  6. #6
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    The problem with using an electric router to make the recess for the knife blade is that the recess needs to be tapered in depth to match the grind of the knife. A power router can't do that. If all you want is a big honkin' hole, go with the power tool!
    Spike C
    "The Buddha resides as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain."
    Pirsig

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by SpikeC View Post
    The problem with using an electric router to make the recess for the knife blade is that the recess needs to be tapered in depth to match the grind of the knife. A power router can't do that. If all you want is a big honkin' hole, go with the power tool!
    Exactly.

    M


    "All beauty that has no foundation in use, soon grows distasteful and needs continuous replacement with something new." The Shakers' saying.

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  8. #8

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    Cool thanks
    Love it that good old hand tools can still out perform the power tools.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    For most small projects setting up the power tools takes me longer than just doing them with hand tools.
    Spike C
    "The Buddha resides as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain."
    Pirsig

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Chef Niloc View Post
    Cool thanks
    Love it that good old hand tools can still out perform the power tools.
    Collin,
    if you want to make a trip to Westchester, I will be happy to show you how I make a saya from start to finish.

    M


    "All beauty that has no foundation in use, soon grows distasteful and needs continuous replacement with something new." The Shakers' saying.

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

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