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Thread: Saya Material - Coming Soon

  1. #1
    Weird Wood Pusher Burl Source's Avatar
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    Saya Material - Coming Soon

    Probably within a week I will have a section in my web store with wood for making sayas and display boxes.
    I finished making some modifications to one of my bandsaws for resawing. Now all I am waiting for are my new resawing blades.
    While waiting I started gathering up some wood and getting it flat and square.
    These are some of the pieces I have selected to cut up. Kind of hard to see what is there because it has been rough sanded at 36 grit.



    Some quilted maple, flat sawn curly bubinga, old growth redwood and curly redwood.
    These are mostly what I would consider a medium grade figured woods.
    There have been a lot of requests for saya material. Sorry I have been so slow responding.

    A few thoughts and some questions

    Some of the requests for saya material have said "it doesn't have to be anything fancy, plain, straight grain wood would be ok".
    My thoughts were that after preparing the wood and the cost of shipping, I would not be cost effective with normal wood. Probably cheaper just to get thin stuff from the lumber store.

    I was thinking medium grade figured woods would not be overly expensive while still being nicer than what you could normally get from most other wood suppliers. Similar to middle/upper end custom guitar woods.

    I am curious if there is a market for the super nice stuff as saya material.
    An extreme example would be some of my very best Koa. What would be needed for a saya would be about the same as would produce about 6 handle blocks. So I am wondering if there might be cases where it made sense to cut some saya material that would have to sell in excess of $200.

    As for dimensions.
    The most common thickness requested is between 1/4" and 3/8". Does this sound right to you guys?
    For length and width 3"+ tall and 12" long will be my target dimensions with some larger or smaller depending on the wood I have available to cut.

    Please let me know what you think and if there are any special requests.
    Cutting the saya wood will keep me busy in between batches of blocks coming back from being stabilized.
    Now that the weather is getting better I can start pulling out some of the wood I have stashed over the years.
    No telling what I will find.
    Mark Farley / Burl Source
    Phone 541-287-1029, Email burlsource@gmail.com
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  2. #2

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    For me, I would not make a saya out of super nice stuff. Not that I would mind it, but personally just can't rationalize it. I would love t get some other plain grain woods that are good looking and can't be picked up at home depo.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Burl Source View Post
    As for dimensions.
    The most common thickness requested is between 1/4" and 3/8". Does this sound right to you guys?
    For length and width 3"+ tall and 12" long will be my target dimensions with some larger or smaller depending on the wood I have available to cut.
    I would leave them in 1" or so thick blocks for those who want to rip them themselves, or cut them into "scales" for those who would prefer them precut.
    "God sends meat and the devil sends cooks." - Thomas Deloney

  4. #4
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    99Limited's Avatar
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    What I wonder is, if someone pays $1000 or more for a knife wouldn't they want an equally nice saya for storage? I know I would. I have a new knife that I would like to find some amboyna burl or some other wood that would nicely contrast with the amboyna burl used on the handle.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 99Limited View Post
    What I wonder is, if someone pays $1000 or more for a knife wouldn't they want an equally nice saya for storage? I know I would. I have a new knife that I would like to find some amboyna burl or some other wood that would nicely contrast with the amboyna burl used on the handle.
    I'd have thought the buyers of the expensive wood would be predominantly craftsmen making Sayas for other peoples knives, like Marko, in which case I'm guessing that the extra $$$ to have the wood match the handle wouldn't be a consideration.
    Hobbyists making them would probably prefer cheaper wood during the learning curve from wooden sheath to saya.( I know I'd need to make a few before I dropped $200 on materials)

  6. #6
    Senior Member Deckhand's Avatar
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    It also seems without a request it would be too short or too long and varying width on expensive wood. Different mm of blade length and blade width depending on the knife. But I like the idea.

  7. #7
    Weird Wood Pusher Burl Source's Avatar
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    I finally have some book matched sets cut for saya material.
    I will start posting some in the web store tomorrow. Pricing will probably range from about $35 to $75 depending on the wood and size with free shpping.
    The way I am preparing the wood is;
    1st I am taking wood I have had in the dehumidification kiln until the moisture content is under 10%.
    Then I am cutting the wood into book matched sets at 3/8" thick.
    Next I run the sets through my drum sander to remove the saw blade marks and insure the pieces are the exact same thickness as each other.
    The sets are being drum sanded to 80 grit and then sprayed with a light coat of lacquer.
    The lacquer coat is to help protect against movement caused by moisture in the air and to give a little protection against getting dirty.
    I am using a light coat of Deft aerosol lacquer that sands away easily without gumming up your sand paper.
    This is a photo of some of the sets. The wood will look a lot better in person and the figure will become much more pronounced when fine sanded and finished. You may have seen this same redwood used for a saya here on the forum recently.

    Mark Farley / Burl Source
    Phone 541-287-1029, Email burlsource@gmail.com
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  8. #8
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    SpikeC's Avatar
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    Cooooooool!
    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

  9. #9
    Senior Member Crothcipt's Avatar
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    I can't wait.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Deckhand's Avatar
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    Hmm... May need to send you size for Kanasaki deba. I see a shipment going straight to Eamon in the near future.

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