Friction fit saya(s) scratching the blade(s)

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Matus, May 17, 2019.

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  1. May 17, 2019 #1
    I guess I need an advice here. I have made just a few sayas so far - from birch and Lime wood - both very nice, clean with straight grain. I am doing the sayas with friction fit and keep getting scratches from finished sayas. I am pretty sure that this is not the wood itself, but some particles that get embedded in the wood. I shape and finish the sayas with combination of belt saw, belt grinder and hand sanding and most likely I get some grains from the sanding paper or belt finding their way inside. Now I can imagine some solutions, but I would love to hear how others are working around his issue.

    Thanks in advance for tips and advices.
  2. May 17, 2019 #2




    Senior Member

    Feb 21, 2017
    I have seen that too, I don’t know if it is particles in the wood or the wood it self with softer cladding. I stopped doing friction fit for that reason.

    Keep in mind, repeated drying with kitchen towels will scratch blades.

    Even my wooden magnetic knife bars cause some light surface changes to my clad knives.
  3. May 17, 2019 #3
    I forgot to add that the knives in question are monosteel. Yes, cladding would mark or scratch much easier.
  4. May 17, 2019 #4




    Well-Known Doofus Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2016
    Sunny Florida
    In my experience, it's very easy to leave contaminating abrasive grit inside when sanding. You could try compressed air then a tack cloth to remove it best you can.

    I've seen some makers go to leather, felt, or other material lining to limit the scratching, but then of course the user has to diligently avoid moisture.

    While I still admire the craftsmanship, I personally won't make friction fit saya after making a couple. Too much work with the disadvantage of possible scratches, and I feel a less snug saya with retention pin protects the blade just as well.

    Another thing that I personally did was switch to laminate construction with a soft basswood middle spacer that is kinder to the knife edge. These are of course just my personal choices, but as noted, ones that I came to for practical reasons.
  5. May 17, 2019 #5
    Thank you, I will try the compressed air. Yeah, I may stop making friction sayas because of this.

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