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Sword stuff, was: Looking for patterns for Edo period Kamishimo

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  • Bubba
    ... Yup, that s the gizmo I was thinking of. ... I have about 3/4 of a side of armor leather sitting around and 375 yards of armor lace still on the spool. I
    Message 1 of 12 , Oct 31, 2003
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      Yama Kaminari no Date Saburou Yukiie wrote:
      > The thing you are referring to is called koshi ate, and is actually
      > described quite well.

      Yup, that's the gizmo I was thinking of.

      > There is a long himo that wraps around the waist
      > several times, and is firmly attached to the koshi ate. There are
      > single weapon versions, and dual weapon versions. The leather piece is
      > roughly about 8 inches long, and can be freeform shaped, or basically
      > oval. They are sometimes edged, but not lacquered. A good heavy veg
      > tan in, say 8 or 10 oz leather works fine.

      I have about 3/4 of a side of armor leather sitting around and 375 yards of
      armor lace still on the spool. I think I can manage to make something
      workable ;) I'll also be putting something in there, something like a couple
      of lines of silicone, so they don't slide around.

      > There are two sets of himo that x over the saya in two places, thus
      > holding the weapon roughly horizontal.
      > I have made these before, and they work quite well - just make sure
      > that you tie the saya in very firmly, and that the waist himo are
      > quite firmly wrapped around the waist, over the outer ties of the
      > hakama. It is a good way to wear a regular katana mount edge down,
      > tachi-like, and is, as I understand it, a late period, but acceptable
      > practice.
      > I hope this helps.

      My plan is something that holds them basically the same as if they were just
      stuck through my obi, but more securely. I prefer wearing my katana closer
      to vertical than horizontal so that it doesn't run into everything within 3
      feet of me. I wore a tachi years ago and finally gave up on it after
      annoying half the populace with it.

      While I'm thinking about it, is there any evidence of some kind of close
      fitting cloth saya cover? I'm thinking about making something that I can
      slide on the saya before tying the sageo (I wrap it around the saya 12 times
      then weave the ends back through it) so it doesn't get banged up.

      My wakizashi got here today, but has to go back. The tsuka is cracked on one
      side at the mekugi and the habaki fits too loose in the saya. It's already
      been shimmed so I can't shim it any more without risking it coming loose at
      a bad time. Really a shame since the blade is absolutely razor sharp. Easily
      slices 1/16" wide ribbons from thin paper. Even sharper than my katana,
      which could really use some touchup (not because of anything I've done). I'm
      considering very, very carefully dressing the edge with my ceramics, but it
      scares me a bit. I don't particularly want to trash a real hamon ;)
      --
      Kagemasa
      mysticz28@...
      He who seeks will find, and he who knocks will be let in.
    • Ii Saburou
      ... I m not sure of cloth, but I ve seen leather (I m not sure if it was extant or a later addition) and I know that we see fur coverings in the field. I
      Message 2 of 12 , Oct 31, 2003
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        On Fri, 31 Oct 2003, Bubba wrote:

        > While I'm thinking about it, is there any evidence of some kind of close
        > fitting cloth saya cover? I'm thinking about making something that I can
        > slide on the saya before tying the sageo (I wrap it around the saya 12 times
        > then weave the ends back through it) so it doesn't get banged up.

        I'm not sure of cloth, but I've seen leather (I'm not sure if it was
        extant or a later addition) and I know that we see fur coverings in the
        field. I believe I've also seen same (rayskin) used, but I'm not sure if
        it is a period application--but it seems reasonable. It only seems
        reasonable to protect the saya, especially when it is being used as an
        actual everyday (well, every-war) item.


        -Ii
      • Bubba
        ... I ll make a cover whether it s period or not. No sense in risking scuffing up my uncheap saya simply because they didn t mind doing it back then. I m also
        Message 3 of 12 , Nov 1, 2003
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          Ii Saburou wrote:
          >
          > I'm not sure of cloth, but I've seen leather (I'm not sure if it was
          > extant or a later addition) and I know that we see fur coverings in
          > the field. I believe I've also seen same (rayskin) used, but I'm not
          > sure if
          > it is a period application--but it seems reasonable. It only seems
          > reasonable to protect the saya, especially when it is being used as an
          > actual everyday (well, every-war) item.

          I'll make a cover whether it's period or not. No sense in risking scuffing
          up my uncheap saya simply because they didn't mind doing it back then. I'm
          also very seriously considering adding same from the koiguchi (which I plan
          on replacing) to about 6" below the kurigata. Helps keep from slicing your
          hand if you screw up a draw and keeps the saya from moving around in the
          obi. And it looks cool ;) I'm also thinking about reshaping the tip of the
          katana's saya to match the rounded tip on the wakizashi. I just like how it
          looks.

          I need to find a source of decent differentially tempered bare blades. I'm
          much, much better at making the fittings than the blades. Not enough
          patience, I suppose. Hmm... guess I could teach a student of mine how to
          grind blades and set him at it. Yes, I know they should be forged, but I
          haven't finished the forge yet.
          --
          Kagemasa
          mysticz28@...
          He who seeks will find, and he who knocks will be let in.
        • Yama Kaminari no Date Saburou Yukiie
          Tomodachi, I am curious... Understanding why you would want to protect an expensive saya, I ask (humbly) if your skills are such that you can change the shape
          Message 4 of 12 , Nov 1, 2003
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            Tomodachi,
            I am curious...
            Understanding why you would want to protect an expensive saya,
            I ask (humbly) if your skills are such that you can change the
            shape of the current saya to match the smaller weapon's saya,
            and still get the finish to match that of the origional...
            If they are, then please forgive me for asking...otherwise, You
            may change the shape of the saya, but might not be able o
            reproduce the lacquering...the gloss...and the inish of the
            origional...
            Having made saya myself, remember that you do not know the
            interior profile o f your current saya. You may cut or file into it, and
            find you just opened up a void in the wood...that woulsd mess up
            your day, I think...
            There might be a hollow space where you think there is only
            solid wood...
            As Ii-dono suggested, there are period alternatives that might
            suit your needs...A good cat fur cover, or bear, might be perfect...
            (leapord, tiger, or some pseudo version...), although I do not now
            if these were used in a non-tachi sling...
            Wearing your weapon in a more vertical manner, while more
            comfortable in closed environs, may historically preclude some
            solutions...
            One alternative might be to actually build a less expensive saya
            of a common wood, lacquering the bejeebers (technical term)
            out of it, and using it for average field purposes... for court, you
            might switch to the good one...
            ...and if someone smacks your saya with theirs, ask them if they
            meant it...and cut them down quickly if they did... :-) (kidding...)

            Thoughts...

            Date Saburou Yukiie
            Yama Kaminari Ryu
            http://www.kabutographics.com (under reconstruction...but
            getting better...)
            kabuto@...




            >
            > I'll make a cover whether it's period or not. No sense in risking
            scuffing
            > up my uncheap saya simply because they didn't mind doing it
            back then.
            >
            I'm also thinking about reshaping the tip of the
            > katana's saya to match the rounded tip on the wakizashi. I just
            like how it
            > looks.
            >
          • Bubba
            ... I probably can t match the exact shade and texture, but I could easily refinish the entire saya. ... Yes, but the reshaping required is very minimal,
            Message 5 of 12 , Nov 2, 2003
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              Yama Kaminari no Date Saburou Yukiie wrote:
              >
              > Understanding why you would want to protect an expensive saya,
              > I ask (humbly) if your skills are such that you can change the
              > shape of the current saya to match the smaller weapon's saya,
              > and still get the finish to match that of the origional...
              > If they are, then please forgive me for asking...otherwise, You
              > may change the shape of the saya, but might not be able o
              > reproduce the lacquering...the gloss...and the inish of the
              > origional...

              I probably can't match the exact shade and texture, but I could easily
              refinish the entire saya.

              > Having made saya myself, remember that you do not know the
              > interior profile o f your current saya. You may cut or file into it,
              > and find you just opened up a void in the wood...that woulsd mess up
              > your day, I think...
              > There might be a hollow space where you think there is only
              > solid wood...

              Yes, but the reshaping required is very minimal, mostly just breaking the
              edges at the tip. If I did go through it wouldn't take much to fill the area
              and shape it.

              > As Ii-dono suggested, there are period alternatives that might
              > suit your needs...A good cat fur cover, or bear, might be perfect...
              > (leapord, tiger, or some pseudo version...), although I do not now
              > if these were used in a non-tachi sling...

              Fur just isn't my thing, though. I just don't like the look.

              > Wearing your weapon in a more vertical manner, while more
              > comfortable in closed environs, may historically preclude some
              > solutions...

              Yes, but sometimes you just have to break tradition. I've never been accused
              of following the rules all the time ;)

              > One alternative might be to actually build a less expensive saya
              > of a common wood, lacquering the bejeebers (technical term)
              > out of it, and using it for average field purposes... for court, you
              > might switch to the good one...

              I thought of that, too, but will likely hold off on that until I build a
              complete set of alternate furniture. I may do that this winter if I finish a
              few dozen other projects. I need to finish 2 blades, a tanto and an aikuchi,
              make about a nautical mile of jinmaku, finish 4 suits of armor, and take
              care of another son that will be here any day now.

              > ...and if someone smacks your saya with theirs, ask them if they
              > meant it...and cut them down quickly if they did... :-) (kidding...)

              There aren't many people around me wearing katana, so that won't be much of
              an issue, but I'm sure that there will be plenty of people getting into my
              personal space. I suppose I should refrain from slicing anyone to ribbons,
              especially since it's so hard to find a good sword polisher anymore ;)
              --
              Kagemasa
              mysticz28@...
              He who seeks will find, and he who knocks will be let in.
            • Vince Ferri
              Ohayogozaimasu, Having noted your experience in the message below, I was hoping you could be of assistance. I would like to repair several small nicks in the
              Message 6 of 12 , Nov 3, 2003
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                Ohayogozaimasu,

                Having noted your experience in the message below, I was hoping you
                could be of assistance.

                I would like to repair several small nicks in the black lacquer finish
                on my saya. Would you be kind enough to explain the proper way to make
                that repair, and where to get the correct type of lacquer.

                Arigatougozaimasu,
                Binsu Jiro

                Yama Kaminari no Date Saburou Yukiie wrote:

                > Tomodachi,
                >
                > Having made saya myself,
              • Yama Kaminari no Date Saburou Yukiie
                Binsu-dono, Without seeing the damaged saya, I am hesitant to offer much in the way of anything but general advice on how to repair the nicks. I have made a
                Message 7 of 12 , Nov 3, 2003
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                  Binsu-dono,
                  Without seeing the damaged saya, I am hesitant to offer much in
                  the way of anything but general advice on how to repair the nicks.

                  I have made a few saya, but cannot consider myself a saya-shi
                  by any means, so please understand.

                  The main question would be if they are nicks in a saya that is
                  truely lacquered with real urushi, or some other reproduction.

                  If it is a reproduction, you will have an easier time. The area
                  closely around the nicks should be sanded carefully in a light,
                  circular motion, being careful to avoid making more scratches
                  than you need to. Use a fine grade of sandpaper.

                  If the nick is deep, a suitable wood putty can be used to fill the
                  area, always keeping in mind it is better to use small
                  applications and let them dry.

                  When filled, sand lightly, with a fine grade of sand paper, then
                  with steel wool - the kind that does not have jewelers rouge in it
                  (that pink or blue paste stuff).

                  You will have to determine the type of paint or lacquer that is best
                  suited to your needs. This may take several tries, and some
                  minor reworking.
                  Regular hobby model paint is highly useful, in gloss and semi-
                  gloss, applied with a fine brush. Try to make sure that the dried
                  color will closely match the existing lacquer on the saya.

                  If it is a larger repair, it might be worth while to think about good
                  old rustoleum gloss or semi-gloss in a spray can, and re-paint
                  the entire exterior of the saya.

                  Let all dry several hours, and polish with a regular piece of white
                  letter paper, again in a circular motion. Avoid papers that have a
                  clay finish, like those used in coppiers or printers...The paper will
                  do a fine job polishing, once the grain of the paper is smoothed
                  down.

                  Do this two or three times till the finishes start matching up.

                  When you are done, it might be suitable to give the entire saya a
                  light coat or two of a comercial polyeurathane (if not real urushi,
                  that is...) Your call...

                  If your saya is real urushi, then you might have a tougher time.
                  Real urushi is not only difficult to find outside of Japan, but
                  poisonous, and difficult to use. It is also beyond my ability to
                  comment on further as far as your repairs go, not having seen
                  the damage.

                  I hope this helps some. Good luck to you tomodachi...

                  Date Saburou Yukiie
                  Yama Kaminari Ryu
                  Shi wa hei to de aru - all are equal in the grave...
                  http://www.kabutographics.com (under reconstruction)
                  kabuto@...


                  >
                  > I would like to repair several small nicks in the black lacquer
                  finish
                  > on my saya. Would you be kind enough to explain the proper
                  way to make
                  > that repair, and where to get the correct type of lacquer.
                  >
                  > Arigatougozaimasu,
                  > Binsu Jiro
                  >
                • DP Gregersen
                  On the subject, Real urushi can be mail ordered. Altho not cheap and it s toxic as has been noted: http://www.namikawa-ltd.co.jp
                  Message 8 of 12 , Nov 3, 2003
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                    On the subject,

                    Real urushi can be mail ordered. Altho not cheap and it's toxic as
                    has been noted:

                    http://www.namikawa-ltd.co.jp

                    http://www.japanese-swords.com/

                    http:://www.aquastoneinc.com/

                    Some people use cashew (Japanese urushi-like synthetic).
                    Some people like the result using automobile paint.

                    Pretty good step by step of making a saya, if contemplating such a
                    project,

                    http://www.sayashi.com

                    or read the book "Craft of the Japanese Sword"
                  • Solveig
                    Noble Cousins! Greetings from Solveig! I can tell you where to buy lacquer in the Tokyo area. (It s a very large craft store complex in Kamata.) They may even
                    Message 9 of 12 , Nov 3, 2003
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                      Noble Cousins!

                      Greetings from Solveig! I can tell you where to buy lacquer in the Tokyo
                      area. (It's a very large craft store complex in Kamata.) They may even do
                      mail order. I don't know whether U.S. customs will be particularly happy
                      about letting it in. As for appearance. I you are familiar with real
                      lacquer, then the difference can be quite apparent.
                      --

                      Your Humble Servant
                      Solveig Throndardottir
                      Amateur Scholar

                      +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
                      | Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM, CoS |
                      | deMoivre Institute | Carolingia Statis Mentis Est |
                      | mailto:nostrand@... | mailto:bnostran@... |
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                    • Bubba
                      ... The few times I ve messed with the real thing (ok, once ;) I m apparently not affected by it much. No more than working with carbon fiber. There are a
                      Message 10 of 12 , Nov 3, 2003
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                        Solveig wrote:
                        >
                        > Greetings from Solveig! I can tell you where to buy lacquer in the
                        > Tokyo area. (It's a very large craft store complex in Kamata.) They
                        > may even do mail order. I don't know whether U.S. customs will be
                        > particularly happy about letting it in. As for appearance. I you are
                        > familiar with real lacquer, then the difference can be quite apparent.

                        The few times I've messed with the real thing (ok, once ;) I'm apparently
                        not affected by it much. No more than working with carbon fiber. There are a
                        whole lot more dangerous things in my garage than lacquer. Methlyene
                        chloride comes to mind ;)

                        That said, I prefer using epoxy based paint instead of lacquer since it's
                        very humid in this part of Ansteorra and epoxy is waterproof. Also easier to
                        match it if you ever have to fix it (not likely).
                        --
                        Kagemasa
                        mysticz28@...
                        He who seeks will find, and he who knocks will be let in.
                      • DP Gregersen
                        I m not a botonist, but the urushi tree is a distant relation of poison oak, and the sickness produces similar symptoms. Just as some people are affected more
                        Message 11 of 12 , Nov 3, 2003
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                          I'm not a botonist, but the urushi tree is a distant relation of
                          poison oak, and the sickness produces similar symptoms.

                          Just as some people are affected more by poison oak than others, it
                          would seem to be the same with urushi. Artisans who work with the
                          stuff regularly do develop a tolerance. I saw a video once of
                          someone smearing it on with fingers with no ill effects.

                          Do be careful, but as long as you don't get it on yourself, you
                          should probably be ok. As far as importing it, it seems to be a
                          gray area. Paint is paint, most likely as far as customs is
                          concerned.



                          > The few times I've messed with the real thing (ok, once ;) I'm
                          apparently
                          > not affected by it much. No more than working with carbon fiber.
                          There are a
                          > whole lot more dangerous things in my garage than lacquer. Methlyene
                          > chloride comes to mind ;)
                          >
                        • Bubba
                          ... From what I understand the two plants have the same poison. If that s the case it won t do anything to me at all. I can roll naked in poison ivy and
                          Message 12 of 12 , Nov 7, 2003
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                            DP Gregersen wrote:
                            > I'm not a botonist, but the urushi tree is a distant relation of
                            > poison oak, and the sickness produces similar symptoms.

                            From what I understand the two plants have the same poison. If that's the
                            case it won't do anything to me at all. I can roll naked in poison ivy and
                            nothing happens... well, the poison ivy and anyone watching might get upset
                            ;)

                            > Do be careful, but as long as you don't get it on yourself, you
                            > should probably be ok. As far as importing it, it seems to be a
                            > gray area. Paint is paint, most likely as far as customs is
                            > concerned.

                            There are places to get it domestically, but I've been doing a bit of
                            reading and have found that there are better wearing things out there. Epoxy
                            and automotive paint being very high on the list. Not period, but good for
                            things that will actually be worn regularly.
                            --
                            Kagemasa
                            mysticz28@...
                            He who seeks will find, and he who knocks will be let in.
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