Saya on commission

 As you can read on this page I previous made two saya out of interest and eventually out of necessity. It gives great joy and satisfaction to make and eventually train with a custom made saya. Not only is the fitting perfect but you can really make the saya personal.

Now I was asked to make a custom saya for my sensei.
Here you will be able to see the whole process. 

The first thing was to cut the available piece of magnolia wood into two equal sized parts.  This was done with the help of my friend Denys Goossens who is a talented wood worker and carpenter. 

Than the lines where made as to see where the blade will be positioned.
With a knife I create the sides of where the blade will rest on in the wood.
The side where the sharp edge of the blade will be is less than 2 millimeterIMG_8851

The next step is chiseling the first half out.
IMG_8852With some good chisels it is as easy as cutting a cake. Magnolia wood is really such nice wood to work with.
IMG_8855      IMG_8856

After chiseling both pieces of wood in such a way that the blade fits in half the thickness of the blade it is time to glue them together.    I use the rabbit glue as to ensure nothing will be hsed that might effect the blade.    

  It is a perfect fit. Before I glued the two pieces together I cut one half already in the destined shape so I would know how far I can go with shaping the saya.   

  Here I’m shaping the actual form of the saya. First the basics before defining it.  With a sandpaper machine it goes nice and fast.    


A little update: today I found some time to sandpaper the saya more to its traditional shape.   


Today I found some time to give the saya the last sandpaper and start on the kojiri and kurigata. Both again made from buffel horn. It’s both a nice and nasty job. It is beauty that you create but it smells terrible and gives an enormous amount of (smelly) dust.    

Today I had a visit from a client who ordered a saya for one of his shinken. He also brought a beauty of a shinken that was made in Japan. A wonderful opportunity to see the master’s work at hand. What a difference.  With yhat in mind I continued with the kojiri and the kurigata.  


Everything made to fit and ready to put things together:    

 All the pieces are put together and several layers of primer with in between sandpapering are done. 

Time to make some little colour samples: 


After several layers of primer and sandpaper again it’s time to start creating some colour.   The indicated wish is dark Japanese red. But this might change…let’s see..  

to be continued….