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Re: bokken making
Village Old Timer
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Quote:

samuraiinc wrote:
ive made a few bokkens myself so i can help you out a bit. first of all steam bending is a BAD idea, as it takes forever and where the hell are you going to find a steamer. what i do is trace a bokken i didnt make onto the board (oak is the best its easy to find and not much money, plus its durable) then i cut it out with a jigsaw, and simply rout the edges with a roundover bit, then sand it to perfection, simple as that. if you dont have these tools, only buy them if you want to make a lot of bokkens otherwise it'd be cheaper to just buy one. happy crafting.


yep i was going to say something similar about steaming. no disrespect intended but i would spend a little bit more time than just giving it a pencil round with the router.

once you have jigsawed the basic shape, draw a center line up the edge side with a pencil.(don't loose this mark!) work out how much of a bevel you wish to give it and mark that as a parallel line following the shape of the blade. start getting into it with the planer until you get close. switch to a sander with course grit to get it closer and work up the grades. a 45 bevel router bit will look good on the top edge and mask the 'fatness' a bit. remember to leave a shoulder between handle/ blade for the tsuba to back onto.
the handle you could ruff out with a biggish round over bit on corners and then shape it with the sander.

** point to note, take your time with the jigsaw and use lots of nice sharp blades, if you don't it will start burning and cutting out of square, which is a pain and is.. time consuming to fix. remember you can hire good tools rather than buying cheap and nasty crap.

i've almost finished a bisento i'm making as a gift for my teacher, i used much of the above advice to reasonable success(17 years of carpentry helps a bit too, he he)

i used tasmanian oak for the lot, the hard bit is joining the staff to the head, i went for a mortice and tennon joint, i have made the tsuba out of 40 mm tassy oak to, i just have to rebate it onto the blade maybe 12 mm or so and the sand it up ready for a finish, anybody got any ideas for that, varnish or linseed oil ???

i will be interested to see how it holds up in use, i have my doubts about the strenght of the joint. i see why metal brackets are used on the ones in hombu.

good luck!!

Posted on: 2005/1/29 18:27
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darren stewart

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Re: bokken making
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yeah i agree about the bevelling, the one i bought actually has a bevel, looks like they used maybe a 35 degree chamfer bit. as well after routing the edges with the roundover bit i always sand it until it looks much better. make sure you use top speed with the jigsaw otherwise as was afore-mentioned it will burn the wood. when routing try as much as possible to rout with the grain of the wood or it can chip and shred which could ruin the entire thing. dont get flustered if you goof up, otherwise you'll just wreck it even more. if youre using it to practice with it doesnt have to be the most beutiful piece of art ever made. p.s- i too am working in the carpentry industry, but im only a young 18 year old jsut starting out.

Posted on: 2005/1/30 3:21
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Re: bokken making
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you are an excellent source of info then! I'll keep that in mind! do you know if Ipe is generally a close grained wood? the piece that I made my bokken out of is fairly tight grained( I mean that the rings are close togather), I'm not sure if my terminology is correct... heh heh..
Alan McPherson

Posted on: 2005/1/30 3:51
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Re: bokken making
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yes almost all hardwoods are close grained, ipe is especially closed grained and very dense making it strong and durable. however it is also very heavy, and due to the density fairly hard to work with, make sure not to burn the motor of your cutting tool while dealing with it. its also pretty expensive stuff. good wood for beginners would be oak, maple, and at the most hickory, if you are an experienced practitioner then the higher priced woods are a good bet as you will be using them more often than someon who just loooves making bokkens (thats me)

Posted on: 2005/1/30 7:34
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Re: bokken making
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boiled linseed oil is a good finish, not sticky and is really scratch and crack resistant, also the colour is nice. for best effect use a prestain before applying finish.

Posted on: 2005/1/30 7:36
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Re: bokken making
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samuraiinc wrote:
make sure you use top speed with the jigsaw otherwise as was afore-mentioned it will burn the wood.


don't push too hard, let the tool do the work, go slow and as i said cut to the outside of your pencil mark, if you lose the mark you are guessing. really, a band saw is the tool of choice, but harder to get use of.

Quote:
when routing try as much as possible to rout with the grain of the wood or it can chip and shred which could ruin the entire thing.


this is normally a case of incorrectly using the tool, you always go against the rotation; ie. the jigsaw cuts up, so you push down. a circular saw pushes back so you push forward. the router spins clockwise, so you move it anticlockwise on the piece. as such the base plate of the tool is pulled to the piece, safe!.this is VERY important, the tool doesn't discrimanate between wood and flesh.

"please be sure to read, understand and follow the instructions that come with your power tool. knowing how to use your power tool well will greatly reduce the chance of injury, and there is no more important safty rule than to wear these{points at eye's] safty glasses."

norm abram, the new yankee workshop.

Posted on: 2005/1/30 10:55
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darren stewart

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Re: bokken making
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yes a bandsaw is the best choice, but they can cost a lot of money and then you need space to store it in, if i had the money and space i would get a bandsaw but i dont yet. try to get an orbital jigsaw, this will do most of the pushing for you. dazza do you know if theres a certain way to run the wood through the router/shaper. i have it set up with a router table so the bit rises from underneath the table. ive been having some problems while working aginst the grain with rather large shreds being ripped off, and in some cases going deeper than the router bit is going to shave off. any advice would be appreciated.

Posted on: 2005/1/31 2:56
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Re: bokken making
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when doing it with a router table (mini spindle moulder) the same 'against the rotation' thing applies. with the table in front of you(fence to the rear) you would feed the work piece from right to left, thus the cutter is actually pulling the wood to the fence.

it might help to mould the areas across the grain first, and fingers crossed when you mould the other edges any spoil will be taken off. don't try and take everything off at once if it's a biggish cut, do it in stages.

you should not really have too many drama's if you use a decent t.c.t cutter with reasonable timber.


Quote:

. ive been having some problems while working aginst the grain with rather large shreds being ripped off, and in some cases going deeper than the router bit is going to shave off. any advice would be appreciated.


it may be crappy heartwood when this happens, is there a darker sappy type resin below where the shreds are being torn? even so, i'd check blade quality and sharpness, cutting speed and feed speed. and as i said a bit at a time.

you should seek hands on advice frome your technical school teacher, who i'm sure will be more than happy to help.

please use all guards and a push stick,

i hope my rant is of some help,

happy routing



Posted on: 2005/1/31 10:33
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darren stewart

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Re: bokken making
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I know the availability of "steaming" equipment is a difficulty, but any other way of shaping the curve will cause the wood grain to cross the "blade" right about the center point. This means simply that it will break right there! Only when the grain follows the curve will you have the strength that will withstand long and hard usage. I suppose it's all about what you want to do with the bokken. Do you want to just do solo movement with it and just have it look pretty, or do you want to train with it? All the ones I get made for me by the Amish are steamed and bent, only hickory wood is used and that holds up to heavy usage. I think it's one of the best woods to use.
Ed Martin aka Papa-san

Posted on: 2005/2/1 2:42
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Re: bokken making
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this leads me to my next question, what speed should i use with the router,1 being lowest 10 being highest.

Posted on: 2005/2/1 4:47
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