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Ware can i buy wood for a sheath

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Posts: 11
Eminent Member Apprentice Bladesmith
Topic starter
 

Im making a Japanese tanto and i was wondering ware can i buy wood long enough for the sheath?

 
Posted : 16/02/2023 9:02 pm
Posts: 11
Eminent Member Apprentice Bladesmith
Topic starter
 

The blade is 19 cm long and the handle will also be part of the same wood that the sheath is the handle will be approximately 11 1/2 cm

 
Posted : 16/02/2023 9:16 pm
Joshua C States
Posts: 315
Reputable Member Journeyman Bladesmith (5yr)
 

Check your area for woodworking supply stores. I often by my handle wood from the local Woodworker's Source. These types of stores sell all types of wood, domestics and exotics, in larger pieces of varying thicknesses.

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

 
Posted : 17/02/2023 9:35 am
Joshua C States
Posts: 315
Reputable Member Journeyman Bladesmith (5yr)
 

Check your area for woodworking supply stores. I often by my handle wood from the local Woodworker's Source. These types of stores sell all types of wood, domestics and exotics, in larger pieces of varying thicknesses.

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

 
Posted : 17/02/2023 9:36 am
Kevin R. Cashen
Posts: 118
Estimable Member Admin
 

It would also depend on the wood you wish to use, some exotics are tougher to find than others. Also be aware that some woods will react to steel polished in the Japanese style in negative ways.  Years ago, when I still did those type of blades, I had the wood all picked out and purchased the handle and saya all fitted out, only to find the blade turning a light brown within a couple of hours of being sheathed.  This resulted in a full repolish down to 3000X+ and the remaking if the handle and saya.

Wood for scabbards can be a narrow selection that works, especially for saya.  The wood needs to be a hard wood, but one that is soft enough to easily fit and a hug the blade without abrading it.  For European scabbards, I am partial to poplar, it is nonreactive, easy to carve and historically accurate, going back a long way.  For saya and other blades that need a stronger scabbard I like alder.  Fortunately, both can be purchased almost anywhere, I get mine at the local Menards.

If you want something that on its own is more glamourous and matching the handle, you will have to do some hunting and test out what may work, just avoid anything acidic, such as oak, walnut etc...  Maple, beech or cherry may be possibilities.  And, with saya, always remember to scrape, never grind to fit.   

This post was modified 1 year ago 2 times by Kevin R. Cashen
 
Posted : 17/02/2023 11:53 am
BRION TOMBERLIN
Posts: 105
Forum moderator Forum Moderator
 

Hey Hunter. The traditional wood for a Japanese sword scabbard and handle is a species of magnolia found in Japan. Called Ho wood. We can get it over here, but it is expensive. So, a lot of people use poplar and ash. Holly can work too. Sometimes Home Depot carries poplar as does Hobby Lobby. As Ed stated traditional fitting is done with chisels and scrapers.

Brion

 
Posted : 19/02/2023 9:21 pm
Posts: 10
Active Member Apprentice Bladesmith (5yr)
 

Hunter,

As Brion mentioned, the traditional wood for knife sayas was Magnolia.  Not the easiest wood to find, but if you contact some hardwood lumberyards in your area, they may have some. It was typically used because the fine-textured grain is very straight.  As a result, there is little to no warping.  Do not use boards with knots for the saya. As you provided dimensions for the blade and handle, I might suggest looking into spindle blanks (not woodturning blanks).  I checked around and found one place, Got Wood in Donalds, SC; they are out of them now, but call them up @ 864-723-2765.  Perhaps they can refer you.

I had a beautiful Magnolia in my front yard.  Died due to root rot from a massive flood here.  I wish I had had time to mill the wood, but my family and I were rendered homeless, so I had my thoughts elsewhere, as you can imagine.

Sterling Sam, ABS Apprentice & Instructor of Wood Technology

 
Posted : 24/02/2023 8:18 pm
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