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Tim Hamilton http://chidokan.tripod.com/
A man's word is his honour, a womans word... I never listen to them long enough...
They will have to pry the sword from my cold dead fingers....
Why are you reading this instead of being out training???? Excuses not accepted....
I made a bokken out of cocobolo, which is a South American rosewood, for my sensei. It weighs almost as much as my shinken. Not to boast but for your information, it turned out beautifully with deep reds great weight and balance and it is perhaps the toughest wood in the world. The only drawback is that to have a blank cut with the grain properly aligned; you may have to shell out quite a bit of cash. The plank I used cost $65. I felt that it was a small price to pay for the project and the opportunity to give a nice gift to Maeda Sensei.
I am trying to make bokutou out of lignum vitae, also one of the hardest metal woods known, they used to launch ships with it and use it for the housing on ship propellers it is just that blood tough and weighs a tone; it is just too dense to shape at this rate it might take me years to make one blade and I had such I hopes of making a JO & Shoto too
My dealer did try to talk me out of it; he says I should be able to break shinken with this thing :-) not that I would want to but if it can do it, it should last a looong time
And the best bit is the slab was freecI just had to hire the crane and 6 blokes to help me lift it, anyway I sort of digressed but I agree with these guys make your own it is great fun and at least you know what wood it is!
At the end of the day it does not matter where the oak came from, oak is oak it is all around the same density the better wood to use is wood with a tighter grain