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  • #46
    Carcinogenic? You obviously don't like your mate , Neil!

    (just looked it up, it's safe)

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    • #47
      its to do with the dust you make, rather than the finished article...there are quite a few woods that are unsafe to work. My mate Fred reacts horribly with yew, which is unfortunate as he makes longbows....

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      • #48
        You can save yourself a lot of trouble sanding if you burnish the wood when you by a bokuto for contact practice.
        Get a teaspoon and with your thumb in the bowl of the spoon rub all over the wood with quite high pressure (as much as you can without hurting your thumb and wrist). This will compact the surface fibres and make them less likely to fracture on impact. The bokuto I use is nearly 15 years old. I use it for tachi uchi, jodo and many years of Niten Ichi Ryu, and is still virtually unmarked.

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        • #49
          same as the old 'bouncing a ball on the cricket bat' routine... The thread had me thinking about making a ash/willow bokken now it has been revived, but I can see a potential problem with the size of the joint, probably too weak... But I will try it anyway!

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Peter West View Post
            You can save yourself a lot of trouble sanding if you burnish the wood when you by a bokuto for contact practice.
            Get a teaspoon and with your thumb in the bowl of the spoon rub all over the wood with quite high pressure (as much as you can without hurting your thumb and wrist). This will compact the surface fibres and make them less likely to fracture on impact. The bokuto I use is nearly 15 years old. I use it for tachi uchi, jodo and many years of Niten Ichi Ryu, and is still virtually unmarked.
            Great tip!

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            • #51
              Originally posted by chidokan View Post
              bokken are a bit more difficult to pull off compared to european wasters due to the curvature,(I make them as well, along with longbows and arrowshafts) but I cheat initially by using a router to profile the general shape, then back to spokeshaves to get what I am after. Nicest wood I ever used was an African walnut.... apparently carcinogenic, but finished a beautiful golden colour and a really nice balance... gave it to my mate Neil as he was impressed with it.
              I actually find the bokken easier to do, as I can do it with a spokeshave. The western swords i make with distal taper and an actual blade profile, so its a bit more complex than most

              I even put a touch of taper on the bokken so its rotational dynamics more closely approximate an actual sword

              www.historicarts.co.uk

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              • #52
                I also balance bokken specifically for junior students. Some bokken I come across have a 'flat' balance, rather than tip or handle heavy, and I like them to feel the kissaki cutting, so rather than give them a flat or tsuka heavy bokken I make a tip heavy version. Once they get the feel, I am not so bothered as to type of balance they get, but usually have a devil of a job parting them from their tip heavy one...

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