Hmmm..... bit of a heathen idea in wall mounting them. But then why
would anyone display three ? If you are fortunate enough to have that
many, get a chest. _Displaying_ them all at once seems just a bit
Here's a (poor) photo of mine
It's intended for a katana / wakizashi pair. Overall size is about 15"
by 15" - should maybe be a bit lower, but I wanted space for a decent
mon on it. Mine is complicated and has a whole 7 parts to it! Usually
the centre panel is just one piece (5 parts), but mine is a thin panel
with a grooved rail top and bottom, the top rail also being curved.
The simpler 3 part ones look ugly, are unstable and wasteful of timber.
Use separate feet, with the grain running front to back and with
adequate depth to be stable.
They're pretty easy to make, but you'll be needing a bandsaw, jigsaw or
hand coping saw. Do some web searching for style (look for
"katanakake"), measure your swords carefully, then go to it with your
pencil. All the hard stuff is in the uprights - the rest is simple.
Watch the width. Don't make it too wide if you want to put a wakizashi
on it. Don't make the uprights too thick either, if there's only a
small distance from the tsuba to the kurikata (cord fastening knob).
I recommend making the cut-outs in the uprights first, then shaping
their outer curve afterwards. Use a Forstner bit to drill the base of
the cutout, then saw into the hole. It's easier than trying to saw a
narrow internal curve. Radius the edges of the uprgihts well too - the
basic commercial ones are bandsawn with square edges and look ugly.
You can also do a lot of exterior shaping with your favourite
spokeshave-like tool, but it's really a simple shape.
The uprights are mortice and tenoned into the feet. The centre panel on
mine is loose, held between rails that are blind tenoned into the
uprights, with a further groove between them. If you make the centre
panel thicker and solid, either biscuit it on or use more tenons.
For a wall mounting rack, these are usually a shallow rectangular tray
hung on the wall. The corner joints could be simply butted and screwed
or biscuited, or could even use Japanese twisted dovetails - your call.
For a finish, it needs to be sanded obsessively first. Mine is natural
timber with a wax finish on it and lots of burnishing afterwards, and
I've also made them for others with a fake lacquer finish on, using
black shellac. Your mon in gold leaf is a nice touch, but don't make it
your first try at gilding work.
It's dead-simple: 4 pieces of oak and I freehanded the kanji with a router.
I cheated, though, and used dowels instead of tenons (grin) The uprights
were cut out on a bandsaw and cleaned up with a sanding drim chucked into a
drill press (don't have an oscillating spindle yet, but some day......)
Gary (IYAF, MJER)
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