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TSUKA-MAKI (the art of wrapping the tsuka)

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Here's an interesting string wrap done on a pseudo-traditional Japanese style handle. 6 individual strands of dyed 1.5mm square cotton cord on a poplar wood core. Rayskin panels, mild steel fittings, and composite seam reinforcement of 6 ply construction paper saturated with wood glue.

 

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I hope to have some leather ones done yet this year on tactical style knives and I'm lovin' this cord/string wrap stuff more and more!

 

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Shoving all 12 ends thru the little eyelets at the butt end of the handle and then getting it all thru the hole in the steel fitting and the core and getting the knots tied took longer than it would take me to get out of a straight jacket. If I keep on with the string wraps I have a feeling I may actually need to learn the jacket escape... :lol: Usually I'll heat nylon cord and smash it into an aglet to aid in shoving it thru a hole but the cotton cord doesn't melt so well....so I saturated it with super thin CA and snipped it with a sharp pair of wire cutters the make a hard, pointed end on the strings. Still, it took a lot of compression of the first 10 strings to get the last 2 in there.

 

 

Brian

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Hopefully it's going a good direction.. :) I hope to have some pix and tips of some pretty cool leather string wraps over the next few weeks. At any rate, I hope it's all good~ B)

 

Brian

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1

Edited by Robert Kobayashi

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Good stuff, Bob! B)

 

I have seen this one before but never tried the technique of incorporating the paper forms into a whole assembly that is secured over the top and bottom of the handle like that. It sure does make for consistantly shaped and well formed openings. Which always looks nice.

 

By the way, my wife loves the mokume bracelets. I'm so impressed with your craftsmanship (and jeez, what a nice guy!) and wanted to thank you again for them. It's always nice to meet Internet Friends in person and swap war stories and play show and tell.

 

Brian

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I'm curious, how necessarry are the paper thingies? I'm going to be building a tanto soon, would like to do a cord wrap over a pocket-change-mokume handle (thin skin of copper/cupro-nickel), but if I'm doing a simple two-strand twist, can you get it to work without paper? What does the paper do, besides enhance shape?

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If you are doing a totally traditional wrap with the tape style wrapping (tsukaito) and you are doing a wrap where the tape flips over then you pretty much have to use the hishigame paper triangles. Not only do they form the crisp diamond shape but they keep the flip from collapsing when the handle is under stress.

 

String wraps and alternative style wraps like I do don't need triangles under them and if you are going to soak the wrap in epoxy or CA they really don't need triangles. In fact I have abandoned the traditional stuff 'cause no matter how well done and tight it is the little triangles eventually work their way out and the wrap gets sloppy. If well done they may not get sloppy for a long, long time but the paper eventually gives it up under the sweat and pressure of constant use.

 

This is one of those things that takes a while to get good at. Handle wrapping can be done a lot of ways with many different materials and mind sets and it takes few under your belt to decide what works best for you and the style you desire.

 

But a traditional wrap where the tape flips and crosses over doesn't look good very long with out triangles in there to act as a form.

 

Brian

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Ok, that's exactly the answer I was looking for. Thank you.

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HEY BRIAN,

 

I know this post is pretty old, but I just stumbled on it. I saw where you had tried to make a tutorial on your wrapping, MAN did that ever come to be. That would be great. Looks like your use of para cord and wrapping method are the way to go. Does this method got a style name in japanese? I have tried to match it with some charts and pics and I can't find one that looks like yours?

 

Hope you reply.

 

Scott

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Publicly I'm pretty much done with the "Japanese" sword thing. I tried a stint at full timing it, fell flat on my butt and went broke, and got all wierd in the head about the whole thing. <_<

 

Anyway, someday there may be actual tutorials on how I do some of my wraps but the key really is the execution and precision and the use of modern materials. I started by doing the standard Japanese wrap with silk tape with the little paper triangles under it. I learned to do it traditionally, then progressed to finding what was inadequate or could be improved with a little engineering, and then went free form and invented pretty much everything I now use on my own.

 

So, I don't really have any resources to forward and I don't know the proper Japanese words or if there even are words that specifically denote the types of wraps that I do. To me it's all ad lib and the product of self learning/self teaching. The traditional stuff OK but I wanted something more robust and less finicky and anal...so I made my own rules.

 

In the end it bit me in the fanny but it sure does look nice, work well, and lasts a looonnngg time. :lol:

 

Brian

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Please send my links about tsuka maki and information about tsuka maki.

Please tell me what you know about tsuka maki.

 

You can send it to www.x05140le@brgg.at :rolleyes:

 

 

Thanks Clemens

 

PS: I`m sorry for my bad english. :unsure:

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Matthew Baldwin does a killer tuska maki tutorial. It's not up on his myspace now but he is always open to sharing. I will try to get him to post here.

 

I am learning some wrap styles from Larry Nowicki and my girl friend has some neat cord wraps that she does.

 

I have been making swords for 10+ years now...and boy is it harder to do a good tsuka wrap. True Art !

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I figured a way around the papertrick altogether with leather. looks very close to what you guys have shown here. gotta try it with parachute cord. will post link later.

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Heres a link with a similar tutorial as the original poster linked. Some of the same pictures are used but with more details and some photographs. You can edit the link to show the whole article about construction of a Shinken post forging. Erik Nelson I believe gets credit for the tutorial.

 

Tsukamaki part:

http://www.ausblade.com/images/articles/shinken/Part3.pdf

 

Edited to show whole pdf:

http://www.ausblade.com/images/articles/Bi...ara_Shinken.pdf

 

Here is the original article:

http://www.ausblade.com/articles/34/

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a few weeks ago i picked up and very beat up wakizashi. the handle had string wrapping it as cut and broken in many places the fuchi was missing along with the hibaki

 

i'm restoring it my self .... cant make it worse than it is .... the string looks cotton

as i was unwrapping it it had what looks like cane twisted in the folds and the paper wedges ill post some pics of the wrap when i can

325a.jpg

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a few weeks ago i picked up and very beat up wakizashi. the handle had string wrapping it as cut and broken in many places the fuchi was missing along with the hibaki

 

i'm restoring it my self .... cant make it worse than it is .... the string looks cotton

as i was unwrapping it it had what looks like cane twisted in the folds and the paper wedges ill post some pics of the wrap when i can

 

 

Can we see the blade please. Before and after, pretty please.

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Can we see the blade please. Before and after, pretty please.

 

 

i unwrapped the handle before i took pics but here is the whole thing

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Edited by tengew

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I followed the cottontail customs tutorial and owe Josh a giant thank you for helping me complete my first Tsuka. It's far from perfect but I am happy with final results. 

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  • Like 1

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I thought I would mention that I found it very helpful to use this method for making hishigami instead of folding rice paper. 

http://www.zatoichi.de/katana_01/images/tsukamaki/hishigami02.htm

 

The only thing I did different was to cut each triangle out of cardstock instead of one continuous strip.  It turned madness into sanity. 

20191130_065744.jpg

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