View Full Version : Wazamono help!
09-21-2000, 08:08 PM
Hello, I was curious where one can get bamboo to test the sharpness of blades. Is there any other option then bamboo? and which is better green or dried? Thanks.
As for bamboo -- you just have to find some growing. Use fresh cut, green bamboo. Sizes between 1" and 2" should be fine (depending on the thickness of the walls).
Other, softer material is the straw mat covering used on "tatami" mats. These have a variety of names, most commonly: tatami-omote ["mat covering"], goza [reed matting], wara [straw ... usually woven as a "rug"], and makiwara [rolled straw].
[photo pirated from Will Graves' post at http://188.8.131.52/vbulletin/showthread.php?threadid=1991]
You can buy brand new, fresh, never-been-used mats for about $3.50 each from Mugen Dachi Co. http://www.tameshigiri.com -- talk to Dave ... but he's going to Japan soon and may not be in.
Anyway, they have a great product.
Tatami-omote rolled up into a "makiwara" is the standard fare for cutting now-a-days because it is more uniform in thickness (about 4") and it's cheaper (in Japan it's free cuz' it's thrown away when resurfaced; the tatami makers really love you to come by and relieve them of the task of throwing the stuff away).
After rolling up the wara (fold it in thirds like a letter before putting it in an envelope) and fastening it in 5 places with heavy-duty rubber bands (double-wrap), soak it for about 8 hours; then stand it up to drain for a couple of hours. The mat should be damp, but not moist -- and definitely not dripping.
Stick the rolled up mat on a cutting stand and "go to town."
09-22-2000, 05:58 AM
Thanks I never knew about using the tatami omote. As gor going out and finding bamboo growing I could do that but it would take awhile to find some here in NC. Thanks again for the info.
A couple of other things. Cutting tatami omote or goza mats is probably better to start with. A mistake with this material is much more forgiving than bamboo. An incorrect cut on a chunk of bamboo is a potential sword bender or even wrecker. Also it is a good idea to make sure the nakago of the sword is long enough that the tsuka is properly supported. Breaking a handle while cutting is a nightmare I don't even like to imagine. ( Guy, I saw a video of someone breaking a handle during tamishirigiri, Yeeeowww! He was lucky the sword didn't fly into the crowd! )
Please remember to check the mekugi after every cut and
make sure the stand is properly supported. Never try to cut dry bamboo as that stuff gets hard as stone.
Oh, also, If you are using an old sword consider getting it magnafluxed before cutting with it. A serious bend and later straightening and polish can effectively hide fatigued steel beneath a pretty surface.
Tamishirigiri is serious & dangerous stuff. It's a lot of fun but treat it with the respect it deserves.
09-22-2000, 11:50 AM
I think East Coast Martial Arts (email@example.com) sells tatami omote for 3.00 each for quantities of 50 or more. That is were I got mine. They are not brand new, but have been soiled by authetic Japanese feet.
09-25-2000, 07:08 AM
Thanks to the photo credit from Guy Power Sensei. I actually shot that pic, out back of the Rec. Center in Orlando. Beautiful sight, ain't it?
09-25-2000, 11:59 AM
Hey Mr. Power, Let me see if I got this right. You use a picture of my tatami to put a plug in for someone elses business? Oh man, am I honored! If I was as bad a**ed as you , I'd come all the way out there to kick yer butt. No just kidding. Seems like a Mad magazine thing. Anyway, are you going to R. McCartneys tai kai in Seattle? Like to meet up with sometime. Let me know. Saint Bob the Elder
You use a picture of my tatami to put a plug in for someone elses business?
ouch! Well, so much for my "business sense." Sorry about that unintentional faux pas.
are you going to R. McCartneys tai kai in Seattle?
"...I'd come all the way out there to kick yer butt...." Hmmmm ... Time, Place, Opportunity? So ... I'm to provide you the TPO to do me the dirty? Do you see "stupid" written on my forehead? <pensively looking first at a mirror>.
Actually, I'm trying to negotiate my work schedule so that I can go. Things are still up in the air right now. I've been away from the office for training and haven't had the chance to properly thank Russell for the invite. I'll know better on Monday.
09-27-2000, 07:56 PM
Howdy. Well dumb old me can't figure out how to privately reply. Anyway , really i was just ragging on you. I wonder if they got any orders. Maybe a comission is in order! I caouuld always use a new straight sword. Bob Elder
hey, we're just funnin' here. I notice in my reply above the parenthetical note did not appear -- probably because I put it in angled brackets?? It should have said:
Do you see "stupid" written on my forehead? (Sheepish grin on face as I quickly look in the mirror)
Anyway, I knew you were having some fun :D
Seriously, though, I won't know until next week if I can swing the time off to go up to Russell's taikai -- we're finishing up a "Level 1 Milestone" and everyone (including worthless ole me) gets dragged into the vacuum. I sure want to go so I can meet the other batto "shakers and movers."
And seriously, sorry about the gaff at using a photo on your site to plug another product.
09-27-2000, 10:01 PM
Believe me, it's no big deal. I was just "funnin'" as Granny used to say. However in a turn of events tonite I will not be in Seattle. Boob Elder
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