View Full Version : Mekugi pegs
01-17-2001, 06:43 PM
Hi , I forge blades . Mainly Katonas. I make all mounings including the Saya.So far I have just used brass Mekugi pegs that I make to fix handle to tang . I am currently making a handle for my instructors 450 year old blade and he wants bamboo mekugi rods . I found a site that sells them outragously high because they want to include a fancy wooden box. 25 pegs with box for $20.oo. Does anyone know where I can purchace 50 mekugi rods for less? A plastic zipp bag is fancy enough for me and should be a heck of a lot cheeper...Thanks Irongut/Ed a Ashley..Blade maker...
01-18-2001, 01:35 AM
Make your own? Get some decent sized bamboo (not green). Old take soaked in oil is good. Put the bamboo on the side of a grindstone and taper it down to the approximate size you require. Then tap it into the mekugi-ana until you get a good fit and mark off the length to be from the taper close to the tsuka. You can then round off to finish the mekugi.I make mine then put them in oil. I use the Tsuka part of old shinai.
I would never use a bras or any metal. The bamboo mekugi acts as a shock absorber when you cut. This cut prove dangerous.
Hope this helps
[Edited by hyaku on 01-18-2001 at 07:59 AM]
01-19-2001, 05:10 AM
I understand that at the last resort I can use chop sticks if they are made of bamboo. Bamboo is not redaly avaluble where I live , so the search is still on for me . I may have to end up paying higher price for those pegs in that expencive fancy wooden box . I olny do a blade evry 2 months or so so I won't need a lot of them ..Thanks again..Ed...
01-22-2001, 07:27 PM
I wonder if thin dowel, cut to size would work? Should be able to make many with a single dowel rod..obtainable for pennies from any hardware store.
01-24-2001, 12:21 PM
Please don't get creative with mekugi pegs. It's not worth risking damage to your sword or risking failure.
Bamboo is used because of the strength of the long, fiberous grain. Dowels do not have this, and as Colin-san pointed out, using metals in for mekugi (or in the primary position of a double pegged tsuka) will cause excessive vibration and stress to the nakago.
I personally am not a big fan of using chop sticks for mekugi. Mekugi are supposed to be made of very hard, dense bamboo, and is selected from the lower part of such bamboo close to the skin.
Mekugi is a critical part of your sword, and is not worth adding risk of failure by experimenting with materials, IMHO.
Personally, I will either make them or buy them from a good source. If I buy them, I will still destructively test a couple to confirm their strength. I'd pay the twenty bucks and assure your customers that you have inserted real mekugi that you have tested for strength.
01-24-2001, 05:18 PM
Thanks Nathan; I used the dowel rods on this handle. I am having second thoughts on them and I guess I will pay the outragous price that a unamed company is selling quality bamboo pegs fo $ 20.00 plus shipping for 25 pegs. This will make me feel better about the safty and all . I have learned quite a bit with this one post here and am grateful to all of you for your help...Irongut...
01-24-2001, 05:53 PM
Glad it was of some use!
02-08-2001, 12:57 AM
I'm sure that if you were to ask Gary M. for just the pegs he'd be more then willing to accommodate your request...
02-08-2001, 04:05 AM
Thanks. Could you help me locate Gary? I would really like to find a sourse for these pegs...Irongut/Ed Ashley...
02-08-2001, 12:30 PM
Gary Murtha can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a page from his site regarding the mekugi;
Thanks and good luck!
02-08-2001, 04:16 PM
I appreciate the link , but I have already tried to e-mail him on that site just to have it returned several times . Go figure? these darned old computers are harder to work than I thought. Someone has just e-mail me saying thay would send me some short thick bamboo in the mail. Life is great. Just when you least expect it somethine wonderful always apperes....Thanks...Irongut/Ed Ashley...
02-09-2001, 01:36 PM
Making Mekugi is quite easy. One can litterally whittle them out of scrap bamboo. I've made a few for my brother before I just got lazy and sent him a few pieces of bamboo. The reason you use bamboo instead of wood is that bamboo is fibrous, if it breaks it isn't likely to go all the way. As a side note there are chopsticks that are made out of bamboo that work quite well
02-09-2001, 03:54 PM
Thanks Tony, I just need to get my hands on some ..Irongut/ Ed Ashley...
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