Introduction: DIY Tiny Wooden Sickle and Flail A.k.a. Kusarigama for Martial Arts Practice

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today we will learn how to make a tiny kusarigama training weapon from scratch.

Kusarigama is a contraction of two words: kusari for chain and Kama for sickle, in fact it is nothing more than a sickle connected to a flail. The kama becomes gama...

This is a fake weapon which is dedicated to practice only. No more than the fake swords that you can find in any toys company. Only a bit more robust maybe.

NB: next session I will present a crossbow shooting claw hammer Muhahahaha no I'm kiddin'

Information for the to-become-samourai dudes: this weapon is terrific against a single opponent but as useful as a butterknife in the battlefield (where two Kama -or sicles- would be preferred instead). However, learning how to manipulate it is awesome. I enjoyed it. Maybe you too!

I did this wooden weapon in a half afternoon. So you need patience and hardworking but it is feasible.

So the question is why did you make that stuff?! Huuuu because I found this challenging maybe?!


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Just a mention about the contents of this instructable-->attribution non commercial sharealike. You can re-use my texts and my pictures, modify or whatever, if you do so please cite the author, my work or even better put a link to this instructable. I would appreciate your cooperation :) In addition if you have any comment or improvement that you would like to share with me please do it.

You can share with me your design I will make a gallery of the ten best at the end of this instructables

Step 1: Step 1: the Inventory

What do I need:
-an appropriate working place-not the desk of your mum chummer!-

-being aware -not like JCVD-danger of cutting or hurting yourselves

-a cold drink -why not?-

It is strongly advised that another person must be present in the same room or that you can call immediately in case of injury.


A) for the kama part.

-a saw preferrably for wood -here it is a saw from a swedish furniture in kit company, it was not perfect but did the job- Danger of injury with this tool

-a marker

-differents file for woodwork different grain sizes

-sand paper 200 to 300 mg/m2

-Not shown here but you need a drill and the corresponding woodwork bits -Danger of injury with this tool-

B) for the kusari part

-a piece of tissue (25 cmx25 cm)

-a scissor -Danger of injury with this tool-

-a 3-4 m long braided cord (PP, polyamid or PES) of 2 to 3 mm diameter an

-a small cord 1 mm dia of 50 cm long

-a piece of foam (to make the weight) from a pillow or similar.

the wood piece:

A) you need specifically a hard wood not too porous and not from the pine family.

Best choice: japanese oak but any other oak do the job. People in Europe may want to try the Beechwood. Feel free to ask a woodworking professional.

B) the brickshaped woodblock must be with the fibers exactly parallel to the length. Be aware of that. This is important sothat the whole structure stay strong. Dimensions here : 16cmx4cmx6 cm

I found this wood piece lying near a garbage...

(Be careful pinewood or even ebonywood are really dangerous for our purpose and cannot be used, it breaks in very sharp needles that can cause major injuries. A tip by sawing a pinewood piece you will recognize the typical pinewood smell - fingers aways from it... my first piece of wood I found was pinewood I had to throw it away, please for your own sake and for the other you are training with, do the same)

Step 2: Step 2: Cut the Woodpiece in Two and Draw the Blade Design on One Half

So first, cut the woodbrick into two equal halves along the length

then use the marker to draw the design you want.

I choose here a single edged blade.

I could have chosen a double edged form instead

I cut with the saw the extra part of the blade before attacking the wood with the file to save a bit of time.

You attack the wood with the file first roughly and then with the medium grain size file on both sides.

By working the wood like this you make the edges appearing.

Please let a small space, half a centimeter, on the lower side like presented on the last picture. Make the upper side more round.

Step 3: Step 3: Building the Connecting Part Between the Grip and the Blade

This is probably the trickiest part:

making the tenon joint (male part) and the mortrise (the female part). This particular method is known since the Bronze Age and allow two pieces to become a single strong piece without the help of glue or screws.

It requires working very precisely.

A) the Tenon:

draw a smaller box design on each side of the wood with the aid of the marker. Once the unwished wood part removed, this part will be your tenon.

Be careful and work safely, the tenon can break otherwiseand you may injure yourselves.

Cut the edges of the tenon with the saw. Finish the work if necessary with the files.

You can maybe do that with the files as you will probably need to make it fit perfectly but it will take more time.

B) the mortrise

When you are good with your tenon you
need to make the receiving part on the grip: the mortise.

Use a marker and make the design (adapt it to the tenon size even make it slightly smaller so that you can sand it to the right size).

Use the drill and drill holes.

Then use small squarre files to get it squarre-shaped.

You must obtain two part like these ones (a male and a female kindo').

Use the files in order to make the tow parts fitting together.

Sand off the grip and the blade part in order to obtain a smooth surface.

Step 4: Step 4: Mount the Kama/Sickle and Finish This Part

For those who only wanted a kama, you can just finish the surface by polishing the surface with sand paper.

After having mounted the kama together you need to place the hook.

-Drill a small hole (maybe 1 mm dia and 10 mm deep) at the bottom of the grip part
-and screw a hook insisde (the screw part must be 1 mm dia or up to 1.2 mm max otherwise you will break the wood). This will be the fixation place of the cord.

Sand off the surface with sand paper to obtain a very smooth and ergonomic wood shape.

Now the kama side is ready.

Step 5: Step 5: Building the Kusari Part and Connecting the Kusari With the Kama

For the kusari:
-Take the piece of tissue that you cut roughly circular

-Use the smaller cord to make 5 or 6 consecutive noose knots each 1 or 2 centimeters. Each loop (or eye) must be 1 or 2 cm long.

Then you close the cords with a squarre knot to get a circular rope with regularly spaced loops. The noose knots will have the tendency to release themselves from the systems, so be cautious.

-Place the foam firmly condensed in the tissue as a pocket and observe where holes must be cut to have them placed above the foam.

-Cut small holes in the tissue in a circular fashion sothat the holes would be regurlarly placed

-Slide each loop in a different consecutive holes. You can place a piece of paper to maintain the loops outside of the tissue.

-Place the foam de novo inside the tissue pocket and close the tissue firmly above the foam. The 5 or 6 loops must appear as on the picture.

-Take the long braided cord and slides it in all consecutives loops (make two turns likewise).

Remove the piece of papers if needed to

-Ties it up at the maximum you can and carry out a squarre knot.

The last step is to carry out a knot on the hook of the kama with the free end of the long cord (a strong squarre knot)

you obtain a kama connected through a rope to a small handbag.

That s all folks! Enjoy your kusarigama by practicing outdoors and gently! and make it swing!