A Dojo or Martial Arts Gym is not complete without weapons, the more the merrier. Samurai Swords are NOT just for Psychos & Rednecks.<---- I have to stress this!!! There is a small community of us that recognize the beauty involved in the making and wielding of a Katana.
I have always been interested in the history behind Ninjas/Samurai's in Feudal Japan. So I thought why not own a piece of history. But I have kids so it needs to be locked up.. Nothing bullet proof but secure enough..
List of Tools needed
Wood Hand Saw or Circular Saw
Extra Strong Hold Glue (Superglue)
Fabric Glue (or Superglue if you don't have any)
Chisel & Hammer
Tape Measure & Pen
Drill with bits
Laser Engraver (Optional for outer design/graphics)
Wood Screws (some really small no thicker than 16mm
12 Plastic Fixit Blocks
18mm X 200mm Timberboard (from Wickes if in UK)
20mm Combination Lock
2 Packs of 38 mm Flush Hinges (there's 2 in a pack- so 4 hinges in total)
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Step 1: Cut Out the Sides
Using your wood saw or circular saw cut out the sides for the wooden box.
Here are the dimensions (The plank depth is always 18mm)
2 of these.......8.5cm x 114cm
2 of these.......14.5cm x 117.5cm
2 of these.......8.5cm x 14.5cm
2 of these.......7cm x 3.5cm
Step 2: Making the Box
Starting with 1 of the 2 largest planks and using wood glue, glue the sides like in the picture. And to make it even stronger drill the fixit it blocks around the inside like brackets. You will probably need someone to hold each side as you secure with the plastic fixit blocks.
The fixit blocks are positioned 1 at the small ends and 5 on each of the large ends..Totaling 12.
You then want to place the smallest wooden blocks in the center for the sword hooks. It doesn't matter how close together the hooks are to each other as long as you make sure the Katana Tsuba/handle are on the outside (as in the handle is not resting on the hook). It would be worth checking you can get the Katana in and out before gluing the blocks and drilling the hook in.
Step 3: Laser or Decorate the Lid
Its easier to laser the lid at this stage while its not connected to the rest of the box. I used my DIY laser engraver I bought for £200 from GearBest (Chinese distributor of cheap gadgets) & free software called Benbox.
The design is basically my logo PleaseNoFisticuffs VS Tora Hanta. Tora Hanta is the manufacturer of my Katana. Excellent quality from these guys over at www.southernswords.co.uk.
Step 4: Add the Hinges
Hinge 1) Place hinge starting from left 2.5 cm in and mark with pencil either side of it.
Hinge 2) Place hinge starting from left 39 cm in and mark with pencil either side of it.
Hinge 3) Place hinge starting from right 39 cm in and mark with pencil either side of it.
Hinge 4) Place hinge starting from left 2.5 cm in and mark with pencil either side of it.
Then with a hammer and chisel gently dig out about 2-3mm of wood for your hinge to sit flush. Drill/screw the hinges in place.
Now to attach the box lid. Line up the lid with the rest of the box edge to edge, mark, drill & screw in place. You may need someone to hold it steady as you secure it.
Step 5: Add the Lock
Set the combination to the lock before installing. If its the same as my lock you just have to stick a pin in the tiny hole in the side of the lock to set it.
Lock/ Latch Part
Now facing the lid measure 21 cm from the right and 3 cm down and mark an X for the lock hole.Using a hole saw (read the lock instructions mine was 26 cm radius), drill through the lid and push through the combination lock. You will have to twist/wrench it to take the latch off to get it through this hole. Then reassemble and tighten with wrench/spanner.
Line up the catch so it is center of the lock this should be 21cm from the right of the box. The lid will sit perfectly on top of this catch and when the lock is turned will catch it in place. When you are happy you think it is right drill in the screws to secure it.
Step 6: Add the String to the Hooks
We use string to cover the metal hooks so we don't scratch our perfectly polished wooded Katana scabbard.
To do this dab a bit of glue at the point and place one end string of the string on it. Once this is set you are ready to start covering. Slowly with a bit of tension wrap around until the bottom half of the hook is filled up, then end it by pulling the string tightly underneath the hook. With scissors cut to make neat.
Step 7: Mount to the Wall
Drill about 12-15 holes (for screws to fit through) making sure these are evenly distributed. Then with the help of a friend (a person may not be needed) hold the box up against the wall and mark where these drill holes are (remember to use a level).
You can put the box down now and drill these holes in the wall. I have a hollow wooden wall so I put in plasterboard wallplugs. If its going into brick/concrete you can just use the normal wallplugs.
With the help of your friend again hold up the box and screw to the wall.
Step 8: Sowing/ Gluing the Inner Padding
Cut a piece of felt to exactly fit the backing of your box. This should be 114cm x 10.5cm.
Now cut a bigger piece of cotton to then cover this felt with. This bit can be roughly 118cm x 22cm. It doesn't matter too much because no one will see the behind of this material.
Pull tight on all ends while keeping it flat. Just like wrapping a package. Glue to secure with fabric glue or superglue.
Step 9: Finished!!!
You will need to cut 2 horizontal slits for the hooks to go through the padding.
To help..... measure the height of where the hook stops being curved......SO...the bottom straight line "I" part of the "J" shape. And that's where the fabric will sit.
The backing material should fit nicely inside the box without falling down. If it doesn't then use a bit of glue to hold the shape.
**LITTLE TIP** -> Make sure the Katana is facing blade up as to not dull the edge.
Finally finished....and it doubles up as a nice display shelf.