There's something you don't see every day

2012-10-18 15:54:00

A molten sakigomu

I'd invited some of my classmates over for kendo equipment maintance and last night Sander joined me. I enjoy these evenings, not just because I like fixing equipment, but they're also a great chance to just shoot the breeze with people I normally only talk to in the dressing room. Well, that or we're bashing each others' heads in ;)

Before Sander's arrival I'd already sorted through Ton-sensei's bit bucket to see what's available. I had to get rid of a bunch of tsukagawa (handle covers) because they were covered in mold. Ditto for some of the sakigawa (tip cover). I quickly put everything into their own bags, to keep things tidy.

We got started on our own shinai, after which we moved on to a bunch of loaner shinai from our dojo. My own shinai had a broken take, after last tuesday's horrible night. Luckily the take was recoverable after getting rid of the split-off piece. Obviously I'll let the guys at the dojo check it over first, to make sure I'm not putting anyone in danger. Sander's shinai were still in good condition, so he was done pretty quickly.

Then! On to the loaners! While Sander worked on one of the adult's versions, I patched up the two kids' shinai. The first one went pretty quickly, but the second one provided a surprise! See the picture above: the sakigomu (a plastic or rubber stopper in the tip) had melted! I've never seen that before! The molten rubber had cemented the take together and the sakigawa was also hard to remove. In the picture above I've outlined what was left of the rubber in white. The part that sticks out on top was completely gone! :D I guess someone left that thing lying right next to a heater or something. I managed to clean everything up nicely with some turpentine, but now I need to dig through the bit bucket to find another sakigawa in the right size. 

I'm very happy for Sander, who completed his very first complete tear-down and build-up last night! He completely disassembled the loaner shinai, replaced one of the take (too worn down) and he even re-tied the sakigawa to a new tsuru. Great job! That knot is a bit of a challenge! I know I'm keeping one of the worn, cut-off sakigawa for reference ;) tags: ,

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