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Gap between Habaki and Tsuka


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Normally, if the tsuka of that shirasaya is made for that blade, then yes, the gap ought to be closed..

But in this case, I wonder if that's not the case... forcing it may split the tsuka, and then you'll have a bigger problem than you started with!

I'd say if the blade fits securely in the saya, then its not a huge issue. Just means the wood has swollen or the tsuka wasn't made for the blade.

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I assume the mekugi hole isn't lining up currently?
If so, then the wood has shrunk, and in 6 months (different season) you may find it seats properly. Temperature ad humidity variation?
But this is not a healthy situation. You need the mekugi to seat to prevent damage. I would try and have the tsuka adjusted so it fits better.

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Hi  Ian,

As the gap is so large- assuming the the mekugi ana line up- my guess is the saya has a piece of horn on it and the tsuka has lost the piece originally fitted to it- taking up the space. I have seen shirasaya where there was only one piece of horn/ perspex- maybe the piece from the tsuka only is missing. Pic of the saya will confirm. Cheers

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Hi Ian,

 

Please excuse my poor experimental tsuka.

 

This is how the nakago should fit into the tsuka. Notice the alignments and the spaces on both halves of the tsuka, as well as the alignment of the mekugi ana. The two lower pics have the mekugi through a tsuka half and the nakago. 

98EB2A6C-7E40-4ACF-A9DC-23F966E3E568.jpeg

5A624399-47FA-4051-9F03-B2726DEC9E92.jpeg

92EB30F6-7AF1-49D5-B4AA-A7C3531B4B8D.jpeg

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Just a thought….could something be stuck/lodged in the depths of the tsuka? But I can’t see an answer to the question- does the mekugi hole line up with the mekugi ana in the nakago? If it does then missing horn is best bet. If It doesn’t then shrunk tsuka or something lodged more likely? Or…has the habaki been forced too far up on the blade? I’ve seen that before.

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When the tsuka and saya are both on, I am guessing that the habaki may slide back to allow the saya to fill the gap.  That could be a problem for the blade if it is being shoved too far into the saya.  You don't want to chip off the end of the kissaki.

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Apparently not.  My concern is that the habaki and tsuka are not stopping the blade from going a couple of centimeters deeper into the saya, which can damage the kissaki.

 

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