Can you replace a tsuka from a specific brand with one from another?

by Charles
(New London, Connecticut)

Hello, I posted a question earlier asking about replacing a tsuba from Cheness for instance with one from Ronin Katana, I must apologise for my mistake, but what I really meant was can you replace a tsuka from a specific brand with one from another? (the examples of Cheness and Ronin katana still apply although I'm interested in knowing for other brands as well)

Thank you for your help!

Comments for Can you replace a tsuka from a specific brand with one from another?

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Yes, but it needs some DIY work
by: Paul

Yes, you can - but it is not as simply as just taking one off and putting the other on..

The first thing you need to check is that the nagako (tang) is around the same length as the tsuka you intend to attach. If it is longer, you will need to file down the tang to make it fit. If the tang is shorter, then you should not proceed as a shorter tang may theoretically bust through the tsuka on a bad cut..

Once you have determined the length is about right, you will then need to carefully disassemble the original sword and try to attach the tsuka. It may or may not fit perfectly the first time, so you may need to file the tang or inside of the tsuka or shim it with some strips of wood veneer to get a perfect fit.

Finally, once assembled, you will need to get a drill press and mark out along the side where the pegs/hole will go being certain to space it so that the hole lines up with the rayskin and does not cut the handle wrap or the whole thing will unravel and you will be back to square one. This means you need to drill in at an angle.

Do not worry about making extra holes in the nagako/tang - many old antique Katana look like swiss cheese from the holes made during remounting.

As you can see, it takes a bit of adjustment and DIY work as each sword and tsuka is hand made so there is no one size fits all. But that said, with just a little DIY work it isn't that hard either and very rewarding to be able to customize it yourself.

tsuka replacement
by: Anonymous

Nihonzashi is a magnificent company out of Florida that will remake a tsuka for your sword. there is a option menu on their site where you can customize your own tsuka. just send them the sword and they will fit and make the tsuka to your specifications. the pricing is well worth it but they have many prices to fit every budget. the most expensive make will be a little over 300 with return shipping but that is for a full make, full rayskin with emperor nodes and leather wrap. you can also get the rayskin dyed for color combinations. they offer japanese cotton, silk, and also leather in three versions. i did a 12" remake with black rayskin under dark brown nubuck (doeskin, like suede). they did great work which you can see on youtube under nihonzashi upgrade. well worth it.

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