Repairing a katana

by Jessica Ross
(Ontario Canada)

I have an old katana. The blade is a bit wobbly in the handle and the end of the sheath has what I think is a split in the wood which makes the sword not go into the sheath fully sometimes. The handle and sheath are copper clad. Are these things repairable?

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Should be fairly easy to fix
by: Paul

The scabbard (saya) is probably the hardest bit to fix - the easiest way is to simply tape it up, binding it with some duct tape or similar, though it does not look attractive.

A better way would be to use some wood glue and fill in the cracks - one young gentlemen on YouTube takes it a step further with epoxied wire wrap:



Now for the loose hilt (tsuka) you could probably simply take the sword apart and 'shim' it with some wood veneer slivers to get it to sit in place properly. In some cases, simply taking the sword apart and putting it back together can fix the problem - but usually it will need to be shimmed.

Here is a video detailing how to take it apart:



And one on how to shim it:



If all else fails and you wish to get someone else to do it, Nihonzashi in California offer relatively affordable services.

Hope this helps and best of luck fixing your sword!

Thanks
by: Anonymous

I did take the sword handle apart and shimmed it with some bamboo, so that problem is fixed. The sheath has wood on the inside, but it is completely covered in copper. (look up copper saya katana on google and you'll see something of what mine looks like) The tip of the sheath has a little cover that looks like it could come off, but I don't know how to get it off or if its welded back on. The split in the wood is right now inaccessable to me :(

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