Ever just wanted to build a bokken? Well here you go. Quick Easy and most of all cheap!
You will need:
A plainer or knife
Some sand paper
Maybe a drill
Step 1: Wood selection
First you want to find a fallen tree branch or alternatively find a young tree, if you use a young tree you will need to let it season (leave for two weeks or until normal wood colour). Make sure your wood is strong enough, dig your thumb nail into the wood and if it leaves little or no indent the wood is of sufficent strength. However if there is a large indentation it is not strong enough and will snap. Your piece needs to about 40" long for an adult sized bokken, for a childs bokken i would recommend 20". Also check the bend of the wood, make sure it is not to flexible or again it will snap. For my basic Bokken i have chosen this branch, i chose it as it already has a slight curviture so that it is not necessary to bend the wood.
Step 2: Preperation
Now that we have base piece we can start to shape our bokken. First you need to shorten to the required length (40" or 20"), for this you will require some descrption of saw.
Step 3: Smoothing
You now need to smooth down your Bokken base, cut off any spouting branches. Plain your wood to remove all the bark, try not to leave any deep cuts in the wood as these are often very visable. After that sand down your wood inorder to have a smooth clean blade and handle. I would recommend that you take the time to give a smooth clean finish.
Step 4: Shapping the blade
This part requires concentration and vigulance. If you want a very basic Bokken follow 1. if you want a more advanced blade follow 2.
1.) In this one round of your blade, as for the tip you will be wanting to cut into the top like shown on the photo (thankyou to Kendosa.blogspot.)
2.) you want to make to the blade into the shape shown on photo two (thankyou to "TTF") and also follow photo step 1
Both methods require this next step, the handle needs to be 10" long at one end. The hilt needs to be just above.
Step 5: Handle and Hilt (Optional)If you are inclined you can add some pattern to the handle. As for the hilt take some circular wood and cut a hole in the middle. Slide it down to where you want it then glue it.
Step 6: Thats it!You have made your very own bokken!
Now for the boring stuff:
I accept no responsibility for the actions of the maker
wear the appropriate PPE (Personal protection equipment)
I would not recommend this design for real martial arts practice
Do not use with malitious intent
Step 7: Other than thatIf done correctly you could use this as a template to cut out another bokken from a nice piece of hardwood.
I would recommend pitch pine.