How to fix or tighten a loose saya

Many people become nervous when their katana has a loose saya, well don’t be! It is a general part of katana maintenance and is very easy to fix! Simply follow the “how to” directions below and your saya will be tight in no time! To fix a loose saya literally takes minutes and will usually last for the life of the sword depending on use. You can also use a similar technique to fix a loose scabbard for medieval swords.

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2 thoughts on “How to fix or tighten a loose saya”

  1. I have tried the above method with the shims, and it works pretty well. However, I talked to the hardware store guy and explained my issues with having to fix a loose scabbard (saya) and he suggested using DAPĀ® Plastic Wood (google it). Product Description: It is a High performance, solvent-based wood filler that hardens to give a surface and body that looks and acts like real wood. It Can be sanded, stained, cut, drilled, planed, varnished, painted or lacquered. For use on furniture, doors, paneling, molding, plywood and other wood surfaces

    I followed the directions on can, and used a small modeling spatula (small tongue depressor will work too) to apply just a small amount of filler to the bottom opening of koiguchi (non-edge side). I smoothed it out and let it dry for 15-20 minutes. Once dried I sanded and shaped the filler (which was as hard as regular wood) with a small metal filing set to fit the habaki snugly. It worked like a charm. It was very fast, and very easy, and it took very little wood filler to tighten saya. Once I was done fitting it, I blew it out with compressed air (canned air dusters) to clean it from any sanding residue or saw dust. There was no residue when I drew the sword several times in and out of saya, and the fit was perfect. Sword held firmly in saya. I plan to fix all of my saya using this method. Give it a try, it will save you a lot of time and heart ache.

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