Sep 1 2009

Tameshigiri Stand

Second on the list of martial arts gear I could make now that I have a backyard: a tameshigiri stand. About as simple as the makiwara, if not more so. I started with a 3′ 4×4 post:

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The hardest part of the project is attaching the four legs such that they are level, especially when the floor of your garage isn’t. However, given that this will be resting on a non-level surface outdoors, I wasn’t too concerned about getting it perfect. Despite that, I was reasonable careful to get each of the 20″ 2×4 legs pretty even:

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Repeat with the four other legs. In order to drill out the center hole for the peg, I used a forstner bit, because, well, I think just just about one of the coolest things ever. If you go this route, though, be careful — a forstner bit has a lot of surface area, so you can’t go as fast as with a flat wood bit. I went about 2.5″ deep, but probably should have gone farther.

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After that, we’re nearly done. I used a miter box and a saw to cut a 1″ oak dowel into 8 inch sections, then used a draw knife to bevel out the top of the peg. I made a few spare in case I accidentally cut through them or they otherwise break or rot.

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After a coating of waterproofing and some test cuts, I noticed that there was just enough leeway in the peg hole that poor upward cuts could pull the tatami omote and peg up out of the stand. Even a cut that pulled up just slightly would be enough to remove the peg, since forstner bits can be a little squirrellier than a flat wood shank bit when cutting to such depths, so the hole is slightly larger than the dowels. In order to rectify this, I drilled straight through the post and peg with a 1/4″ bit, and secure the peg with bolt and wingnut. The bolt is visible in the final product:

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