Tried doing it the traditional way and now I cheat by making 'san mai'
sayas and wooden scabbards.
Step 1 - cut the wood into 3 full width longitudinal sections on a bandsaw - taking care to make the centre section just slightly thicker than the spine width and the outer sections the same width as each other. I do not smooth out the bandsaw lines as these should be in "mirror image" sets that when glued back together should have minimal gaps visible
Step 2 - cut out the profile out of the centre section with a scroll saw
Step 3 - align the pieces back into their original positions, glue them together taking care to keep glue out of the blade slot
Step 4 - shape the outside appropriately.
Not saying this is the kosher way to do it but if the 3 sections are lined up correctly the glue lines are unobtrusive and apart from the time it takes for the glue to set the whole job takes very little time and effort
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