All that was left was to turn off the waste tenon to the left of the tama (below left) with a spindle gouge.  I was left with a nipple that had to be cleaned up so I mounted the tama between some wooden cup centers that I had turned that fit in the chuck and over the live center (below center). With the tama secured between the cup centers it was just a matter of removing the waste nipple with a spindle gouge (below right).  

Fig 33 thumb Fig 34 thumb Fig 35 thumb


I also sanded the tama while it was between the wooden cup centers (left image).  The finished tama (right image). 

Fig 36 thumb Fig 37 thumb


Drilling a Few Holes

The turning was complete after I completed the tama but there was still work to do.  One of the more critical tasks was to drill and chamfer the hole (ana) in the tama.  This must be approached carefully as I found out when I mismeasured and drilled completely through the tama. Clearly an example of measure twice and cut once.  I had to go back to the lathe and turn yet another tama.

To drill the ana it was just a matter mounting a ½” brad point drill bit in my drill press, finding top dead center and carefully drilling the hole (below left). I chamfered the entrance to the ana with a large diameter countersink bit (below center).  Then I mounted the tama on a section of ½” dowel glued into a block of wood and drilled a 1/16” hole for the string (ito) (below right). 

Fig 38 thumb Fig 39 thumb Fig 40 thumb


Assembly - Not Just Yet

At this point I thought I was ready to put the kendama together but as I tried to fit the pieces together it was obvious I was missing something.  I had no way to anchor the ito to the sarado and ken. Patrick’s excellent drawing did not show where or how to anchor the ito. As a matter of fact I had a lot of difficulty finding a source that did show how to anchor the ito.

(I purchased some kendama strings (itos) from Amazon.  Just search for kendama strings on Amazon, lots of choices come up.  I don’t know if one brand is better than another but I gather it is best to have a few on hand as the strings do wear out.)

I reviewed a number of on line videos and discovered a couple on YouTube that showed how to string a kendama.  One in particular, How to Restring a Kendama - Traditional / Kaizen Style Ken provided the necessary clues I needed.  It turned out I needed to drill some more holes.

The ito passes through the sarado and ken but where do you drill the holes?  In the video it was apparent that there were two holes drilled through the sarado. One on each side of the sarado depending on whether the kendama is being strung for a left or right handed player.

I placed my sarado in a V-block and immediately noticed a problem.  Because the cup diameters of the kozara and ozara are different my sarado no longer sat flat and parallel on the drill press. So I put a couple of metal rulers under one end of the V-block to raise the kozara to where it was level with the ozara.  Then I drilled a 1/16” hole in the center of the sarado about 1/4” below the hole for the ken. I rotated the piece so that I could drill a similar hole on the other side of the sarado. 

Fig 41 thumb

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Wednesday the 21st. Thanks for visiting Woodturners Unlimited.