Bugei Ipe (Brazilian Walnut) bokken, made my Kim Taylor

Name: didn’t get one

Feel/Finish: Tung Oil, natural feel/finish

Tsuba/No Tsuba: No tsuba

Overall Length: 42.5

Tsuka length & circumference: 14″; 4.5″

Weight (grams): ??

The ipe bokken was one of the ones I was really looking forward to.  My hope, based on it’s reputation, was that it would take some beatings and heavy impact hits for maybe a month.  With a density and hardness (measured on the Janka scale) that is astounding (ranks behind only Ebony and Lignum Vitae), I really wanted to see what this bokken could do.  Although in the end it broke on the sixth stroke, it did so with NO dents on the wood.  The video shows what are essentially marks, but no denting of any kind.  However, it could be this density that is it’s downfall.  A wood that is too stiff will break easily with the right pressure.  I wouldn’t hesitate to use this wood in practice against other bokken, but for brutal impact, it is just to stiff.

Flaws that I saw in this specimen:

- slight curvature to the right, but this may be an optical illusion because of the next issue

- one side of the back of the “blade” was cut down much farther than the other side

- small holes in the wood could make for structural problems (I’m assuming these holes were from bugs in the wood, not placed there later)

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