Isn’t it strange that shumoku are not widely available like bachi does?
Note: This is more of a report, not a DIY guide. Chung is currently a piano technician apprentice.
A few months ago, I experimented on making a Shamisen bachi myself. Due to the minimum tools I had at the piano shop (technically it wouldn’t even qualify as a shop, but we did restore pianos in there), the process was quite painful. For example, I had to saw a piece of hardwood at an angle by hand without a stationary clamp. The faux bekko is another tricky material to work with, when I have access so few tools. The shop does have a hand drill and a small belt sander; the belt sander is an incredible tool, when it’s all you’ve got, it becomes very versatile.
I have showed this DIY bachi to friends online, they are all quite impressed. Then I was advised to practice with it and see if the material held up with the striking. After making this DIY bachi, I actually got a bekko bachi, which I prefer… just better shaped anyway. Still, I’d prefer my DIY bachi so much more than the plastic one. At the time writing this post, the material is still strong.
Since it was quite a hassle to make this bachi, I don’t feel like making anymore until I have access to more tools.