Koshirae designs have developed historically according to the style and tastes of those who bore the swords over the ages. Ideally any koshirae restoration project should take period of the sword's manufacture into consideration and match the design accordingly.
The pictures here show the original pieces of a broken katana koshirae, separated and prepared for restoration, and the final result below.
I once acquired a shinto wakizashi from a friend that came as a bare blade - without a saya, tsuka or habaki. The next half year was spent searching for the pieces and materials I'd need to assemble a new koshirae. My grandfather was a carpenter, and I have made numerous sculptures and art pieces from wood, so although the work is challenging it feels very natural and familiar. I have also done metal-work so am familiar with soldering and polishing techniques. The final result of my first koshirae was not perfect, but it was very promising, and it was a great project to work on.
Since then I have had the opportunity to restore the koshirae for several swords and increase my knowledge. I have always proceeded with great caution, careful to only touch parts that were already deemed "destroyed", and preserving as much of the original pieces as possible.
Some koshirae have been built entirely from scratch, using original antique elements such as fuchi and kashira, menuki and tsuba etc. I have also re-wrapped the tsukamaki (lace binding) on some of the the tsukas. It has been my privilege to restore these pieces, returning to them the allure and status they must once have possessed.
Koshirae traditionally only lasted about 100 years before they had to be replaced, today most koshirae are carefully conserved and cared for by a growing group of enthusiastic collectors.
If you have a sword in damaged koshirae, or without any koshirae at all, then please contact me to discuss the possible restoration. As each restoration case would be unique please send me a detailed description of the damage along with clear photographs. I will not do polishing or sharpening work on blades, this should only be handled by a professional.