Friday, February 27, 2009

Re-sizing Our Mats for the New Dojo

Setting up a dojo is a lot of work, as I've come to discover over the past few weeks. One of the problems we ran into was that our mats didn't fully fit the area in which we were setting up. We had a gap along one wall that wasn't big enough for a full mat, as you can see in the image on the right.

We did, however, have some scraps from a couple of mats that were cut up because they were slightly too big for our old space. These, unfortunately, were not the right size either. We decided to cut one of the larger scraps lengthwise, then glue two of the smaller scraps we had to get the right fit for the space. To cut the mats, we used a long ruler to mark the cut then a sharp retractable knife to make the cut (left).

We started out using a flexible epoxy but it was kind of expensive and a bit messy. We ended up switching over to a glue gun, which was much more affordable and easier to work with. As one person applied the glue using the gun, another person squeezed the top of the mat together, while I stretched out some tape across it so it would pull the mats together as it dried. You can see the way the tape was done up on the right. We then piled some mats on top to keep the mat in place as the glue dried overnight. After the glue at the top of the cut was set, we glued the underside of the cut to solidify the bond.

I was very pleased with the finished product. It is pretty solid. We made sure that the cut was placed as close to the wall as possible so that it would receive less dojo traffic, as you can see on the left. On the right you can see a close-up of the final product.

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