How to add padding to a Kendo "men" that is too big
Many kendo players face the problem of mass produced bogu (armour) that doesn't quite fit right. There are commercially made pads that fit in the top of a men (helmet), but none available that fit in the chin area; that is what I needed, otherwise the wider gap between bars that is intended for the wearer to look through, would be in the wrong place. Here's the solution I used. This doesn't alter the men itself at all, so is ok to use on borrowed/club bogu, or bogu for a growing child. You'll need: a piece of closed cell foam, some dark coloured fabric (cotton is best), the hook side of some Velcro, and a tin of contact adhesive.
Cut the piece of foam to approx. 80mm x 30mm, trim off the corners as shown.
Place in the chin area of the men & try on (or get the owner to), check that the fit is correct; make adjustments to the foam if necessary.
Cut a piece of fabric just big enough to completely cover the foam.
Brush a thin coat of contact adhesive on one side of the fabric and all over the foam, allow to tack off.
Now carefully press the flat side of the foam piece onto the centre of the fabric, and wrap the edges of the fabric around the foam.
Cut the Velcro to the same size as the fabric covered foam, or slightly smaller.
Apply contact adhesive onto the side where the fabric edges are, and to the back of the Velcro.
Adhere the two together, ensuring the pieces are well pressed together with your fingers.
Place in position in the men, the velcro will hold the pad in place.
Now, go and try out your now correctly fitting bogu with your fellow kenshi.
P.S. I know there's at least one kendo forum, but it doesn't allow photos, and I get frustrated with links to Photobucket and similar sites, that cease to work after a time for one reason or other!:( I suspect that a few DIYers will get asked to do this, by less DIY inclined family members, anyway) This is linked to from the kendo forum.
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