Restoring a maebiki oga led me to delve into the history of this iconic saw. The maebiki oga (前挽き大鋸, literally ‘large’ saw, dubbed whaleback saw in english) holds an important place in Japan’s history. The oga saw was invented in Japan around 1590, and was in use for 400 years until Japan’s industrial revolution in the Meiji period, when it was superseded by mechanized sawmills. Predecessor saws were first imported from China around 1400 as steel became available. ...
After I got bit by the woodworking bug a few months ago I’ve been scrambling to figure out how to start making stuff given that I live in a 3rd floor one bedroom apartment with my fiance in San Francisco (and having no hand skills whatsoever). I hope this entry helps inspire others in a similar situation that it can be done, but please don’t look at this blog or my projects for any tips on technique. I’m sure I’ve made every mistake in the book—but all while havi...
Hello LJs, I just had a great visit to a little woodworking museum in Kobe that I thought was worth sharing. It’s got to be, pound-for-pound, one of the best museums I’ve been to. Sure, it’s the Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum and I love woodworking, so I’m biased… but even my wife agrees that it was quite a nice experience. Here are a few photos with some comments: The entrance: typical Japanese signage… very pleasing to look at A little video ...
As one of my beginning projects at the boat school I built my self this Norse style tool box. While very beautiful, it just doesn’t function well for me, as everything gets piled up and I have to dig around to find stuff.So I built my self this Japanese style tool box inspired by Mafe here on LJ. Is it as beautiful as his? No. Its made out of scraps laying around the shop, and I built it a bit rough because I know I will use the heck out of it at boat yards and work shops. I like it. I ...
Well, the bed head pieces are all cut and fit. I did a dry run of the assembly. I’ll need to tweak it a little with a plane but the fit is pretty good. The frame and center iris panel are walnut. the larger panels are jatoba, and the end panels are hard maple. Why is the center one walnut? Because of these woods it was the only one that I found was considered a carving wood on the internet. The three inner panels are actually the width of the bed. The two maple ends will protrude fro...
The shims I glued to my tenons are ready to be pared back. Seems like the mortises were just a little less than square with each other, which caused the twist when connecting the two of them with the center piece. So this session involved a lot of me hunching over the bench paring away paper thin shavings. Testing my fit. The top of the tenon cheek is good, but the rest of it is still a little too fat. Shaving just a bit off, and then it fits nice and snug. I also dete...
Last time I didn’t have all four bottom surfaces sitting flat. Turns out this was due to the center piece being fitted with a slight twist because one mortise had been carved out with a slight twist. So, by the time the mortise was straightened out somewhat with a chisel, the tenons didn’t quite fit as snug as they should. So on both tenons of the center piece, I glued some thin mahogany strips to shim up the tenons to tighten the fit. These will likely end up being pared or f...
In case you missed it, here is Part 1 in this series. First thing I did was employ my new-to-me drill press to establish an inner curve for the vaulted feet. Placing the center brad of a Forstner bit ensures that an even radius is cut into both sides, which were held together with blue tape. Not an ideal clamping solution, but it’s adequate for this. Always use a backer board to avoid blowout! I had a bit of tearout around the mortise here, but the rack will obscure the flaw af...
A katanakake is an elegant way to display Japanese swords. Like much of the aesthetic that descends from feudal-era Japan, it can be purely functional or highly decorative, but form always follows function. The Edo period of Japan saw the creation of countless beautiful artworks in every possible medium, be it woodworking, architecture, sword making, painting, etc. So how did I stumble upon this specialized niche, anyway? A few years ago I started practicing Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaido...
Japanese toolbox大工の道具箱 Here we are part three of the build.Last blog we made the drawer lock parts and other stuff, now it’s time for drawer parts and the nailing of the box. This was where we left last, right there on the floor. Drawer parts ready, front with wood lock made. And here is the drawing I made for the drawer, following traditional Japanese cabinetmaker ways. The drawer back gets its rabbet.And I get to test my Veritas mini shoulder plane (it works fantast...
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