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Japanese tools-some questions/wonderings

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Forum topic by shavins posted 01-03-2010 02:29 AM 1332 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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shavins

104 posts in 2620 days


01-03-2010 02:29 AM

Topic tags/keywords: chisel plane blade

Hi everyone,
I am soon starting a project on Japanese woodworking and was just looking for some pointers on chisels and saws mainly. Does anyone have any suggestions for a good/appropriate set of either that can be got at a reasonable price? Any and all suggestions welcome, also books/other tools/ anything else that might be of use. Thanks very much.

-- shavins


8 replies so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5314 posts in 3173 days


#1 posted 08-15-2010 07:15 AM

How did you make out on this?

I sometimes research the stuffing out of a tool purchase and sometimes I just go with my gut and buy it…so far both approaches have worked out :-)

Are Japanese chisels as different from western chisels as Japanese saws are from western saws?

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View paratrooper34's profile

paratrooper34

891 posts in 2413 days


#2 posted 08-15-2010 07:35 AM

Hi Mark….I see the only difference between japanese and western chisels are their construction. Japanese chisels have the hollow in the back which makes them easier to lap. They also have two kinds of steel in the blade, basically wrought iron and a hardened tool steel for the cutting edge. The handles are smaller, but rugged (metal hammers are suggested for use). However, they work the same way as western chisels. I have a set of each and basically I use the japanese for chopping and the western ones for paring.

-- Mike

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Mark Shymanski

5314 posts in 3173 days


#3 posted 08-15-2010 07:40 AM

Have you found the Japanese chisels any more brittle?

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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paratrooper34

891 posts in 2413 days


#4 posted 08-15-2010 08:29 AM

Not at all. They stand up to chopping stress very nicely. I sharpen mine to 30 degree angles to help with edge retention. I got the white steel ones and they hold a sharp edge much better than run of the mill chisels (Stanley, LN O-1, and Marples I also have). They are a little pricey, but they were worth the money.

-- Mike

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docholladay

1287 posts in 2520 days


#5 posted 08-15-2010 11:04 AM

I have a couple of Japanese Saws. I bought them at Woodcraft. but don’t remember the brand. They cut very nicely and leave a nice surface. Also, the kerf is very thin. I have a Dozuki with a back and my other saw is virtually the same saw without a back. In relation to a western saw, the teeth are sort of brittle and can be broken fairly easily. Also, the Japanese saws generally can’t be resharpened. Usually, you just replace the blade, but they are not expensive. I also have a flush cut saw that also cuts on the pull stroke. I mostly use it for cutting off dowels flush.

I will add that I don’t really like the pull stroke style of saw. I also have western style saws and I am much more comfortable with them, but that probaly has more to do with familiarity and experience than anything.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View Div's profile

Div

1653 posts in 2401 days


#6 posted 08-15-2010 11:09 AM

I am totally in love with my Jap saws when it comes to fine work! There is just no Western saw that can cut like a Dozuki.

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View barryvabeach's profile

barryvabeach

159 posts in 2505 days


#7 posted 08-16-2010 02:12 AM

For japenese chisels, Grizzly carries a set that was rated fairly highly and isn’t too expensive.

View shavins's profile

shavins

104 posts in 2620 days


#8 posted 08-17-2010 01:25 AM

Hi Mary, I researched the stuffing out of it as well, I would agree with paratrooper34 in relation to the chisels. I find the saws are great for fine work and they need to be very well looked after. Some good second hand stuff comes up from time to time in the Japanese e bay. I also received some very useful advice from LJ Junji, I think I have some good links on the topic if you want me to send them on to you?

-- shavins

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