LumberJocks

Japanese Woodworking Tools

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by rseabrease posted 1543 days ago 4155 views 2 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View rseabrease's profile

rseabrease

55 posts in 1590 days


1543 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: japanese hand tools japan chisels planes saws

Lumberjocks,

Recently I have been looking through a catalog I received from “Japan Woodworker” and I liked both the look and prices for the tools that are in the catalog and on the site. I am trying to find out how well these tools perform and how they rate against their American or traditional European hand tools. Specifically, I am most interested in their chisels and wooden planes, and possibly their saws. Before I make any investment in these items I was wondering if others had an experience – pro or con?

Also, has anyone dealt with the Japan Woodworker company. The owner states in his catalog that he has personally used these tools and strongly endorses them. I would really like other opinions.

The website is www.japanwoodworkeronline.com

Thank you,
Richard

-- Richard


25 replies so far

View Roper's profile

Roper

1346 posts in 2213 days


#1 posted 1543 days ago

hey richard like anything else you will get different info from different people. i only use japanese pull saws, i think they cut straighter on the pull stroke, and make a much cleaner cut for dovetails. i have used japanese handplanes they do a very good job but it does take a while to learn how to set them up correctly. japanese chisels are nice because they are hollow ground on the back so flattening them is really easy, but most of them are made from laminated steel so your edge gets dull fast in hard woods. my best piece of advise is to find a friend or local woodworker that uses these tools and ask them if you could give them a try, they really are different then western tools.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust- www.roperwoodturning.com

View degoose's profile

degoose

6883 posts in 1854 days


#2 posted 1543 days ago

I have a japaneses pull saw and it is the only hand saw that I use.. very precise and easy to use… as the Japanese say…”it is easier to pull a piece of string than it is to pull it…” sage advice..

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ lazylarrywoodworks.com.au For lovers of all things timber...

View Timberwerks's profile

Timberwerks

292 posts in 1661 days


#3 posted 1543 days ago

Pretty much all the tools I use are Japanese. I’m not a fan of Japan Woodworker, I can however recomend, http://www.hidatool.com/index.html or if you would like to by direct from Japan, http://www.japantool-iida.com/

Also come and visit: http://www.japanesetools.com/phpBB3/ look over all the posts, there is alot of info there.

Also feel free to contact me with any questions. Japnese tools are addictive. Kanna, a Japanese plane leaves a fantastic surface. Unlike a Western plane nothing comes in contact with your surface after the blade. The area behind the blade is relieved. Saws will take you a little getting used to but the are also fantastic, same with chisels.

-- http://djofurnituremaker.wordpress.com/ & https://www.facebook.com/pages/Timberwerks-Studio/126415221682

View DrTebi's profile

DrTebi

118 posts in 1766 days


#4 posted 1543 days ago

Hello Richard,

I live fairly close to the store, and have been there a couple of times. I haven’t bought any Japanese tools there though, but a few Festool things (how ironic…). I wasn’t too happy with the circular saw (considering the hefty price), and returned it as well as the table after four days. They were certainly not happy about the return, but credited all back to my credit card at the end. Thus I can say that customer service was good, no quarrels about the return.

If you have a chance to check out the store in person, you can certainly try out many of the tools they have in the catalog, the store is quite big and there were a few “test benches” set up. You will also find lots of the tools on display there. It’s close to San Francisco, a great place to visit… if that is an option.

I do own a Japanese plane, but bought it on eBay directly from Japan. The seller claims that he is the actual plane maker, and has done so for two generations. I do like the plane a lot, initial setup was fairly easy, and it planes with ease. Here is a link to the sellers ebay shop:
http://myworld.ebay.com/fujihisajp/

I also own a set of Japanese Chisels, which I bought at Lee Valley. They only offer one set, and those chisels are excellent. Extremely sharp and easy to work with.

Keep in mind that I am quite new to woodworking, nevertheless I have had my hands on a number of tools at the academy I attending, which is what I can compare to…

View Abbott's profile

Abbott

2570 posts in 1803 days


#5 posted 1543 days ago

I also use a small Jap handsaw, it’s handy and cuts real clean.

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14397 posts in 2175 days


#6 posted 1543 days ago

Timberwerks, what is your favorite Japanese saw for dovetails?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Timberwerks's profile

Timberwerks

292 posts in 1661 days


#7 posted 1543 days ago

This saw here, http://japantool-iida.com/saw/2008/05/dovetail-sawdozukinokogiri-by.html or you can save money and get saw from same maker that does not have as much hand work, example 210 mm would be $131.00 at Hida: http://www.hidatool.com/shop/shop.html a very good saw.

-- http://djofurnituremaker.wordpress.com/ & https://www.facebook.com/pages/Timberwerks-Studio/126415221682

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14397 posts in 2175 days


#8 posted 1543 days ago

Definitely not tools for the faint of heart :-))

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Timberwerks's profile

Timberwerks

292 posts in 1661 days


#9 posted 1542 days ago

True, Japanese saws, planes and chisels can get pricey because they are handmade by the blacksmith. My 120mm plane was a bit over $3,000.00.

Timberwerks

-- http://djofurnituremaker.wordpress.com/ & https://www.facebook.com/pages/Timberwerks-Studio/126415221682

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14397 posts in 2175 days


#10 posted 1542 days ago

I doubt if they are getting rich doing hand work ;-) Is there really enough difference between that and a well tuned premium $400 plane to justify the cost?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View ShannonRogers's profile

ShannonRogers

540 posts in 2287 days


#11 posted 1542 days ago

It has always been my understanding that Japanese tools are best suited for softer woods as that is really all they have in Japan. The saws are great to work with because they cut on the pull stroke and have many teeth so they are easy start and can be very accurate. The small fine teeth are tough to sharpen and more fragile, but the low cost on the saws does make them easy to replace. Planes do take some learning to get set up right but like most wooden planes whether Eastern or Western it is really just light tapping with a hammer until you get your shaving right. Chisels are best suite in softer woods, but the sharpness that the laminated steel blade can obtain is next to nothing. I have found that they are harder to sharpen over time with that laminated steel. I use mostly Western style tools now but have had enough experience with Dozukis and wooden planes to say that I like them very much. I prefer the durability and flexibility that Western tools give me though.

-- The Hand Tool School is Open for Business! Check out my blog and podcast "The Renaissance Woodworker" at www.renaissancewoodworker.com

View Timberwerks's profile

Timberwerks

292 posts in 1661 days


#12 posted 1542 days ago

For me yes, the steel used for this blade develops and retains a extremely keen edge and the workmanship is incredible. Would I get similar results planing from a lower cost plane? Sure, but I would most likely need to sharpen more often and perhaps I would not get as keen of an edge. The high cost of this plane is also for the skill of the blacksmith who forged it, being a large blade also added to the cost. Some of the larger planes can reach $6,000.00 – $8,000.00 or more. My other planes are in the $200 – $400 range and they also work very well.

-- http://djofurnituremaker.wordpress.com/ & https://www.facebook.com/pages/Timberwerks-Studio/126415221682

View Timberwerks's profile

Timberwerks

292 posts in 1661 days


#13 posted 1542 days ago

Saw makers are making patterns for hardwoods, these are the saws I use. The teeth are cut at a different angle for hardwood. You can also order a plane bedded at a 45 deg angle for hardwood, this angle works very well with hardwoods and figured woods. I have a couple planes bedded at higher angles for more difficult wood but I do not use them often. 42 deg is also a good performer. Japanese planes also come supplied with sub blades but I tend to leave them on the shelf.

-- http://djofurnituremaker.wordpress.com/ & https://www.facebook.com/pages/Timberwerks-Studio/126415221682

View Timberwerks's profile

Timberwerks

292 posts in 1661 days


#14 posted 1542 days ago

View Ecocandle's profile

Ecocandle

1013 posts in 1566 days


#15 posted 1542 days ago

I am very new to woodworking. I have bought a really nice $100.00 rip saw, a $30.00 small cross cut saw, and a $24.00 with rip and cross cut teeth. The quality of the 1st two is vastly superior to the 3rd one, but the 3rd one has been hand in some situations, because it doesn’t have the metal bracket across the top of the blade.

I have spent some time practicing with them, gotten some good tips from people here, and now I find it to be a joy to use them.

So I think they are great, but again, I am a beginner, so what do I know?

-- Brian Meeks, http://extremelyaverage.com

showing 1 through 15 of 25 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase