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Forum topic by planeBill posted 07-18-2013 03:32 PM 3564 views 4 times favorited 72 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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planeBill

480 posts in 1128 days


07-18-2013 03:32 PM

I don’t really see much about J tools mentioned here but I have come to appreciate them more and more after having used them a lot through school and in my shop (when I had one). They certainly can be confusing and buying used or vintage certainly carries with it an element of anxiety because it is usually a gamble, something I don’t have the money to take much of. Buying from a reputable dealer is the best way to go but can be very expensive. So how do I buy the ones I have? I have both taken gambles and bought from a good dealer. Needless to say I have few quality J-tools but cherish them all. The quality is usually very high and they really impart that quality onto the joints Ive made with them. Familiarizing yourself with the known top makers, and even the acceptable makers, and looking for their tools around ebay, used tool dealers and elsewhere can pay off with due diligence. Mitsukawa saws are made in a variety of levels of quality but I have found that even his lower end saws really are nice tools. Koyamaichi chisels are an excellent tool at a very reasonable price, albeit a little bit higher than most top quality western makers. Again, ebay is a good place to find some real gems. Ive learned a few of the traits common to good chisels, though they don’t always apply (again, the confusion), who good makers are, at least the few of the hundreds who are known to us here, and what physical characteristics to look for. Still though, most of the time its a gamble going it alone. Fortunately sometimes they can be had for not a lot of cash but the shipping is usually pretty high.
Ive recently began to dabble in the natural stones. You can often buy small pieces of really expensive stones from a reputable dealer for a lot less than the full sized stone to try out, and sharpening a chisel doesn’t take a lot of stone so it works out pretty good.
Does anyone have any favorite J tools that they would like to share with the forum? What they are, where you got them, and /or / how and when you got them? How do you feel about them in general.
I recently bought this little boat builders hammer for not a lot of cash (knew it was a cheapy) really just to try making a handle for it.


-- I was born at a very young age, as I grew up, I got older.


72 replies so far

View Nicky's profile

Nicky

636 posts in 2811 days


#1 posted 07-18-2013 04:16 PM

I have a set of Koyamaichi chisels with Red Oak handles. They are awesome. These hold an edge longer then anything else I’ve used. The set was given to me as a gift by coworkers. I don’t know where they were purchased. Been using the set for 5 years

I’ve also purchased a few Nakaya Dozuke saws. I use these exclusively for dovetails and they are a joy to use. I bought my first Dozuke from Woodworkers supply. I don’t remember the brand, but I really became very comfortable with sawing on the push stroke. I did not properly care for this saw and had damaged the teeth over time. I bought another from “Tools from Japan” a few years back, and have since purchased a Rip dozuke.

-- Nicky

View planeBill's profile

planeBill

480 posts in 1128 days


#2 posted 07-18-2013 04:56 PM

Nicky, congratulations. Koyamaichi chisels are really nice tools. I dont own any yet but a friend of mine graciousley allowed me to use his and I was hooked. Would you care to post some pics of your set? My J chisels are a mix of unknowns and a few Ouichi.
I can barely use a western saw anymore. Do you know which Nakaya is the maker of your saw? There are several, I think. Regardless, youre right, they are a joy to use. I own a rip dozuki from Mitsukawa and its a scary sharp saw. A 1” dovetail in cherry takes 2 pulls sometimes three but it cuts effortlessly.
Tools from Japan’s owner, Stuart Tierney (hope I spelled that correctly) is a great guy and really helpfull. In fact he is going to be the source of my chisels. I am saving now and Im almost there and when I reach my goal I intend to buy these

and that will be a happy day!! These are called chu-tataki, which translates to medium striking chisel. They are about 11” total length whereas the regular chisels, or common bench chisels are about 8 1/2” in length. Since I do more large scale work than mos folks I thought, as did Stuart, that these would be more appropriate for me. They are simply bigger in all respects than the regular chisels. I am going to get mine with the boxwood handles and the hand hammered hoops,hopefully, if all goes according to plan.
here is a shot for comparison with the normal bench chisels.

Here is my little saw collection and the stand I made to store them in/on.

I have no idea why some of my pics post out of rotation like this. They are not like this in my pictures folders!!

-- I was born at a very young age, as I grew up, I got older.

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

5192 posts in 1296 days


#3 posted 07-18-2013 05:59 PM

Awesome thread, a favorite for sure.

I have Shark pull saws which copies the finer made saws and it works well. More
Japanese pull saws are in my future as well.

Ebay offers a Japanese chisel set at an affordable price. The balance and edge retention
are great. Although I can’t compare it to other Japanese chisels, I would figure the higher
priced chisels are a joy to use and tune up.

The craftsmanship on these chisels is crazy cool

View Nicky's profile

Nicky

636 posts in 2811 days


#4 posted 07-18-2013 06:04 PM

I’m on travel (well actually stuck in Atlanta airport) so not able to snap any pics. I did a quick search and found a similar set from google image; here what my set looks like (they did come in a nice wooden box)

Here is the link for the saw(s) ... I first purchased the crosscut, about a year later I picked up the RIP. Looking next at purchasing a double sided saw.

http://www.toolsfromjapan.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=316_333_390&products_id=634

I like your saw storage.

Good luck with your purchases. These are expensive tools but will last generations with a little TLC

-- Nicky

View planeBill's profile

planeBill

480 posts in 1128 days


#5 posted 07-18-2013 07:04 PM

Nicky, hope you get out of Atlanta soon. Not going to Japan by any chance are you? ;-) Are the chisels used mainly or dovetails? Nice looking tools. You bought them as a set? Where from?
I was looking at that very same saw at one point, how do you like it?
Ive gotta, of al of my J saws I find the ryoba the last usefull. I much prefer the kataba and the dozuki. The dozuki is pretty limited in its uses but excells at its jobs. A kataba can be had in rip and crosscut. I think Ive read that it is actually what the oiginal J saw was, the ryobas and dozukis being a much later development. I always seem to reach for the single edged saws in my rack.
whoho6o9, do you have those chisels? How do you use them? General woodworking? Was the type of steel stated on the packaging anywhere? Ive bought two chisels from ebay, older but decent ones that I knew would need some tuning and rehabbing just to practice setting up and tuning them for when the big day comes and I get my package in the mail.

-- I was born at a very young age, as I grew up, I got older.

View woodcox's profile

woodcox

683 posts in 731 days


#6 posted 07-18-2013 08:36 PM

Wow, great start to a much needed topic. Thanks bill. I hope to see it flourish with good input on J tools and their techniques.
My small collection of Vaughan bear saws. They offer another handful of various type blades I dont have yet. Although no dozuke type available. All blades and handles are interchangeable. Made in Japan and are quite sharp. Durability is excellent for manufactured blades. I believe I paid less than $90.for all shipped directly from Vaughan.

At left is my new favorite the Shinto saw rasp. It can hog it out fast or delicately shape to a smooth finish.


My latest project, I’m at pause until I can come up with a top for them as this will be my primary work bench.
Nice till bill! Are those magnets on the top sides?

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View planeBill's profile

planeBill

480 posts in 1128 days


#7 posted 07-18-2013 09:16 PM

Magnets, yes they are. I ran out of slots for my growing saw arsenal. WOW!! I really like your bench base!! They even look oriental-ish. Very cool.
I certainly hope to see a sharing of information on technique as well. Maybe some inspiration for folks to dig out the unused J tools they have stashed away in the deep dark corners of their workshops.
My little damascas kiridashi. A razor could only dream of being this sharp. ;-)

-- I was born at a very young age, as I grew up, I got older.

View planeBill's profile

planeBill

480 posts in 1128 days


#8 posted 07-18-2013 09:36 PM

Sorry I forgot the pics in that post. The really beautiful haze on the bevel highlighting the different layers comes from a natural stone. I love it. Its hazy and shiny at the same time. Weird.

-- I was born at a very young age, as I grew up, I got older.

View mafe's profile

mafe

9617 posts in 1809 days


#9 posted 07-18-2013 10:55 PM

Cool sawholder, I like the design.
I am a big fan of Japanese tools and have to say I most of the time reach for them in my workshop.
You can find a lot of info in my blogs and posts about setting up, restoring and making Japanese tools.
Nice stuff being posted in this thread.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View planeBill's profile

planeBill

480 posts in 1128 days


#10 posted 07-19-2013 01:43 AM

Thanks mafe. I must confess, I saw a “similar” design on daiku dojo and modified it a bit, I liked it too. Thanks very much for the tip about your blog. Im off to check it out now.

-- I was born at a very young age, as I grew up, I got older.

View LRR's profile

LRR

25 posts in 542 days


#11 posted 07-19-2013 12:07 PM

Woodcox, if you want a Japanese work bench all you have to add to the legs is a piece of 4 X 12×8’ piece of pine that you have done some smoothing on. Here is one that Chris Schwarz mentioned, but I have seen it in other places. http://www.popularwoodworking.com/workbenches/schwarz-workbenches/a-japanese-workbench

View mafe's profile

mafe

9617 posts in 1809 days


#12 posted 07-19-2013 12:25 PM

;-)

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View woodcox's profile

woodcox

683 posts in 731 days


#13 posted 07-19-2013 01:55 PM

Thanks LRR. My limited shop space demands mobiliy. I chose the trestles for this reason. I’m thinking of a traditional or full functioning top as far as size and work holding capabilities. I just have to make it removable/stowable. Logistics and features need to be well thouht out,as with any big bench project.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6960 posts in 1633 days


#14 posted 07-19-2013 02:17 PM

Nice looking saw stand, but I would be afraid of having the business end of so many pull-saws facing me in one location and all at once. Maybe a bit of plexiglass in front for safety, where you could still see the blades for choosing the correct one each time. Just a thought…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View planeBill's profile

planeBill

480 posts in 1128 days


#15 posted 07-19-2013 02:28 PM

I guess I just not that afraid. I call it livin on the edge.

-- I was born at a very young age, as I grew up, I got older.

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