Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Recommendations for Japanese planes and chisels...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Lake Dallas, TX
    Posts
    39

    Recommendations for Japanese planes and chisels...

    Hi fellas,

    Next month I'm going back to Japan to visit the in-laws. They're good people, so I'm really looking forward to it.

    While there, I will be frequenting several flea markets, bazaars, and perhaps a few woodworking/DIY stores. I'm hoping to buy some old Japanese planes, chisels and other tools.

    What I'm hoping is that some of you fellas can offer me suggestions for brand names to look for as well as what types of planes and chisels to go for. It'll also be great if any of you happen to know of any stores I can visit (Tokyo Hands is already on the list)...

    Thanks..

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    2,795
    Rick ,

    I can't help with shopping in Japan, but a brand of chisel I like a lot is Oouichi (just one of the ways I've seen it spelled.) No frills, no decorative treatment on the blades, just very good quality tools that are much favored by professional carpenters in Japan. Their logo is two crossed leaves (shaped rather like beech leaves).

    Have a great trip; I'd particularly like to see Kyoto one day.
    Last edited by Frank Drew; 02-03-2011 at 5:16 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Washington state
    Posts
    497
    Check out toolsfromjapan.com http://64.118.88.43/ I don't know if it's anywhere near where you will be visiting, but the owner, Stu, is a frequent contributor on woodnet and carries some very good tools. I'm sure he would be willing to impart loads of good info about the tools available.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    11,327
    I can't say much about the older tools in japan. I'm sure the ones that were used professionally and are "used up" were good ones. I have not seen that many used tools over here that looked like something I would take over a new mid-priced tool (by mid-priced, i mean professional quality from a known blacksmith, but without lots of hand work and bling). The older NOS tools also generally appear over here at a price that is higher than a comparable new tool would cost, and they don't appear often.

    Ouchi would be nice in chisels (they won't be cheap), as wood koyamaichi. I don't know if koyamaichi are as popular there as they have become with us (since we can actually get them here and ouchi are a little harder to come by unless you go through some of the higher priced sellers), but I did ask someone who buys tools in tokyo about them and a bunch of other makers, and the comment about them was "good - like ouchi".

    I have since had my email inbox blown up and lost all of it, and can't remember any of the other makers, but there was sentiment that some of the high bling tools were to be avoided if you didn't want to be made fun of (even though the good makers are still good. I don't expect you'll be buying any of those stratospheric $500 per piece chisels or $2800 tamahagane kanna, anyway).

    That is just what I recall, and I'm no expert. I do use the tools some (planes, chisels and saws), though not exclusively. Their DIY and lower mid-grade tools are remarkably and uniformly better than ours, in my opinion. Even a $60 funjii plane can be made to work extremely well and be pleasant to use, though they are not as tidily made as the more expensive tools. The cutting irons in them are remarkable compared to anything we have remotely close to that price.
    Unleaded tastes a little tangy, supreme is kinda sour, and diesel tastes pretty good.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Lake Dallas, TX
    Posts
    39
    Quote Originally Posted by Montgomery Scott View Post
    Check out toolsfromjapan.com http://64.118.88.43/ I don't know if it's anywhere near where you will be visiting, but the owner, Stu, is a frequent contributor on woodnet and carries some very good tools. I'm sure he would be willing to impart loads of good info about the tools available.
    Yea, I've chatted with Stu. He is near Kyoto (which I might be going to) but he is a bit out of the way. I'm not sure I can get my wife and mother in law to go over there with me.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Lake Dallas, TX
    Posts
    39
    Oh, I forgot. I'm also going to be looking for Japanese sharpening stones.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    11,327
    Like natural ones mined near kyoto, or like some new-tech artificial ones?

    If the former, that's a minefield and a bit of a crapshoot if you're used to strong-performing artificial stones.
    Unleaded tastes a little tangy, supreme is kinda sour, and diesel tastes pretty good.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Puget Sound, USA
    Posts
    596
    Prices for new chisels and planes are nearly half the cost in Japan as they are here, so it would be wise to by some tools while you're there.
    See if you can find vintage Kiyotada chisels(they are no longer made), Kiyohisa chisels are very good and you may find them in stock in Tokyo or Kyoto. Another good chisel maker is Nagahiro(he is retired), you may be able to find his tools in Tokyo.

    You'll be able to by manmade Japanese water stones fairly cheaply there as well.

    Have fun!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •