Page 4 of 7 FirstFirst 1234567 LastLast
Results 46 to 60 of 91

Thread: Sharpening Japanese Chisels in 2023

  1. #46
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    468
    Quote Originally Posted by Rafael Herrera View Post
    I'm not sure if you're implying that if there had been more iron resources, they would have used metal bodied planes; there were no metal bodied planes before the 19th century.

    Also, certainly carpentry tools were being manufactured throughout Japanese history, they have a centuries old woodworking tradition.

    The katanas were mentioned as an example of the manufacture of a cutting instrument forge welding irons with different carbon content. The same technology applies to more mundane devices like chisels, plane irons, etc.
    Fair point. Metal bodied planes were probably a bad example to use as they are a pretty recent innovation in the west.

    I always thought katanas were made from a single steel blank. The spine (less hard) and edge (harder) are hardened to different levels allowing it to take a keen, durable edge while also allowing the spine to flex. A cool Japanese innovation.

    Until recently, I didnít realize that it was this differential heat treatment that gave the katana its signature curve.

    Do I have something wrong here?

  2. #47
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Lubbock, Tx
    Posts
    1,215
    I guess in the grand scheme of things Ancient Rome was relatively recent

  3. #48
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    558
    Just to make sure, I checked one of those katana making videos on YouTube.

    A blank of high carbon steel (kawagane) is folded around a blank of low carbon steel (shingane). Then that is hammered and stretched to the shape of the sword. The hardening process affects the whole blade. Only the outer shell hardens, the shingane does not harden.

    Of course, there's a lot more to this art, here's the video I watched. The lamination is shown around minute 22.

    https://youtu.be/gxwWf-MfZVk

  4. #49
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    Posts
    57
    William, do you have a link to the stereoscope that you use?

  5. #50
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    468
    Thanks Rafael! I learned something new and I'll check out the video.

  6. #51
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    South West Ontario
    Posts
    1,465
    The Will Strubin Wetzlar dissecting microscope. Itís old. Universities sell off their old stuff very cheap, they have lots of new money to spend. You have to strip and lubricate but $2000 new, $66 disposal. Microscope $5000 new $102 disposal.
    Once cleaned and lubed they work fine. The optics are still superb.
    I would stay away from the really old stuff 50 years plus, things did get better. Helps to know about model years for microscopes. The stereoscopes really took off for printed circuit board assembly, lots out there, not all zoom.
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

  7. #52
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    51
    Quote Originally Posted by Keegan Shields View Post
    Let me try to be more clear about the two points.

    1. Carpentry was a less important vocation than making war in feudal Japan, therefore making something like a katana with the available steel/iron would have taken precedence over a metal smoothing plane or timber framing chisel. Given the scarcity of iron ore, its no wonder Japanese carpenters used wooden plane bodies and developed chisels with laminated blades.

    2. The fact that katanas are traditionally made with many layers of folded steel is the practical solution to the problem of impurities in the steel that was used causing a weak spot. This is my attempt at showing another example outside of woodworking where a bug is turned into a feature over time. All that extra work to fix a problem turns into some mythical benefit to admire. The point has nothing to do with material savings.

    Hopefully that helps clear up what I was trying to convey.
    This sounds like an attempt to reduce something unnecessarily.

    Would you mind answering some specific questions?

    Do you believe metal body planes superior? Do you believe all steel plane blades are superior to their laminated counterparts?

    I think the Japanese, as a culture, pursue singular things to the highest degree. They iterate throughout their lives on singular tasks and attempt to produce the highest quality work. This is repeated over generations in various domains. Their tools and methods are the result of this continued iteration over centuries and many of their tools and practices have been taken from other cultures (China, perhaps Korea?).

    When steel became more readily available, why didn't they "improve" their product?
    Last edited by Chris Pyle; 01-30-2023 at 6:45 PM.

  8. #53
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    Posts
    876
    FWIW, I have a kanaban, but I recommend skipping it and just going to a diamond stone. A combination 400/1000 grit diamond plate is great. You'll use the 1000 grit side primarily, but you may occasionally need to do heavy grinding, in which case you'll need at least 400 grit.

    Most Japanese woodworkers I know also tend not to use the kanaban so much and just use diamond plates as well.

    Beware of cheap kanaban, by the way. Mine did NOT come flat and I spent considerable time getting it perfectly flat. Diamond stones are usually better, but buyer beware -- make sure you get a perfectly flat diamond stone.

    Next up would be a water stone, maybe around 1000-2000 grit, and another around 4000-6000 grit to finish on. Maybe a finer waterstone or a Jnat after that for an ultra fine edge.

    I'm a bit anachronistic and actually sharpen all of my Japanese tools with oilstones -- primarily a vintage washita and arkansas stones. They seem to work rather well with Japanese steel and I never have to worry about rust. They also cut better than cheap Japanese natural whetstones that I own, but I should state that I don't own any particularly good/expensive jnats. Maybe one day I will. My sharpening set up is not much different than what people were using 150 years ago in Europe and America.

    As others have said, free hand a flat bevel. Another anachronistic point of mine, but I find that if you get the bevel perfectly flat, especially with Japanese tools because they're so thick, then as you're sharpening, you will find that two perfectly flat surfaces rubbing against eachother with a lubricant present will cause a vaccuum effect where they stick together quite solidly on occasion. You'll be pushing or pulling along and then the bevel will just "grab" to the stone and stop all of the sudden, causing you to ruin the angle and create a micro bevel. If this happens, it's back to the coarse stone... and it happens often enough if you have a perfectly flat bevel, that I actually began putting an almost imperceptible amount of curvature on the back of the bevel. Actually though, I've found you can keep 80-90% of the bevel completely flat and just subtly round off the very top of the bevel (the soft iron side) to break that hard corner, and this problem will occur way less.

    Not many people seem to complain about this issue other than me, so maybe I'm just getting things "too flat" for my own good, but there's my 2 cents if you happen to encounter this phenomenon on a regular basis.

    FYI, sharpening Japanese tools in 2023 isn't much different from sharpening them in 1723. I quite like my ancient natural stones, and many Japanese woodworkers I know do also. There's a few more conveniences available these days such as diamonds and synthetic, but it really doesn't change much tbh. The important thing is just to get the skill and experience, so start practicing and learn to free hand!
    Last edited by Luke Dupont; 01-30-2023 at 6:46 PM.

  9. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Dupont View Post
    FYI, sharpening Japanese tools in 2023 isn't much different from sharpening them in 1723. I quite like my ancient natural stones, and many Japanese woodworkers I know do also. There's a few more conveniences available these days such as diamonds and synthetic, but it really doesn't change much tbh. The important thing is just to get the skill and experience, so start practicing and learn to free hand!
    You have information on Japanese sharpening in 1723?

  10. #55
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    468
    Do you believe metal body planes superior?

    Superior is a subjective word. But yes, for my purposes I believe so. Wood moves when the humidity changes, ductile iron does not. Iíve never needed to use a tachi kanna to flatten or hollow the sole of my LN 4 1/2. I prefer the additional weight of a metal bodied plane and the integral chip breaker to limit tear out. As I understand it, the addition of a chip breaker on kannas appeared only after WW2, demonstrating that the traditional kanna could be improved upon. I also find the Stanley type mechanisms to control blade protrusion easier to use than tapping with a hammer.

    Do you believe all steel plane blades are superior to their laminated counterparts?

    No. But why bother with lamination if you donít have to? Why add unnecessary complication if there is no performance benefit? Why fold a steel blank 1000 times if you donít have to? I believe the answer is - when a process takes on a life of its own. When myth and tradition (which I cyclically see as marketing) become the brand and thus the selling point.

    The role of marketing is to differentiate a product and make it special, raising its perceived value. There are wild product claims made all of the time, and the consumer is often left trying to figure out what matters and what is marketing. Some might remember the original Copperfit advertisements that made miraculous claims about the healing powers of copper. Spoiler alert - it doesnítÖ

    As an aside, I have great respect for the Japanese cultural traditions of precision. Japanese watch (Sako) and optics manufacturers (Light Optic Works) are great examples of this.

  11. #56
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    51
    Quote Originally Posted by Keegan Shields View Post
    Do you believe metal body planes superior?

    Superior is a subjective word. But yes, for my purposes I believe so. Wood moves when the humidity changes, ductile iron does not. I’ve never needed to use a tachi kanna to flatten or hollow the sole of my LN 4 1/2. I prefer the additional weight of a metal bodied plane and the integral chip breaker to limit tear out. As I understand it, the addition of a chip breaker on kannas appeared only after WW2, demonstrating that the traditional kanna could be improved upon. I also find the Stanley type mechanisms to control blade protrusion easier to use than tapping with a hammer.

    Do you believe all steel plane blades are superior to their laminated counterparts?

    No. But why bother with lamination if you don’t have to? Why add unnecessary complication if there is no performance benefit? Why fold a steel blank 1000 times if you don’t have to? I believe the answer is - when a process takes on a life of its own. When myth and tradition (which I cyclically see as marketing) become the brand and thus the selling point.

    The role of marketing is to differentiate a product and make it special, raising its perceived value. There are wild product claims made all of the time, and the consumer is often left trying to figure out what matters and what is marketing. Some might remember the original Copperfit advertisements that made miraculous claims about the healing powers of copper. Spoiler alert - it doesn’t…

    As an aside, I have great respect for the Japanese cultural traditions of precision. Japanese watch (Sako) and optics manufacturers (Light Optic Works) are great examples of this.
    Superior is definitely subjective but your answers help explain why you were so reductive about Japanese tools and practices.

    Superior to you doesn't mean superior performance, necessarily. It means ease of use and maintenance or those carry heavy weight in your final grading.

    I wonder why these really high end infill planes aren't brought to the Kezuroukai competitions to win the award and show everyone they've been using unnecessarily finicky tools that were developed before resources were plentiful?

    You believe Japanese tools haven't "evolved" because of myth and tradition?

  12. #57
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    8,883
    Keegan, if you believe that the performance of laminated blades of Japanese chisels is something made up by the publicity department, then you need to read the tests I have done:

    http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ToolRev...g-5Steels.html

    "There were relatively good performances from 3V and M4, and superlative performances from Koyamaichi laminated white steel."


    http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ToolRev...sCompared.html

    "The PM-V11 and the White Steel really do deliver. The gap between them and the A2 and O1/HCS is very large."


    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  13. #58
    For years I've been advocating the use of diamond paste as a sharpening medium. (I really don't understand how this hasn't caught on) Raises a burr in pm-v11 in a half a heartbeat. I use the water-based Norton product found at gramercy. I used to use mdf as a substrate but I have the steel plates from lv for a while now and really love them.
    Last edited by John Kananis; 01-31-2023 at 9:33 AM. Reason: Grammar

  14. #59
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Helensburgh, Australia
    Posts
    2,546
    Here is a video on how sharpening is taught in Japan.

    Chris

    Everything I like is either illegal, immoral or fattening

  15. #60
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Location
    Brooklyn NY
    Posts
    208
    I have a tsushima stone from Suzukitool. I go back to a 1200 king or 1k shap glass when needed, but typically just return to the tsushima at first clue of needing a hone. Is it the ďthe bestĒ system? Definitely not, but it is definitely good enough and its fun sharpening handmade irons on millennia old rocks. Searching the internet for ďthe bestĒ is a losing battle. Just find a system you enjoy and itís probably good enough.

Posting Permissions

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