Recommended Course - by Japanese craftsman Hiroshi Yamaguchi


Early this year, I felt privileged when I attended a woodworking class run by Japanese craftsman Hiroshi Yamaguchi at the Australian National University in Canberra.

Mr. Hiroshi Yamaguchi beautifully described how to use Japanese hand tools and the methodology behind them.

I have been working with Japanese hand tools for many years but I found myself hanging off every word Mr. Yamaguchi had to say. Being able to attend this class is quite a rare opportunity as it allowed me to learn from a true Japanese craftsman outside of Japan, in the English language and also without having to travel too far.

To give you an idea of the amount of detail covered, in class we spent a few hours on how to fit the iron hoop on top of a chisel. This was extremely fascinating.
The first part of the course included learning to set a chisel, fitting the iron hoop, flattening the back and sharpening it. The chisel was then used in class to make a Japanese plane (kanna).

Below you will see photos of the two planes I made and the chisel (nomi) which I used to make the two planes.

The chisel (nomi), which was fitted with the iron hoop, flattened on the back and sharpened before being used in class to make a Japanese plane (kanna).

Two Japanese planes (kanna) made in class. The top kanna is 55 degrees for hardwood made with PNG queen ebony, while the bottom kanna is a 38 degrees for softer woods made from oak.

Plane blade detail - through sole.

Plane blade detail. 

Mr. Yamaguchi also runs a 3 day course. Please check the link below for dates and more details periodically.

Japanese Woodworking class at ANU