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Using our Chopstick Jig to make your own Chopsticks

Our chopstick-making jig is ingenious in its simplicity, but does require a little bit of practice to get it turning out perfect utensils every time. Here are the steps to producing a chopstick in our jig, as well as a couple of tips or tricks. 1. Our jig accepts timber blanks 8mm tick in both dimensions, and about mm long. There is some adjustability in the locking mechanism to allow for slightly shorter or longer lengths. Many blanks can be produced quickly and easily on a band saw or table saw. If you don't have access to these tools, we now stock blanks in a variety of timbers. Click here to browse our selection.  2. Once unpacked from the box,...

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Understanding the Japanese Saw

Japanese saws are distinctive from western hand saws in a few crucial ways, most of which rely on the fact that they cut on the pull-stroke. Since the blade of the saw cuts as it is drawn towards the user, rather than as it is pushed away, the blade is constantly in tension while cutting. This means that the saw plate can be made of very thin metal, even for saws designed to rip boards. In turn, because these saws leave a fine kerf, they remove less material as they cut and therefore are extremely efficient, requiring less effort and time compared to a similarly sized Western counterpart with a greater blade thickness. The sizing of teeth in Japanese saws...

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Making the Most of Our Complete Sharpening Kit

If you have recently purchased our Complete Sharpening Kit as an introduction to the world of hand-, jig- or waterstone-sharpening, congratulations! With a high quality ceramic Japanese waterstone and the ability to flatten it, you have in front of you the basic equipment with which to make your knives or tools very sharp indeed, and to keep them that way. We’ve put together this guide to help you get the most out of your Kit. The Glass Plate and Sandpaper The function of the glass plate is to flatten the waterstone. Your Kit ships with two different grades of sandpaper, and we recommend adhering a sheet of each grit to either side of the glass plate, giving you a two-sided...

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Using Waterstones - The Essentials

It is essential to follow a few basic principles to get the best out of any waterstone. Keep your stone flat by dressing its surface with a flat, coarse abrasive. Adhesive-backed sandpaper stuck to a piece of appropriately sized glass gives good results and is inexpensive. Using a coarser grain waterstone to dress finer grain stones is a well known method, but for best results a third stone should be introduced to the process, as two stones can begin to mirror each other's undulations. Finally, a coarse diamond stone can be used - as long as it is flat. Avoid cross-contaminating your stones while sharpening, and be sure to rinse your workpiece as well as your stones thoroughly when moving between grits. Introducing coarse abrasives from a sharpening...

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Tuning Your New Japanese Plane Before First Use

Our planes, like all Japanese planes, ship from the manufacturer with a small amount of tuning yet to be done. This allows users to tune their plane for use in the conditions it will be continually used in, eliminating the problem of wood movement between climates.    Most traditional Japanese planes and chisels will require some knowledge and tuning to use them to their full ability. In Japanese craft tradition, a blacksmith manufactures only the blade of plane or a chisel. In some cases they may manufacture a chipbreaker to match a plane blade, but most of the time a separate craftsman will be asked to manufacture a chipbreaker. In either case, most Japanese planes and chisels are finished by...

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