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Japanese Woodworking Tools: Their Tradition, Spirit and Use (A Fine woodworking book) [Hardcover]

Toshio Odate
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 1985 A Fine woodworking book
This text shows how to use Japanese tools effectively and maintain them properly, and explains the role they play in traditional Japanese craftsmanship. It describes how to create razor-sharp cutting edges and introduces almost 50 different planes.--This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press Inc; New edition edition (Dec 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0918804191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0918804198
  • Product Dimensions: 31 x 31 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 951,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
I decided to write about the workshop in this chapter because I believe it is appropriate to discuss the work place before discussing tools. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive reference book in its field 31 May 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is most likely to interest woodworkers, specifically carpenters or cabinetmakers (like myself); however it might be of some use to historians or folklorists. It is principally a catalogue and users' manual for Japanese woodworking tools with very few omissions: it is encyclopedic in scope if not in presentation. The text is fairly well supported by black and white photographs and illustrations. Odate's book is widely regarded as definitive within its (small) field. See the summary below for why I agree with this opinion.
Odate's knowledge of his own tradition is obviously profound, whilst he seems largely unaware of, and even uninterested in that of the west. Nonetheless, the western reader new to the subject will find much which is familiar, which helps to debunk the mystique and confusion which has tended to arise surrounding Japanese tools. There is plenty of practical information on use and maintenance, usually in considerable depth (eg. sections on making and fitting saw handles; sharpening methods; making planes from scratch etc).
Interspersed with the practical information are lengthy sections of reminiscences, often involving the "spirit" of the title. These sections are more likely to appeal to the student of Japanese history or folklore than to the woodworker, although they are not unentertaining.
Summary. This book: 1 Is a good encyclopedia of its subject 2 Is intelligently written and clearly presented 3 Sheds much light on the Japanese woodworking tradition 4 Is, above all, a decent users' manual suitable for woodworkers unfamiliar with the tools and wanting to get the best out of them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Contents five stars, publisher nil 30 Aug 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book contents are brilliant as I was expecting from Toshio Odate.
The binding,from Linden, kept me for the first 20 pages trying to sort out a logic of the misplacement of the pages.
Looks like somebody in a rush tried to put the pages together not even considering the numerals at the bottom of them.
I will reconsider accepting in future an item in this conditions.
Again book brilliant, seller brilliant, publisher garbage.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book starts with the workshop description and layout. Toshio Odate uses his own unique experiences as a craftsman to show how to use and care for the tools. There are chapters on saws, chisels, marking tools, and handplanes. Japanese tools are much different than western style tools in their appearance, use, and care. All of these are covered in this excellent book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Robert Hardie VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating look at Japanese woodworking tools and the whole approach to traditional woodworking in Japan. It shows how the Japanese methods have developed in parallel to western methods in a similar way that life in different parts of the globe has evolved differently but down similar paths. The Japanese ethos seems to have solved many of the problems of woodworking in a beautifully simple fashion. It also shows a much more spiritual approach to woodworking that is largely lacking in western woodworking. This is a good book for learning about Japanese methods rather than a teaching manual in terms of how to do it.
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