Monday, March 27, 2006



Tsunesaburo (常三郎) is actually not the name of a blacksmith, it names 3 generations of blacksmiths: Tsunezo, Akio and the third generation Toru Uozumi (魚住常三(初代)、昭男(二代)、徹(三代)). But by common usage, Tsunesaburo is used to qualify any of the maker. Sometimes the generation will add precision: Gojyunen made by "Tsunesaburo II", Koshodai made by Tsunesaburo first generation..
The first generation's picture is in the book of Mr Odate's Japanese tools.
Their workshop is located in Miki city.

Their website is full of interesting information (unfortunately for us, me included, only in Japanese). A wide range of choice is available and can be ordered directly from them or from Mr Iida (see links).

The workshop is quite big, compared to those I have seen so far. It is interesting to note that Tsunesaburo have bought a big power hammer together with other blacksmiths, so that the tool is shared among craftmen of Miki.

Steel blanks. On the rightmost handside, one of the last blanks of Togo Reigo, from the UK.

Stamps used to mark the blades.

Tsunesaburo produces a wide range of planes, offering more than 10 differents steel for the blade: HSS, white and blue steel, Togo Reigo, Tamahagane... The 2 later ones being highly looked after, and highly priced. You won't find any tamahagane plane on their catalog, these are custom made and show-up extreemly rarely.
Some of there famous planes includes:
shodai (初代),
gatsurin (月輪),
I was also surprised to see a stanley laminated blade... Would you believe this: a laminated blade for your stanley number 5 (not sure... providing the size of the blade, some of our fellow woodworker would probably identify the corresponding plane). If I understood well it was custom made in a small serie.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


Young blacksmith

"This a real crisis of Japan" was telling me a friend from Osaka, he was mentioning that very few blacksmiths are taking over the work of the previous generations.

But hopefully there are some accross Japan, few, but some.

Mr Uchihashi (内橋さん)is one of them. He is less than 30 years old. I visited him in March 2006 in his workshop, located in the countryside about 40 minutes drive south of Miki city.

I have only seen his work available on stands at the Inuyama kezuroukai meeting, but hopefully his planes will sell well so that it gives him encouragement for the future. I know his planes are sold in Tokyo.

Uchihashi-san in his workshop. 20march 2006.


big planes

This blog is called "okanna" which literally means big plane in Japanese. So it was high time I show some pictures of big planes, and mention few words about them.

While it is already not easy to pull one of those big planes, Mr Masaru Kamijo (上條勝) pulls 2.

Those big planes are so well tuned that even a first timer can try. It just requires a little power.

Mr Masaru Kamijo (上條勝) has created an original 5 blades plane. He tried it during the KezurouKai meeting in Inuyama.

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