japanese woodworking

Essential Tools For Japanese Woodworking

japanese woodworking

Japanese woodworking is a meditative and slow craft that reveals a close bond with the natural materials. The resulting pieces are precise yet spare, with no nails, screws or glue used to hold them together.

Traditional joinery techniques have a long history in Japan. Some have fallen out of use, but others remain as a source of inspiration for architects like Shigeru Ban.

Ryoba Saw

The Ryoba saw is a multi-purpose carpentry tool. It features a cross-cutting (yokobiki) and a rip-cutting (tatebiki) blade on each side.

Japanese saws are useful for all kinds of woodworking projects, from rough dimensioning to cutting up larger pieces of lumber. They are also great for making curved cuts and ripping in hard-to-access areas.

Genno Hammer

The Genno Hammer is an essential tool for a number of Japanese woodworking tasks. It has one flat side for striking chisels and hand planes and another slightly convex for driving nails into wood.

These hammers are made from a single piece of steel that has been heat hardened at each end. This deadens hammer blows and minimises recoil.

Ryoba Square

A Japanese woodworking tool that has a cult following among do-it-yourselfers, a ryoba square is a saw that can be used for both ripping and crosscutting. Its thin blade allows for high flexibility and precision while also being easy to hold in one hand.

Its uses are numerous. This saw has been used for centuries by Japanese craftsmen and is still a vital part of their woodworking toolkit.

Ryoba Plane

Ryoba Plane is a tool for cutting along and across the grain of timber. It carries cross-cut teeth on one edge and rip-cut teeth on the other.

Woodworkers need to be able to cut both across and along the grain of the wood they work with. To accomplish this, Japanese saw makers figured out to carry both sets of teeth on a single saw plate.

Ryoba Jigsaw

The Ryoba Jigsaw is a versatile saw that can be used for many different kinds of cutting. It is ideal for use in the home or on small-scale projects.

When cutting, keep in mind that jigsaw blades cut on the upstroke, so it is best to make cuts with the “good” side of the wood facing down. This will minimize tearout.

When making straight cuts, you should place a piece of masking tape on the cut line to prevent splintering on the top of the workpiece. This is especially important with plywood, which is more susceptible to tearout.

Ryoba Wood Plane

The Ryoba Wood Plane is a versatile tool that can be used for a wide range of projects. It features two sets of teeth on its thin blade: one for crosscutting and the other for ripping.

It cuts on the pull stroke for increased control, and it comes with a replaceable blade that you can easily swap out for a duller blade.

A ryoba is a great tool for breaking down small pieces of wood, particularly for use with a handsaw hook. It can be used to cut small pieces of hardwood and softwood that are too small for a power saw.

Ryoba Knife

The Ryoba knife, sometimes called a sujihiki, is a slicing knife with a double beveled blade. This makes it easier to cut and allows single-stroke cuts.

The Ryoba knife comes in many shapes and sizes. Traditionally, they are made from carbon steel and need regular maintenance.

Ryoba Chisel

Often seen in Japanese workshops as part of a set of wood carving tools, the Ryoba chisel is a useful tool for fine work. It can be used for dovetails, tenons, and other more delicate joints.

Its crosscut teeth are specialized for cutting across the grain of wood. However, ripping timber along the grain is more difficult as these teeth cannot cleanly cut through the wood fibers.

Ryoba Hand Plane

The Ryoba Hand Plane is a saw used for cutting small pieces of wood. It is a double edged saw with rip teeth on one side of the blade and cross cut teeth on the other.

The Ryoba can make clean cuts through hard woods such as maple. It can also be used as a general carpenter’s saw.