In 1969 I met an "International Boy Scout" from Japan at the Scout camp
where he served as a counselor. Last year he came back to the U.S. and we
met again at the camp. Anyhow, to make a long story shorter, it turns out
that he is a woodworker also. He is also a member of a woodworking club in
Japan and he sent me a link to the club's web site. http://www1.cnc.jp/mori/
I cannot read Japanese but there are a lot of photos and videos on the site
that I found by clicking on pretty much everything. I found that things that
are not underlined are in fact links... The two TV videos were great....
long thin curls coming off a plane that looked to be 4" or so wide were
pretty amazing! It is a really interesting web site!
Cool! Thanks for the link.
Google Translate gives a somewhat wonky translation of a website from
Japanese to English, and formatting is dicey, but better than nothing:
LOL ... complete with "Canadian fleas", "I shaved properly,
I was a master", and "... large purchase of a small sledgehammer".
... some things obviously lost in translation, but coupled with the
photos, a picture is now worth at least ten thousand words, +/-. ;)
Someone here or elsewhere posted a link a good while back to a Japanese
artisan who made absolutely incredible wood things, bowls, trays, all sorts
of things, all totally amazing.
What I find incredible is that like the people from hundreds of years ago,
they can make wood items that fit precisely, are true on all angles, are
straightedge flat, and all with just rudimentary hand tools and a lot of
time. Judging from the picture on this site, it looks like they spend half
their time just contemplating things like grain and very small nuances
before they pull out their first tool.
On the page with pictures of woodworking tools I see they still use
the Japanese "chalk line".
It is the black object with a cranked spool on one end. The string
passes through a chamber with cotton filled with black ink or soot,
then out through a ceramic or ivory plug with a hole in it and ends
with a peg with a pin. I have several models including a Korean one.
Maybe they now use black chalk instead of soot, because I never
actually used mine to see how easy it is to wipe off.
I've held specimens of a sumitsubo, but I never got my hands dirty
with one. I'm pretty sure that ink was the order of the day and that
the silk string left a very fine line that wouldn't smudge like soot
or chalk. You should test yours out with ink - I, for one, would be
interested in how you liked it.
Then again I should just break down and buy one of the new versions,
Tajima is an excellent brand. I have one of their plumb bobs which is
very well designed and made. I'm sure their inkpot would be equally
well thought out.
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