Recently I received two wonderful (and quite expensive) Japanese tools I’ve been dreaming about for a while.
The kanna (plane) comes from the Tanaka family estate (I read the last master died in 2006) and I think it was the last available for sale anywhere. The dai (body) is unsigned but made from beautiful aka-gashi (Japanese red oak) – notice the ink lines pattern in the endgrain. The blade is laminated from ao-gami (“blue paper” slightly alloyed carbon steel) and kamaji (soft old iron). The kanji reads aka-Fuji “red Fuji” the shop’s brand, referring to the red glow that sometimes appear on Mt. Fuji at sunrise. It is an unsual size, 42mm blade 210mm long body, sort of a tiny smoother – I want to use it for final preparation of the soundboard prior to gluing the braces.
The chisel is made by the famous master Michio Tasai, ao-gami with the body made from several layers of contrasting steel and iron. The pattern is called mokume – “wood grain” and indeed when the bevel is polished on a natural stone the layers can be seen quite well (photo is poor in this regard) and they resemble the growth rings of softwoods. The surface is etched to further emphasis the layers. The tang is beautifully twisted and the handle is a sort of rosewood. This is 12mm width and makes for a classy brace carver🙂