Publisher: Woodcraft Supply Corp. (1978)
Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #2,247,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #127 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Home Improvement & Design > How-to & Home Improvements > Woodworking > Tools
Lately, in the process of doing some remodeling, I've gotten a bit of a bee in my bonnet about making some shoji doors for several entryways. While I'm not so determined that I want to do this using purely Japanese traditional tools and techniques, I believe it is important to understand the underlying mechanisms if one wants a product that is more than a tedious, and cheap imitation.Mesirow and Herman's book is a very straightforward and practical presentation of the tools of the Japanese carpenters trade. Straightforward, is a relative term. The authors freely admit that "Japanese saws, chisels, planes, knives, axes, and adzes are complicated beyond belief, difficult to use, and hard to maintain." But following that off-putting statement they do their best to bridge the knowledge and experience gap with sections on saws, planes, chisels, marking gauges, and stones, heavily illustrated with pen and ink drawings.Planes get the most attention, but every subject is presented with enough information to separate the dilettantes from the committed. To a modern Westerner like me, used to exotic machinery that costs only slightly less than the best Japanese traditional tools the idea of tools that take years to learn to use is both awe inspiring and frightening. Yet these very tools are capable of end products that are an order of magnitude finer than precision machinery can deliver.One can wish that 'The Care and Use of Japanese Woodworking Tools' was a bit more expansive on the qualities and ranges of the various tools. More photographs would have been nice as well as some anecdotes and examples. But as a 'simple,' inexpensive first tour the book does exactly what it is supposed to do, teach and guide. By all means take a look at it.
I bought this book the first time about five years ago when I first became interested in Japanese woodworking. With no offense meant to the other reviewer, this book helped me tremendously back then as it kept everything very simple. In the ensuing years since, I have gone WAY past the slippery slope and am buried in the tools, joinery and culture. :o) My biggest issues now are finding books at a much higher level for both the tools and the joinery. However, even with that I still come back to Kip & Ron's book as a refresher and really enjoy it.
interesting and helpful ty
Covers line diagrams of basic japanese tools. Is a reference guide with lots of wasted space. Not worth 2,200 yen.Very basic
Good reference book
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