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Eastern Influence: Using Japanese Tools

David Thiel talks with Sandor Nagyszalanczy, author of Tools: Rare and Ingenious, and cabinetmaker Patrick Huggins about the proper use of these beautiful handmade Japanese tools.

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In Comparison(4 of 17)

Modern metal hand planes familiar to Western woodworkers have cast iron bodies and steel blades. They have a knob that turns to adjust the depth of the cut. Older Western planes were made of wood, with a simple wedge to hold the iron in place.

Japanese hand planes arose from a very different tradition of craftsmanship. For example, a Japanese hand plane is pulled toward the user to cut, while Western planes cut on the push stroke. Cutting on the pull stroke allows the user more control during the cut.

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