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  1. #1
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    Default A Little Gloat: Jiyuu-kadomentori-Kanna By Nakano Takeo with Togo Steel Blade

    A Little Gloat: I have been wanting one of these for a while and finally managed to secure the one I wanted.
    A Jiyuu-kadomentori-Kanna (Chamfer Plane) By Nakano Takeo sporting a Togo Steel blade.
    What makes this one different is that the hardware has a nice black oxide coating. So its more rust resistant.
    It also does not have the tiny brass rulers most mentori- Kanna sport - I think the brass rulers look tacky.
    Also the skates are not 45/45 but 30/60, why that I do not know.

    The blade is only 30mm wide made from Togo steel. Togo steel was produced by a Andrews Steel Company (British) using Swedish sand steels as raw material in late 19th century. These steel were imported to Japan by Kawai Steel Co. It's my first blade with a cast iron kamaji, I am looking forward to seeing how it feels in sharpening.

    I like the surface finish on the front of the blade. A real Wabi-sabi feel to it.

    The only info I have about NAKANO Takeo Is from Iida Tools

    Mr. Takeo Nakano living in Niigata prefecture, who was born in 1941, has been dedicated himself earnestly to being an excellent plane blacksmith.
    He also gains the trust of other fellow of blacksmiths by his character.
    Even his rivals say about him, "Nakano's works are very careful. He is the one of the best blacksmiths."
    Nakano-san makes his principal to make good-quality planes at reasonable price. That is his conscience.
    I bought it from

    쓌pʎ^̂ڂnX

    Here is cool little video from a guy setting up a mentory-kanna

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_m2FF1Sesw0

    It was easy to setup. The bed needed a tiny touch of scraping that's all. Then it was ready to use.

    IMG_0259.jpgIMG_0258.jpgIMG_0257.jpgIMG_0262.jpgIMG_0264.jpgIMG_0265.jpgIMG_0266.jpgIMG_0267.jpgIMG_0260.jpg

  2. #2
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    Default

    Looks great and I'm sure it will be a pleasure to use. Thanks for posting.

  3. #3
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    Thumbsucker,

    How does one try to deal with Habori Hamono with no Japanese.
    I had a look at their site which seems quite comprehensive.

    Are there other options to purchase directly from Japan?

    Cheers

    Yvan

  4. #4
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    Default

    There are four major stores that sell Japanese tools from Japan to Westerners.

    Kanamonoya
    Noborihamono
    Hokuto
    Mandaraya

    There are a few more Western based Japanese stores. They however charge a stiff premium, for often a limited range. And the two that were good have either shutdown or non responsive.

    They all accept PayPal - this is important, since most stores in Japan will not sell to non-Japanese and they require that you have a Japanese Bank account. Which is a non starter.

    The owners of the above stores do speak basic, simple and direct English. So if you keep your emails polite and to the point they are more then willing to help.

    They cannot help if you want to make a choice, this steel or that steel, this brand or that brand, etc etc. Better ask someone on this forum.

    But if you know you want a chisel at a specific size, with XXX handle material from a specific blacksmith. No problem.

    I have had the most experience buying from Mandaraya, the shopkeeper is Teshiba. He can get you anything you want from any maker at a good price.

    They have only ever told me "NO" once and it was the blacksmith not the shopkeep who said "NO".

    They have lots of stuff in stock. However if you want something not listed they will try their best to get it. I wanted to try a Naniwa Chooser stone. No one listed them, so I asked. No problem.

    However if you want something special from a high demand blacksmith, then you can be in for a wait. I am coming up to three years waiting for a chisel from a blacksmith. I honestly expect to wait another two years, maybe more.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    As for ordering I do the following in the email.

    I copy the Japanese heading off the webpage.
    I want to buy ケガキゲージ

    Then I post the webpage URL

    http://www2.odn.ne.jp/mandaraya/geiji.html

    And I include a photo because sometimes pages a have lots of types of tools (I circuit the tool I want)

    kegakigeiji-top760.jpg

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    As for understanding Japanese - you need to instal a Translation plug-in for your browser. Or download Google Chrome which has a built in translator - that's if you trust Google. Over the years I have learned to read the basic woodworking related Kanji characters - that I can jump around on Japanese webpages. Another reason not to instal Google Chrome since it Auto translates and you never learn. As for translation - it's next to useless. Japanese is structured so radical different to English that meaning is lost in translation.

    Example:

    Microsoft Translate -
    Too hard a little bit slowly reduces grinding without clogging the GC to crunch. No alteration is a long product life. Is not a GC to soon decrease.
    Google Translate -
    Rather gritty reduced thing as GC, also Arato nor a hard grinding wheel surface as kun, is Arato and Mr. GC coarse grinding wheel plus divided by sharpening comfort in two.
    Translated:

    Slow wearing stone not prone to clogging.

    So you need to read between the lines.

    Also Microsoft translate often makes more sense as per above example.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I hope that helps, if you have any questions just ask.

  5. #5
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    Thumbsucker,

    Thank you for your detailed answer to my query.
    Your offer to assist with questions is most appreciated.

    Cheers Yvan

  6. #6
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    Today I spent a little time looking to setup the blade and the backing iron. This has always been a tedious task. Needing to flatten the back, and mate it to the backing iron so that no light shines through, when you try look between the two. However this time I had nothing to do. I ran the back on a #1000 grit Naniwa Chosera expecting the usual warped spots - nothing.

    I quickly took it to a medium and fine natural then tested the fit with the backing iron Perfect no light. Either I got very lucky or so Nakano Takeo is a really good blacksmith in forging and setting up the blade before it leaves his workshop. However it may also be that this is the best blade have ever bought in terms of Blacksmith status. Up to now I have purchased only small premium blades. I am still looking to purchase a Keizaburo.

    Next I worked the bevel this my first Kanna blade with wrought iron jigane / kamaji. It feels very different, the mild steel jigane / kamaji feels sticky against the stone, not the wrought iron. It moves much easier with far less drag on the stone. Can anyone confirm my observation? I had a basic go at sharpening but stopped short of truly sharp. Will get to doing so sometime during the week. I managed this which I am always proud of achieving. For those who do not understand why - It is used as a guide to show that the bevel is a perfect mirror shape of the stone. So if the stone is flat then the bevel is flat then the blade will stand up. If you are rocking the bevel in any direction the blade cannot get a suction on the stone.

    17DC286E-022F-4BAA-9F40-63C21F7B9227.jpg 2E6CE5BD-0254-4C2E-9E16-BB529A91EDAE.jpg


    The jigane / kamaji is very pretty unfortunately my phone camera cant capture the layers like sedimentary rock.


  7. #7
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    Togo inukubi?

    I've not had togo reigo that I can remember, but I did over a decade ago have a nakano plane with togo inukubi. It sharpened fairly easily and wore more like carbon steel (mine was a little under spec in hardness - i'm sure nobody would admit to that, but you could tell based on how easily it sharpened - personally, I prefer that, as surface quality is usually better).

    Nakano did an OK job on the top part of the iron, but the business end was a work of art. Very soft fast sharpening kamaji and a very skillfully made thin layer of jigane.

    Nakano made relatively low cost planes back then, that was his principle - supplying planes that a craftsman could afford - but last I saw, tomohito had picked up his irons and started offering them for $500 US and then all of the sudden, increased them to $800. Highway robbery - at the same time currency was very favorable for a japanese seller. Same with Ogata irons. They were selling for about $250 with a dai, and then all of the sudden, a seller picked up the remaining stock and increased the price for a 70mm kanna to $800. Ogata had retired (supposedly, that's the second time that was said, though), and I doubt Nakano started asking prices like that. I think the sellers were just trying to take advantage of "dumb westerners".

    I've had decent service from Iida, but that kind of thing, I can't support. it's greedy.

  8. #8
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    When I bought my plane (70mm kanna, inukubi), nakano was relatively unknown over here. The guy who sold it to me told me that it was $250 in japan. He pulled it twice and sold it to me for $225, with a paulownia box. The dai was OK, but didn't allow the subblade to be advanced. Neither here nor there, I can fix that.

    I went out to look again and I see nakano stuff all over the place. Iida sells gobs of tools on ebay under kanamoyama as a handle. Some of the new nakano planes have sold for as little as $80, but they continue to be listed. Some are blue 1, some are older blue steel and some are white 1. I may buy another white 1 plane from iida there.

    Then there are other sellers in japan listing nakano planes for $630. This is probably part of the serious plague on ebay of japanese relisters. In guitars, they are an absolute pox - one guitar is for sale in a store somewhere in japan for $300 or so, and relisters pretend they own the guitar and 8 different guys list the same guitar as if they're stocking it. You buy from them, they never respond because they're waiting to find if the item is in stock and then waiting for it to be shipped to them.

    Given the volume of nakano stuff that's out there, I wonder if nakano has retired. If he has, it's a good time on places like ebay to buy the stock that's getting dumped before someone like japan woodworker buys a bunch of it like they have with ogata.

    (I just looked at iida's site - he is still selling ogata and nakano planes for $800 or so on his site. That burns my butt....at the same time, he's listing bunches of them on ebay for straight auctions and they're selling for little.
    ..
    ..which leads me to another irk - here in the US, we have sellers like Japan Woodworking who double the price vs. anyone else, they generally won't provide any information unless they're directly selling something when you talk to them, and they print things in their catalogs like "we have purchased the entire stock of ogata planes and they won't be available anywhere else".

    ....Iida is still selling them, and there are probably lots. Their price is the same as iida. Before the two of them decided that the planes should be $800, they were $200...or less. )

  9. #9
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    I have never bought from Japanese tool sellers that target the Western market. Even a cursory view shows that they are way overpriced. So for a while I did not get into Japanese tools. It seems that that they trade on the mystique of Japanese tools setting themselves as gatekeepers to the orient. If you have even a touch of motivation you can find direct sources with better prices and greater range. Just dont get intimidated by the distance, language and culture.

  10. #10
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    Is this iida on eBay

    https://www.ebay.com.au/sch/m.html?_...noya71&_sop=10

    He sells dirt cheap but he charges too much for shipping.

    However I have thought about combining postage.

  11. #11
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    Teshiba the Mandaraya, shopkeeper Told me that Nakano is no longer in production. Thats why I got my chamfer plane from //noborihamon as he had stock.

  12. #12
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    Beautiful. Thanks for posting. That black hardware suits this blade perfectly. I have no complaints with my Takeo Nakano plane. I've purchased through Teshiba previously, good to deal with. I purchased a keisaburo swedish steel kanna through him. Love it.

    All i'll say about the ebay site is, they blades are cheap for a reason.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by hurcorh View Post

    All i'll say about the ebay site is, they blades are cheap for a reason.
    There is an element of knowing what you're looking for, but I've never found much of a difference between blades on ebay (or buyee, sometimes just finding older irons with a nice dirty kamaji look on the bevel and a thin hagane) and those that I've gotten from dealers.

    The balance is probably in favor of ebay and buyee at this point (I bought 7 planes that came through dealers. If I'm being honest about them, I got an ogata plane from a well respected dealer here a decade ago, and it was soft with a thick lamination - it is one of the irons that iida sells for $800 in a dai now, but back then, it was $260 unused from the dealer here in the states - matching subblade, not a blade with a bunch of junk thrown in). The nakana inikubi plane that i had was also on the soft side. I don't know if that's intentional to make it sharpen more easily - the same may have been true of ogata's. And I got a mosaku white 1 plane that was not tempered enough, and it was overhard and brittle.

    What was nice with those planes is getting the matching subblade and a full stamped dai (and sometimes a nice presentation box).

    I have scouted for thin hagane blades off and on with little trouble finding them and probably paid a little over $100 on average buying them either from unknown makers (but spotting carefully made irons) or known and used. They have on average been better than the planes I've gotten from dealers, but I have had to make a dai for some of them, or clean up crudely made unstamped dais with ledges that interfered with bevels, etc.

    I did get one of iidas planes on ebay as well as some gauges. The planes were OK, I got them very cheaply to experiment with modifying the dai to experiment with the cap iron. I think the ones that I got are ogata and nakano.

    The gauges had different high quality blades in his listing on ebay and what I received was good wood with a very cheap piece of rikizai in it and no signature on it. I have heard a lot of people gush about iida, and some of the things I've gotten from him were accurate, and others careless. I've never bought from his storefront.

    But on the balance, money that I've spent on ebay and buyee has yielded far more performance per dollar. I don't even know who the makers were for the two best irons that I have, and they totaled (with subblade) about $65 each. I can make a dai, so that's no longer critical.

    There is no difference between the ogatas being sold now for $800, or the nakano planes for $800 and the two of the same that I got a little more than a decade ago for what dealers charged $250 for on average. There has been some inflation since then. $250 may be $350, but not $800.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by thumbsucker View Post
    Teshiba the Mandaraya, shopkeeper Told me that Nakano is no longer in production. That’s why I got my chamfer plane from //noborihamon as he had stock.
    that explains dealers picking up the stock that normally would sell for little and trying to hoard it and then overcharge.

    With every maker who retires, there always seems to be piles and piles of stock that the maker made but didn't find a distribution channel for.

    I'm not surprised when japan woodworker here in the states does it (in my opinion, their selling style is to peddle BS and give you about 50 cents of tool for a dollar spent), but it's a bit obnoxious to find japanese dealers doing it.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by thumbsucker View Post
    Is this iida on eBay

    https://www.ebay.com.au/sch/m.html?_...noya71&_sop=10

    He sells dirt cheap but he charges too much for shipping.

    However I have thought about combining postage.
    Yes. Look at the pictures for each item to make sure you're getting attributes you like. I've found over time that the appearance of the wrought and a thin lamination (something that doesn't show up on newer rikizai planes, and to be fair, my ogata plane with swedish steel was very thick - but fortunately it was softer than claimed and it did wear well, it just wasn't hard enough).

    At any rate, regardless of maker, I've done best sticking to what i like.

    On some items, I haven't gotten what's in the picture all the way around, but I think I bought one plane off of those listings, maybe two. They were as represented. Gauges, etc, are more iffy. The shipping cost makes it so that if you want to pick up a nice marking gauge, it's an OK deal (not supreme) ..., but when an item is shown with signed nice blades and it arrives with lacquered generic irons in it, it's all of the sudden not that good of a deal.

    Overall, I do better on buyee. I couldn't give a percentage for old irons and subblades exactly, but I'd say two out of three are as nice as anything I've ever had (sticking to my principles above) and it's easy to get inundated with inexpensive good stuff, just because you can find 70mm blades and subblades for less than $100 USD equivalent and complete planes for about $100 (plus $20 or so from japan).

    Alex gilmore sold old stock planes a long time ago, started high and then sold them on ebay (I got one from that, it was wonderful. He listed an auction starting at $185 for a nice plane with a thin lamination, great kamaji and a red oak dai - he said it was used, but I don't think it was. It sold for that. It's maybe my favorite).

    Anyway, my point about Alex is that he actually tested the hardness of the irons on the planes that he sold. They were generally a couple of points softer than manufacturers claim, and over the years, I've bought and sold natural stones and found that anything that's 65 hardness or so is generally not something you want on natural stones if it's going to wear (and all planes wear quickly).

    the planes a touch off, like the one I got from alex and the nakano planes tend to fail more uniformly and you can use them just as long as a harder plane without such strange behavior on stones (for example, I had an ice hard - still have it - kiyotada parer. The last user preferred a rounded bevel, and I do not. It was contrary on the stones, really should be tempered some, and I used a medium crystolon stone to grind away part of the bevel. When it got to later stages of sharpening, the edge crumbled. I went through the arduous process of repairing it on more gentle stones and it was fine. I've got three kiyotada chisels (from shimamura's tenure). They're all different ages and they're all different hardnesses. His most recent chisel was the best compromise of the bunch.

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