Setting Up a Japanese Chisel

April 29, 2021
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Online Workshop past event
Online Workshop

April 29, 2021 from 6-8 PM EDT

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One of the tools most closely associated with the idea of Japanese craftsmanship, the chisel is used for the precise definition and patient refinement of both simple and complex geometries of wooden joinery, and for preparing elements for final assembly into a full-scale architectural structure.

Join carpenter (daiku) Jeff Bearce in this interactive online workshop dedicated to traditional Japanese chisel set-up and strategies for tool use. In this unique workshop, learn techniques that have been used by Japan’s master carpenters for centuries. Previous experience is helpful but not required. In partnership with Kezurou-kai USA. Advanced registration is required (maximum capacity of 20).


$50/$40 members. Event registration includes 1 ticket to the on-site gallery exhibition.

Items recommended for the chisel set-up class:

1. Chisel, preferably a Japanese bench chisel. For beginning sharpeners, chisels about 3/4” wide will be easiest to sharpen.

2. Three water stones: coarse (1000-1200 grit); medium (4,000 to 5,000 grit) fine (8,000 to 10,000 grit). Alternatively, a simpler two stone set kit may suffice: 1200 and 8,000 grits are then recommended.

3. A flattening device for the water stones—either wet/dry sandpaper and a flat glass or granite slab; or a minimum 3”x8” diamond stone (DMT brand or similar) at about 1000 grit (this may also serve as one’s coarse sharpening stone).

4. An angle finding device for determining bevel angle: e.g., the General Tools Square Head Angle Protractor (under $10), or similar.

5. Hammer

6. Sharp chisel or small carving knife for adjusting the wood handle when setting the steel hoop (a sharp Exacto knife works in a pinch).

  • Thursday, April 29, 2021
  • 6:00 pm