Book: Sharpening and the Japanese Hand Plane

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TAKUMI COMPANY offers full service Woodworking and Construction in top quality authentic Japanese style. This includes initial consultation, design, engineering and building. Our projects range in size from door and furniture items to whole house construction.
This area is intended to provide more in-depth information on our services, Japanese Architecture in general and links to other resources. Please browse through the titles to the right for information on specific subjects.
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Many people express an interest in learning the craft of Japanese Carpentry. In response Dale Brotherton, owner of Takumi Company occasionally leads workshops to provide introductions to this ancient craft. Classes conducted in the past years have included projects to build Entry frames, small roofed structures, and saw-horses. The classes thoroughly cover sharpening and setting up of Japanese hand tools including hand planes.

2019 classes in Pt. Townsend produced two Bell stands and a small building frame. Follow the link on the right to view class photos.

2020 Port Townsend classes took place in August and September. The beginners class focused on tool setup and making a tool box. The advanced class covering basic framing, from design/layout to cutout and assembly.

Due to unanticipated events, Classes originally scheduled for April of this year (2021) have been postponed until 2022.

In addition we have a very special event planned to coincide with the courses in Port Townsend. Hideta Kitazawa, a professional temple carver, will travel from Tokyo to lead a one week workshop in Noh mask carving. This is a rare opportunity well worth taking advantage of. Please check out the Port Townsend School of Woodworking website for more details. Kitazawa-san’s class originally scheduled for this year has also been postponed until 2022 due to international travel restrictions still in place.

Although there is no substitute for undergoing a full apprenticeship to learn Japanese Carpentry, these classes provide invaluable information on basic setup and use of Japanese tools, along with joint cutting techniques. The tools and knowledge gained can readily be applied to any style of fine woodworking. It is also recommended that aspiring apprentices first participate in a class to get a feeling for what the work involves. View the link at the right for more discussion on apprenticeships.


Those interested in Japanese woodworking tools and particularly hand planes should consider attending the annual “Kezurou-kai” gathering. These events have been ongoing in Japan for many years. A US version is now in it’s sixth year. Last years event was cancelled due to Covid, but we are looking forward to a restart as soon as possible. In the meantime some online workshops are being offered. An annual sister event in New York sponsored by Mokuchi has been tentatively rescheduled for September of 2021. Mokuchi also offers ongoing workshops. Participants and observers alike are welcome to the events, regardless of your experience. Please follow the links to the right.



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