Eight old Japanese chisels NOMI get back to life. Post.

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Project by mafe posted 08-17-2011 02:21 AM 5797 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Eight old Japanese chisels NOMI get back to life.
A little travel from trash to treasure…

This post is from the Eight old Japanese chisels NOMI get back to life blog.

I bought some tools from a guy in Japan, these eight chisels was why I did it. Why do this?
To try and understand these Japanese chisels, to see the different types, to try and use different types – yes I am curious and want to learn and this was the only force for this. And since I could not go to a flee marked, this was the second best solution.

1. The chisels after the travel.
2. As they looked when they arrived.
3. Some seemed almost hopeless.
4. Sucking oils to bring back lost life.
5. The old souls brought back.
6. In the new rack, ready to be used and enjoyed.

The chisels seem to perform really well, they all get really sharp and hold a good edge, so I look forward to bring them to their limits and see how well they perform!

My blog on this restore:
My blog about Japanese chisels:
My Japanese style scraper plane:
My blog on setting up Japanese planes:
My post on the chisel rack:

Hope it can bring some inspiration.

Best thoughts,


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

13 comments so far

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 3196 days

#1 posted 08-17-2011 02:33 AM

The mortising chisel in the back looks like a beast.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View blackcherry's profile


3343 posts in 4365 days

#2 posted 08-17-2011 02:34 AM

Everyone deserves a second chance, nice work MaFe…please forward for a closer look…lol …BC

View MShort's profile


1797 posts in 3960 days

#3 posted 08-17-2011 04:04 AM

Looks like a treasure to me. Nice restoration.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View peteg's profile


4435 posts in 3365 days

#4 posted 08-17-2011 04:15 AM

You manage to dig out some beauties Mads, bet these little babies could tell a tale or two, do you know what steel they are?.
You should be able to open your own gallery for “tool droolers” and make a killing with all you lovingly restored acquisitions.
great restore as usual :))

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23554 posts in 3647 days

#5 posted 08-17-2011 04:35 AM

Very nice save again, my friend! You have a personal tool museum. Great finds and even better to give them new life!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 3476 days

#6 posted 08-17-2011 07:50 AM

Quite a journey for these chisels!

I really enjoyed the blog. thanks!

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 4006 days

#7 posted 08-17-2011 08:33 AM

“Beautiful tools, and a fine restore with respect for them.” Right back at ya, MAFE. Excellent work.
I need to post the 1 3/4 inch slick chisel I found and restored with the draw knife and garden hoe. I failed to take before shots of any of the recent tools I’ve been trying to save for future use.
I really like these chisels. They are getting new lease on life.
Later, BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View Brit's profile (online now)


7836 posts in 3385 days

#8 posted 08-17-2011 09:02 AM

Wonderful work Mads – you’re an inspiration. I’ve been delaying the reading of your Japanese blogs until I have time to enjoy them properly. I think tonight is the night. I’ll get a nice beer and settle down for a Mads blogathon. What better way is there to spend an evening?

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 4286 days

#9 posted 08-17-2011 02:53 PM

Nice job on these chisels. I’ve got a mixed collection of chisels I got in Japan. Most just needed sharpening and the hoops reset. I need to build a rack for them, since I have several that I use on a regular basis. Thanks for the post.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4215 days

#10 posted 08-17-2011 03:27 PM

Nice work, Mad!

View itsmic's profile


1419 posts in 3660 days

#11 posted 08-17-2011 05:45 PM

Great Restoration, Old Tools Rule, Just great to see and here about the history and details of these old treasures, and it’s great that You have brought them back to service condition, thanks for sharing

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View stefang's profile


16821 posts in 3876 days

#12 posted 08-17-2011 07:44 PM

Hi Mads,
These chisels look great after the oil soak. I think they look really old, especially considering that Japanese woodworkers normally have great respect for their tools and keep them well maintained. It would be interesting to know just how old they really are. I’m looking forward to hearing about your experience with them after you’ve had a chance to use them for awhile.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View mafe's profile


12144 posts in 3631 days

#13 posted 08-17-2011 10:42 PM


Mike, yes I think also some of them are really old, at least so old that they date back to before beveled edges on Japanese chisels, and yes here we might have a chance some blackshiths have been sitting on the floor in a dark room and worked on them, I can feel the heat of the coals as I hold them. For me it is also going to be wonderful to get to know them, to find their spirit, and since they are all different it will be a lot more exiting than to go and buy a set in a box.

itsmic, yes I must admit that the more I use tools the more I enjoy the once with a soul, and even more those that has almost died but through the hands help comes back to glory, it is truely rewarding.

CJIII, ;-)

Tim, I made these racks so they will fit together for storage, but also made a rack for my scrapers that could be a inspiration for a Japanese chisel rack. I wish one day I will get the chance to go and see Japan.

Andy, yes I write too much… I must have rivers of words that gets to fload now, bare with me. I sometimes hold back on my projects and post simply not to make too much noice. But you know me so you know I have a lot inside that wants to get out, I see it as a gift this world of wood and tools, and so I swim in it’s river.

BTKS, yes post that, I will love to see it. I do not own a slick chisel this must be a mistake – lol.

Ian, always enjoy to bring you on tour.

Jim, I prefere to call it a working museeum, since almost all the tools in my shop get used, or perhaps it is a timecapsule, I ty to work with different types on different projects and experience the difference. When I just made the shaving horse I worked handtools only and started with old English tools and then switched to Japanese, this brings in a extra dimention and it is fun to change your habbits.

Pete, no I don’t know the steel and I will probably never know, this makes them even more interesting since I will be able only to judge them on performance. MaFe’s tool drooler museeum, I love this, and it will be only for selected persons who are certified to droll over this stuff. Some people don’t even understand this, it is interesting, they would rather buy a plastic set in the local store since that is new and ready out of the box…

MShort, and to me they are. I feel blessed to be able to use them.

BC, yes otherwise we might not be here now… I had more than one chance in my life and feel lucky when life open up a new path for me, and show me things my mind could never make up.

RG, yes he is solid guy in the bunch and same with as one of the bench chisels so the circle is set.

Thank you all for the kind and warm comments, it really brings me joy to see how these chisels coud speak not only to me.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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