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The proper name for this is "Nihon Sao Suji Kebiki Dai" which, loosely translated, means " Go to your drawer and find the smallest and loveliest of your saved wood scraps and see if you can't make a passable tool out of it". So I did.

I don't really know what the body is, Kingwood perhaps? but what I do know is that I didn't have quite enough to do the job. That in itself was fortuitous, for by laminating padauk to the bottoms of the arms and using it for all the trim pieces I am far happier to have it in my hand and in my sight. No Zen master here, just following my accidents.

I press fitted a huge threaded bushing into the thin body (careful!!) and pinned a 1/4 - 20 bolt to the double arched wood end. Drill through both, snap off the drill bit and grind flush. The end of the bolt was freehand ground down to a small tit that seats in the centre of a #1 Robertson machine screw in the pressure plate. This plate pivots ever so slightly to take up any inaccuracies.

The marking/cutting knives are snapped off sections of black (super sharp) Olfa disposable blades. Always keen, always available, and Japanese to boot! There is an imperceptible bias on these towards the fence, keeping it tight to the work. As I use this tool only on flat stock the fence was made quite low and thus able to mark very thin pieces while still on the bench. The finish is shellac and wax.

Oh yes, I did screw up badly as you can see in the last picture - the bottom face was glued on backwards. Which, loosely translated, means I'm a real doofus sometimes.

6" x 6 1/4" x 3/4"
About 16 hrs.
Build on LJ's.



· Registered
9,141 Posts
The wood for the sliding arms is Ziricote from Mexico or Central Americia. Some nice black on Black.

Great looking tool

· Registered
100 Posts
Very Nice Gene, The quality and beauty of tools being made here are outstanding, This piece is just gorgeous, if that is appropriate for a tool, I might hang it on the wall as an Art Piece, I don't have one of these yet, so, Yours is cetainly the high end of the standard, thanks for sharing

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459 Posts
Coming from tool lovers/users and fine woodworkers, these are the best words I could hope for. Thank you.
And, ah yes, of course it's Ziricote, I shoulda known that. But thanks.
@Bertha I'm delighted for the heads up! I don't know how I didn't see it but it's been changed to a tarnished brass one now and quite disappears. Perfect.