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Amazing find... Maebiki-nokogiri

So as I have mentioned in previous blogs, I have been studying and collecting Japanese hand tools. And my favorite book which has inspired the collection is JAPANESE WOODWORKING TOOLS by Toshio Odate.

In this book there is a section on saws (Nokogiri) where Odate proudly displays a favorite in his collection:

This saw was a rip saw used to mill large stock. The wide blade was designed to keep the cut straight in very thick lumber. It was used by the mighty kobiki-shokunin (sawyer). According to the Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum it was probably produced and used during Japan's Meiji era (1868-1912).

Well, this is what I found at the flee market on Friday, and paid $10 bucks for:

Its in amazing condition. Even the original handle is intact, although warn (it was obviously put to work!) It has a little rust but I will clean it carefully. It has the same blacksmith tool marks as the one that Odate shows. From the little bit of research I've done this saw seems to be over 100 years old!
You are a very lucky dog, Blake. I've been trying to find one here in Japan for a customer for months to no avail.

A1Jim, actually, this is not big at all, this is a "maebiki", the big ones are the "maebiki ooga" and those are similar but about 5 ft. long, some even have two handles.

They were used for milling lumber when building the houses. I have one that is some hundred years old but it is smaller than Blake's. It's a mere 28" long and I believe my wife's grandfather used it to build the house we live in, as well as my in-laws, at the turn of the XXth century.

Here she is, I'll restore it as soon as I get out of here. Otherwise the soggy climate of Kyoto would do wonders to get it back to this sad state in a hurry.

By the way, isn't it amazing how thick and heavy they are?

EDIT PS: I almost forgot: I always laugh at the "innovations" like the Lee Valley progressive pitch saw. Hmm… this has been the standard in japanese saws for centuries. Anyone realized the difference in TPI of Blake's maebiki from shoulder to toe?
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