Deep.See.Bits™ are bits with marking bands every ½” (in the Imperial-sized bits; 10mm in the metric-sized bits). They look like they could be a reasonable alternative to plastic or metal depth stops and the ever-popular masking tape. I recently tried to drill some shallow holes in plywood using a metal depth stop, and the drill flutes kept getting clogged because the depth stop prevented the drill from clearing. M.POWER®, from Wiltshire, England, makes Deep.See.Bits™ as HSS twist bits for hardwoods, metal, and plastics, or as carbon steel brad points specifically for woodworking. All bits are available in both metric and Imperial sizes. Japan Woodworker carries an eight-piece brad-point set (1/8″, 5/32″, 3/16″, 1/4″, 9/32″, 5/16″, 11/32″, and 3/8″) for $19.75, but it can be found online for $12.63.
Imagine bending the stock of your carpenter’s square so that the tongue sat flat on the workpiece while you held it square to the edge. Now imagine going to the hardware store to buy a new square because you wrecked your old one by bending it. If you had a flexible Japanese square from Lee Valley you wouldn’t be giving your imagination such a workout.
The 3-1/3 oz. stainless steel square is thick and rigid at the corner, but it quickly tapers to a thin and flexible beveled profile on the 20-1/2″ stock and 10-1/2″ tongue. Lee Valley claims it’s square to within 0.1 mm in 100 mm. One side of the square is graduated in inches and the other metric; both sides have numbers etched and filled black.
To buy the Japanese square sold at Lee Valley you’ll pay $33 before shipping. The Japan Woodworker also has a similar, but smaller, square they sell for $40.
If you’re going to carry a walking stick in the winter, why not carry one that doubles as a pick adz? While you probably won’t be climbing any glaciers, the pick adz can come in handy chipping ice from walkways and steps.
The handle on the Japan Woodworker’s Hickory walking stick is actually a stainless steel pick adz covered in leather sheath that also serves as a cushioned hand grip. The walking stick also sports a stainless steel tip which digs in and helps you maintain your balance on icy surfaces.
The Japan Woodworkers Mr. Trekky walking stick runs $120 plus $9 shipping.
Walking Stick [Japan Woodworker]
The Japan Woodworker claims this knife is of the traditional style used by Japanese hunters to cut meat in the field. While we can’t find any evidence to back up that claim, it still is one mean-looking knife for only having a 4″ blade.
The deceptively crude-looking knife is actually forged by master blacksmith Kazuyuki Tanaka. He folds high carbon blue steel with sixteen layers of Damascus pattern soft steel to create a knife that is tough yet holds a sharp edge. To finish off the knife, the handle is simply wrapped with nylon cord.
The knife measures 9″ in length overall, and retails for about $100. It ships razor-sharp with a blade cover and instructions for care.
Hunting Knife [Japan Woodworker]
If you’re a woodcarver, chances are that your work isn’t flat and rectangular, so good luck holding it with a bench or woodworker’s vise. The pictured vise from The Japan Woodworker is made in Taiwan but patterned after an old European design.
Made from cast iron and steel, this vise has jaws that can be locked parallel or individually swiveled to hold irregular pieces. The vise mounts to your bench through a single 5/8″ hole with a large cast iron wing nut and can swivel 360°.
The jaws open up to 6″ wide and accept custom hardwood jaws to provide additional support for odd-shaped pieces. Three 7/8″ thick by 3″ wide by 4-3/4″ hardwood jaws are included for the $115 asking price.
Patternmaker’s Vise [Japan Woodworker]
Who doesn’t have a Stanley’s Surform file or plane somewhere in their shop? While these tools work well for some tasks that require a rasp, with Microplane’s replacement blade they might work even better.
Microplane’s Surform replacement blade fits 10″ Surform files and planes. They claim their 400 series stainless-steel blade cuts 10x faster then similar replacement blades.
Rather than abrading the material and creating sawdust, the Microplane blade shaves the material, leaving only small shavings behind. The blade works on wood, plastic, rubber, and other materials you might take a rasp to.
The Microplane replacement blade retails for $14.
Scrapers are great tools for finishing projects or even removing the finish from projects, but if you have a lot of material, scraping can get tiring. Give your thumbs a rest — the Veritas scraper holder both holds the scraper and flexes it just the right amount.
The scraper holder holds any 6″ long scraper with clamping plugs on either side and you can set the amount the scraper bows with the center screw. Veritas makes the scraper body from glass-filled nylon and uses all brass hardware.
The holder comes with a milled-edge, super-hard scraper. Pricing starts at $40 before shipping.
Instead of raised teeth, the Shinto Saw Rasp uses high-quality saw blades. This open-web saw tooth design eliminates clogging, and its up-to-the-edge teeth allow you to get into corners where your normal rasp won’t go.
Shinto Saw Rasps are offered in two different styles: the first looks like a normal rasp with the saw rasp head, and the plane style has a two-handed offset handle and a replaceable blade. Both styles have a coarse side with 11 teeth per inch for rapid material removal and a fine side with 25 teeth per inch for finishing.
The rasps can be used on wood, plastics, fiberglass, and soft metals. Prices for the straight-handled saw rasp start at $20, and prices for the plane style handle saw rasp start at $25. A replacement blade for the plane style rasp saw runs about $20.
Hacking through roots can be frustrating at best. They’re tough, covered in dirt and usually below ground. This means you’re on your hands and knees hunched over a hole ruining your good tools. This inexpensive Japanese sickle root cutter is purported to cut roots up to 1″ in diameter with “minimal fuss.”
The 8-3/4″ handle is made from Ho wood, a heavy and hard wood. The 2-3/4″ blade is made from heavy-duty stainless tool steel and has razor sharp serrated teeth set at approximately 30 degrees. Like most Japanese saws this 5/64″ thick blade cuts on the pull stroke.
The Japan Woodworker and Garrett Wade import this root cutter from Japan and sell it for between $11 and $17. Also, we hear they’re all the rage with the zombie elite types this year, like Jason and that fisherman guy with the hook.
We realize not many woodworkers work in metric — at least not in the US — but we like the features on this layout square-like Japanese import from Shinwa. With its 2″ overhanging edge, the “3D” square lets you transfer lines from the face to the edge easily, plus it works with boards that have relieved or chamfered edges. The overhanging edge is also cut at an angle so the tip of your pencil lead contacts the workpiece without having to angle the pencil.
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