Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus. blog comments powered by Disqus

Dahlia pattern

This is the dahlia pattern. It’s the first time I’ve tried this, and I’m reasonably satisfied with the results. It’s fairly straightforward, but as with all other patterns, accuracy is the key. This dahlia is Huon pine and a purple-heart and silver ash feature in the middle.
Dahlia (ダリア) pattern - Huon pine and purple-heart

Over the years I’ve read a lot of comments by so-called “experts” about Japanese woodworking and Japanese tools, and how they’re really only suited to the soft straight-grained timbers such as
sugi, hinoki, aka-matsu, hiba and other softwoods commonly used in Japan. I believe these comments are purely based on poor technique. If you know how to use Japanese saws, planes and chisels properly, and, just as important, know what “sharp” really means and how to get blades truly sharp, then they are just as effective on the hard hardwoods as Western tools.

The following dahlia is silver ash and purple-heart. Silver ash is not especially hard, but purple-heart is certainly a hard and dense timber. The joints were cut in exactly the same way as I cut the Huon pine with my very thin-bladed kumiko hand-saw. And although the hard woods dull the blade much more quickly, there were no broken teeth or other problems that many of the “experts” complain about.
Dahlia (ダリア) pattern - Silver ash and purple-heart

This one is with silver ash and Brazilian bloodwood, which is much denser and harder than purpleheart. The bloodwood was too hard to cut the
jaguchi by the normal technique, so I swapped the timbers around a bit, and used silver ash for these parts instead. But the half-lap housing joints caused no problems at all.
Dahlia (ダリア) pattern - Silver ash and Brazilian bloodwood

So with the proper technique, blades that are truly sharp, and the appropriate care, Japanese tools are not only for softwoods, but certainly suitable for all types of timber.

I’ll add the dahlia to the other patterns in the near future.
blog comments powered by Disqus