Japanese Knives

I have long incorporated Japanese knives into my work routine, beginning with my first one, a Christmas gift from my older daughter.  When it comes to shaving and marking, cutting a line for precise sawing, nothing else comes close to them.  I’ve purchased a few of these tools over the years, in various sizes and configurations.

One thing about them that I do not like is the feel of a new one with no handle.  I am not sure these are even supposed to have handle cheeks, but I like them anyway.    I generally wrap the handles with a double layer of leather boot strings, gluing them at the end with hide glue.

And, these critters are so sharp and pointy the need a sheath.  I made three-layer sheaths for all of mine from a large scrap of heavyweight sharkskin.  Starting with the first layer large enough to serve the function, I follow that with a second layer that is cut out to fit the knife tip perfectly.  A third layer mimicking the first is the final part of the assembly, all of it glued up.  The sheaths are snug so they stay put while the knife is awaiting use.

With my leather sewing kit I stitched a perimeter line around the edge of the sheath and it is finished.

Here is a captivating series of videos on using a Japanese knife to prepare a new lacquer brush for duty.