Hand Tools Archive

Re: Ura-Dashi (tapping out) Musings

I hit the bevel about half way between the heel and the hard stuff. Never had any problems. I do tap out the larger chisels. My view is the main reason to have the hollow is that it equalizes the effort of sharpening on both sides, the makes it easier to flatten stuff doesn't make any sense. So if you eliminate the hollow by rubbing it off, you may have lost something, though I don't worry about it on very narrow chisels. But once they get to the point where there is a significant geography to the hollow, I don't want to disturb it.

I think, Brian, that using the Japanese language for all this stuff is a natural and to some extent required thing. But it is a barrier to a lot of people who see it in terms of an already established sense that the whole Japanese tools thing is largely mumbo jumbo to start with. I think using non-English terms (other than for cultural interest, and a lot of people have a deep interest in Japanese culture in this case), is largely useful if say a Japanese chisel is so different or unique that it can't be properly portrayed by the English word. So the hollows do not exist on most other chisels, that would be a natural place to use a Japanese word, except oddly in the case of this culture we often don't have a lot of didacatic content, so why use a different word when there isn't an agreed upon reason for why a lot of this stuff exists.

When I have made these adjustments to blades, it has turned out way easier than I though, I gave the blades some raps (about as hard as one makes that rebounding last rap on a nail), bingo, back to the stones. But I fear people will think it is complicated by they time they wade through all the lingo.

I think a good example of technical terms or abbreviations that have minimal utility are ones that are always immediately followed by the translation. I never heard the word IED without the reporter adding "or, Improvised Explosive Device". Which is actually a range of possible things, so it isn't as though a lot of precision is added to the conversation since pretty much by definition the people listening on the radio at home have no further idea of what is being described for having had it mentioned in two ways.

Anyway, this is just my peeve. It is an odd attribute of Japanese tools that a whole pointless vocabulary is associated with them, such as one doesn't get with German tools, for instance. If one doesn't use it there would just be a different set of complaints.

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