Greetings from Japan - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 Old 11-15-2009, 06:48 AM Thread Starter
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Smile Greetings from Japan

Hi there, I'm 27 and I'm rather new to woodworking but I have training in it. I can do drywall and general woodwork with no problems but I am interested in making furniture and things of that nature. Of course there aren't a whole lot of people that make those things in the military. I joined in 2003 and it's been a good job for me to have. I am married and while I'm here in Japan I have found that some of my hobbies I can't really do. I build computers and networks. I also do modifications to stereos and do my work on cars when I can. Since everything out in town is in Kanji it's hard to find parts. I have done a project or two down at the wood hobby shop and I found that it's quite an amazing shop. It has just about everything you could ask for in a wood shop and I would like to take advantage of it. I have looked at starting this for years and now I can sit down and do it. I will have some idiotic questions I am sure but from what I've seen on this site there's a lot of talented carpenters here. I look forward to browsing and working on some projects for the future and to save a little bit of money doing it as well.
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post #2 of 13 Old 11-15-2009, 09:44 AM
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Hello and welcome to this forum. Great to have you and thank you for your service.

A while ago, "Cabinetman" posted a question about a Japanese sword.
Here is a link to his post. http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/wh...s-about-13123/
Maybe you could help him.
I sent it to my son on Okinawa. He carries the pictures around with him, but so far hasn't found out much. Apparently, Sword Makers are not listed in the Japanese Yellow Pages.

Last edited by Gene Howe; 11-15-2009 at 09:48 AM.
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post #3 of 13 Old 11-15-2009, 10:31 AM
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Stupid questions get answered regularly on her, if you need to know, there is no such thing as a stupid question. Don't be afraid to ask, you could get hurt without the right answer.

Welcome.

Measure Twice Cut Once -- It's a lot easier to cut more off then it is to cut MORON.
Finishing is 3 parts chemistry and 1 part VooDoo http://lrgwood.com
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post #4 of 13 Old 11-15-2009, 11:27 AM
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Wellcome and THANK YOU for your service.. You can't ask stupid questions..

that's my job and I do it well. :) My Mother passed a few years ago and I had a aunt that was in the Air Force and she had a lot stuff my aunt brought back. I have a huge c carved folding screen I just wish I knew the history behind it. Again Thanks and wellcome to the bunch
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post #5 of 13 Old 11-15-2009, 01:59 PM
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Welcome Krypto.

Most military bases have good to excellent wood shops. I bet you'd be surprised to find some really talented woodworkers, you just haven't run into them yet.

Ask the Chief (or Sgt. if you're AF/Army etc.) in charge of the shop who the woodworkers are. Better yet ask the shop Petty Officer/Private who's there day in and day out. Bet you can find a willing mentor if you search a little.

Where you stationed?
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post #6 of 13 Old 11-15-2009, 04:19 PM
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Welcome Krypto.
My son is also in Okinawa. He is a Sgt.in the Marines He has been there scene July.

Steve M.
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post #7 of 13 Old 11-15-2009, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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I'm a Sergeant in the Marines as well but I'm up on Mainland Japan since 2007. I know a SSgt that might have an idea about the sword. I'll ask him but in my opinion it might not be a Japanese sword but Chinese. I've taken some tours in some beautiful Japanese castles during the times when they had Samurais and the swords didn't look anything like that. It could be a ceremonial sword because of the elaborate decoration. It certainly is beautiful workmanship and I would case that sword in an instant. It would make a beautiful piece to go above a fireplace. I'll ask who I know and see what I can find. The sword makers are not in the yellow pages.....and even if they were they wouldn't take too kindly to American "tourists" who are just after a souvenir. They are very proud of their heritage and the "real" swords are both rare and expensive. Most people that are in possession of them are either art collectors or people who know how to use them.

On the shop ordeal this base is TINY! I can run around it in a little over an hour and a half. The wood shop is empty 99% of the time with a civilian running the cash register. When I went in there to do my first project I had a question and he said all he was trained on was safety. He did mention that there were a few people that knew what they were doing but they don't come in very often. Hopefully when I'm mounting drawers someone will stumble in that knows what they are doing lol. I am familiar with most wood cutting tools but routers and some of the finishing tools are mostly foreign to me. My house is almost filled with furniture from Japan and we have some very beautiful pieces. That's what kind of gave me the idea. Most of our furniture is hand made and I figure if they can do it, with a little practice so can I.
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post #8 of 13 Old 11-15-2009, 06:35 PM
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Welcome to the forum Krypto.
I too would like to thank you for your service to our Country. Sounds like you have an interesting situation there. How does that shop on your base work? Do you have to pay to use it, or just pay for materials? If you can't find a mentor there, pick a project and start planning it out. We can help keep you on track over here, just ask.
Mike Hawkins
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post #9 of 13 Old 11-16-2009, 03:11 AM Thread Starter
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You pay by the hour and storage is a little bit extra as well. Any scrap wood that you find in the cabinets that isn't tied to a project is free to use and then they have a "wood store" where you can find lots of different types of wood. I am not a wood expert but I was thinking of making the desk I posted in the designs section out of cherry, elm, but not oak. I have an oak top desk and that thing takes 4 Marines to lift and move. It's a real monster and I'd prefer not to make one for myself. The oak top is my wife's desk. I acquired it when a CO on the base got new furniture and I discovered that a perfectly good desk was on it's way to the trash heap.
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post #10 of 13 Old 11-16-2009, 12:41 PM
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Welcome

Welcome from Texas.
Thank you for your service. My son is in 101st and served 13 months in Iraq.
I would love to be able to sit with the local craftsmen in Japan and learn their ways of working wood with hand tools. It's so much more rewarding at times.
Keep up the great job.
Will be praying for you and all military members.
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post #11 of 13 Old 11-17-2009, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene Howe View Post
Hello and welcome to this forum. Great to have you and thank you for your service.

A while ago, "Cabinetman" posted a question about a Japanese sword.
Here is a link to his post. http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/wh...s-about-13123/
Maybe you could help him.
I sent it to my son on Okinawa. He carries the pictures around with him, but so far hasn't found out much. Apparently, Sword Makers are not listed in the Japanese Yellow Pages.
I did some digging and asked that Ssgt that I mentioned and we came to the conclusion that it is probably a chinese broadsword. The only thing that seems to be out of place is the length of the handle but if the sword is heavy enough it might have been wielded by two hands rather than one. As to it's actual age.....wow I couldn't guess. It looks pretty old to me but the best thing to do would be to take it to a museum and see if the curator would be willing to take a look at it. It might be worth a second retirement lol.
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post #12 of 13 Old 11-20-2009, 05:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Sawduster View Post
Welcome from Texas.
I would love to be able to sit with the local craftsmen in Japan and learn their ways of working wood with hand tools. It's so much more rewarding at times.
This is what I first thought of. Perhaps try to find a national treasure; the Japanese have done some amazing things with woodworking.
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post #13 of 13 Old 11-24-2009, 10:01 AM
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Welcome to the forum.

Red

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