One of the advantages of working with an accomplished woodcrafter is borrowing tools that I don’t have. The azebiki nokogiri, what a useful tool! And I would have had one but for a hot mess ordering from Japan woodworker. But Mark has four azebiki noko in different sizes, so I set to work with his smallest cutting the handles on my usu for mochitsuki.
In the end the azebiki didn’t get me deep enough and I used the radiused edge of my hollow rocker kanna to get the ledge of the handle deep enough to give purchase to my fingers when picking the usu up. The layout for the handle was a simple semi-circle, easy to draw with a compass, and with leaving the gouge marks from the spoon bent gouge it looks quite artfully like a sea shell.
Having previously made the through wedging handle for my kine I set about marking for the mortise. The blank for the mallet head wasn’t close to square or parallel so I used a center line layout and sashigane to locate the mortise width on top and bottom. The photo doesn’t show this correctly, the sashigane should be referenced along the center line, but it would have fallen off if I had left it there for the photo…
One big mallet. Kine for mochitsuki vary in size, the one I made is probably on the large side, but I wanted it to double as a commander mallet for timber framing. You can see Marks commander mallet on the left of the photo above, made from apple wood.
At night I retire to my place by the wood stove. What a wonderful way to cook some tasty cornbread. And it goes really well with an American style stout brewed locally at Joe’s.