Kano Natsuo's hammer

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Kano Natsuo's hammer

Postby Ford » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:51 am

Some time ago now I was looking at some images of a hammer that is supposed to have been used by the Great Master Kano Natsuo.(加納夏雄, 1828-1898)

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I was quite taken by the elegance of the handle and the compact feeling of the head. The little I/we know about Natsuo's character and certainly what we sense in his work is a distinct delicacy and refinement. I began to wonder if the shape of his hammer wasn't also a direct expression of his personality and his feelings about his techniques and response to metal. And so I decided to replicate his hammer for myself and to see what I might feel and learn by using it. Since using this hammer, a firm favourite now, a lot has changed in my whole approach and feeling about chiselling metal. For the kinko artist a hammer ought to weilded more like a violinist's bow rather than a dull bludeoning club. As I teach in class, hold the hammer as though you have a butterfly in the palm of your hand. And hold the chisel as you would a lizard...

These are some images of my copy, should you fancy making one for yourself. As you can see I've made a few minor changes to the original but I think the general idea is still there.
The wood is Japanese white oak, naturally. :biggrin:
The wood was sanded smooth, finished with steelwool and then lightly oiled. A beautiful rich golden patina develops quite quickly with regular use...as a reward for effort ;-)
The steel is unhardened, as is appropriate.

We always suggest the length of the hammer is determined by putting the head in the crook of your elbow and measuring to the crease in your wrist where it wrinkles just as it bends.
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"The artist yields often to the stimuli of materials that will transmit his spirit." Odilon Redon
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Re: Kano Natsuo's hammer

Postby Marcus » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:42 am

Thanks Ford! I guess I know what I'll be doing this weekend.
Cheers,
Marcus :biggrin:
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Re: Kano Natsuo's hammer

Postby cam_hardiman » Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:01 pm

Thanks for posting Ford. Looks like I have a hammer to add to my list of things to make.
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Re: Kano Natsuo's hammer

Postby Mac » Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:34 am

I don't really understand the shape of these hammers. Short and squat to give good balance and a reliable contact with tangane, I get. But why the small cross pien ? Ok, a pien is a handy little addition , but it seems a bit of an after thought on these hammers. Is it more a question of making something useful out of a exercise in weight reduction or shifting the balance towards the hammer face ?
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Re: Kano Natsuo's hammer

Postby Christoph K » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:13 pm

let's try this :-).
My first impression is that it feels slightly more agile and "bouncy".
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Re: Kano Natsuo's hammer

Postby Steve » Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:33 pm

My iteration. I'm still sawing No.2 but expect superb results when its time to use the hammer :pray: .
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Re: Kano Natsuo's hammer

Postby Marcus » Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:20 pm

Hi all,
As promised I just finished this up. :) 100 year old wrought iron and Osage orange for the handle. ( It's free, local and one of the best woods for handles IMO)
I believe I will really enjoy using this for years to come. Thanks again Ford :cloud9:
Cheers,
Marcus
natsuo's hammer utsushi natsuo's hammer 0101.jpg
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Re: Kano Natsuo's hammer

Postby Garry J » Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:04 am

Hi Ford,

You wrote: "The steel is unhardened, as is appropriate". What material do you suggest for the hammer? Unhardened tool steel, unhardened medium carbon, mild steel?

Cheers,
Garry
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Re: Kano Natsuo's hammer

Postby Ford » Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:58 am

Simple mild steel will do fine, Garry :-) It's only a lump of metal to supply a little impact force.
"The artist yields often to the stimuli of materials that will transmit his spirit." Odilon Redon
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Re: Kano Natsuo's hammer

Postby Marcus » Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:19 am

I know you all like pics so here's a few from the process :sunny:
Natsuo's hammer utsushi01.jpg

Natsuo's hammer utsushi02.jpg

Natsuo's hammer utsushi03.jpg

Natsuo's hammer utsushi04.jpg

Natsuo's hammer utsushi05.jpg

Natsuo's hammer utsushi08.jpg

Natsuo's hammer utsushi12.jpg

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Re: Kano Natsuo's hammer

Postby cam_hardiman » Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:04 pm

Thanks for posting Marcus. I will hopefully have some suitable steel to work on next week.

Cam

:pray1:
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Re: Kano Natsuo's hammer

Postby cam_hardiman » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:19 am

I spent the cold winter afternoon in the shed, having a rest from piecing steel plate for Tsuba's and started my Kano Natsuo hammer instead.

More images to follow as things progress.

Cam



Hammer.jpg
My Kano Natsuo Hammer 1
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Re: Kano Natsuo's hammer

Postby cam_hardiman » Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:38 am

Ready for its oak handle, then on to refining the front surface.

Cam


Hammer 2.jpg
My Kano Natsuo Hammer 2
Last edited by cam_hardiman on Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kano Natsuo's hammer

Postby Ford » Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:44 am

Looking good, Cam :-)
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Re: Kano Natsuo's hammer

Postby cam_hardiman » Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:50 am

Thanks Ford,

Being my only hammer, its definitely my favourite.

Whike making it you realise that it's not only about function, but also aesthetics.

Cam
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