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6 Japanese Woodworking: A Gift Guide for Beginners

Hammer (Genno) $20-$33

For driving chisels and adjusting planes (although a wooden mallet is sometimes preferred for the latter). As you go deeper into this craft, your hammer collection will inexplicably grow. I’ve lost count of how many I have now. I think I might have become a hammer nerd. You should see the the one I just got! It has a solid copper head! Anyway, I have found a 375g hammer to be my go-to favorite, but for heavier joinery work I like 570g. Shape is optional but I find the longer head shape to have more general usefulness than the barrel shape.


Stett Holbrook

Stett Holbrook is editor of the Bohemian, an alternative weekly in Santa Rosa, California. He is a former senior editor at Maker Media.

He is also the co-creator of Food Forward, a documentary TV series for PBS about the innovators and pioneers changing our food system.

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Japanese Woodworking: A Gift Guide for Beginners


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