Holiday break remnants

WHAT? A Japanese saw on my blog? What’s going on?


Japanese saw

The kids were having a hard time working with a backsaw when we made boxes a week or so back…then the next shipment of Alexander’s tools arrived (thanks, Trent) and in it was a few Japanese saws. I remembered that kids could handle these easily, and off we went.

DF sawing w pleasure
DF sawing w pleasure

DRF sawing 2

Rose is the most stylish sawyer I have run across…

Rose sawing in style
Rose sawing in style

I will get back to their project after the weekend. I have some leftover pictures from between the holidays, and have just got back to the shop regularly yesterday. So more to come. Tools for sale next week probably.

first snowfall
first snowfall

There’s a pair of redtail hawks that are usually found just down river each winter. Here’s one of the in the regular spot, perched up high over the river.

jones snow vertical

jones snow redtail


Found one of them being harassed by crows…flew right past us in the yard.



in flight
in flight

Here’s how we spent a good part of the past week- just as it should be.

REF w snow

DRF w snow

That, & chasing birds. One eagle sighting at work this week, but he got away. Some good views of an all-time favorite, cedar waxwings.


eel river waxwing 1

eel river waxwings three 2

eel river waxwings three

And today, two wrens scooting about in a pile of firewood. One is fanning his tail at some figured maple:


figured maple & wren
figured maple & wren

26 thoughts on “Holiday break remnants

  1. I bought my first born some wonderful 19th century tools for Christmas. With some searching, one can find womens braces which were smaller than mens…and perfect for kids. Also, a good hunt will yield short saws for women of the 19th century that also fit into a modern kids hand really well.

    So…we begin the long road of wood….or airplanes, spaceships or bikes –whatever gets a smile.

  2. Love those cedar waxwing pictures! Love the kids sawing too…..I find that my children always loved the shop when I wasn’t using any power tools. They have their own tools today and do pretty well with small stuff. Thanks for posting your pictures; just lovely!

  3. Hi Peter…and Happy New Year!

    That is a GREAT idea with the Japanese saw! My boy is almost two and loves to play with his litle plastic tool kit. He tries the silly plastic saw, but it’s gotta be frustrating for him….maybe the dozuki would give him a chance to see actual sawdust come from his efforts! Under daddy’s close supervision of course!

    Beautiful pictures of the waxwings….I’ve never seen one in my folks back yard in northern Mass over 40 years of growing up there or visiting. Always hope though! Lots of wrens lately in the woods there, though, which is nice. They’re one of my favorites, what fun little birds, and such a beautiful call. I’m way to slow with the camera for them, though…..I love your fantail shot!

    Thanks again for the motivation and pictures! Enjoy the rest of the holiday week!


  4. I have found that my kids prefer the Japanese saws. Just easier for them to handle.
    Whatever gets them in the shop to have some fun.
    Love your pictures Peter.
    The kids are getting big.
    Thank you.
    kissimmee, Fl.

  5. Peter,
    Way out here in Northern California (Humboldt County) The waxwings are also a personal favorite. As are the Lazuli Buntings.
    My nine year old girl loves to make things in the shop, and my three year old girl is almost ready! Keep the kids in the shop info coming!

    Blue Lake, CA

  6. Great photos – particularly the waxwings – always look forward to see just a fleeting few here in NC in early spring.

    Bill A.

  7. Peter –

    I’ve had similar experiences with my students at work and my kids at home with Japanese-styled saws. Kids just pick up a japanese saw and get to work…especially the two year olds.

    I think it has something to do with the size of the student, coordination and balance. As a kid grows, all these things go in and out of balance like left turn blinkers on a line of cars at a stop light. The pull action seems to be easier for a child to accomplish and acclimate too. If you think about it, a kid spends their entire waking life pulling things into themselves – knowledge, bruises, parent’s love and pocket money, etc…- why would they want to push something away?

    My teenagers, on the other hand, they can handle a western-styled saw with a little practice…they have a bit more experience pushing things away.

    I’ve also had great success introducing japanese saws as an intro saw to adult non-woodworkers – again, I think of the mystical connection between pulling the saw and pulling in knowledge.

    Thanks for the blog – I look forward to your posts.


  8. So much to love about this post, Peter. I like the bowl near the vise. As far as what the kids might be making…looks like it might be a project that Wille Sundquist shows in his book…can’t see the end of the stick well enough though…
    The birds are great as usual. Looks like the wren might be insulting you in the last photo.

  9. Jennie here
    I am concerned about some comments about Japanese saws. The saws seem to be acceptable only for use by children or seniors. Japanese saws are better in almost all lrespects for use by woodworkers of all ages. The pull stroke is far more accurate, requires less effort and is lighter in weight.Why do we use one It is easier to control. It heeds no thick blade and heavy metal reinforcement. We, myself included, use western saws because we were taught to. We display a good degree of contempy prior to investigation. At least we should stand aside and permit the uninformed youth and elder proceed as they will.

    • Hear hear! I use a Japanese Silky saw for greenwood work. It’s a Gomtaro with a 30cm (about a foot) blade, hollow-ground so the teeth need no set. Cuts on the pull and leaves a beautiful finish. Cuts in a fine straight line effortlessly. My only (smallish) gripe is that the teeth are induction hardened so apparently unsharpenable.

  10. If you’re already unsteady you should have a very nurse or caretaker standing
    close to help should you lose your balance.
    Once your youngster has learned to settle relatively one place for the entire night; complete this for no less than
    one week.

    If you’re already unsteady you should have a very nurse or
    caretaker standing close to help should you lose your
    balance. Once your youngster has learned to settle relatively one place for the
    entire night; complete this for no less than one week.

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