The Japanese term “Kezurou Kai” translates as “shaving group.” But that definition hardly does justice to the Japanese woodworking exposition I recently attended. In its country of origin, Kezurou Kai is a centuries-old tradition that encourages participants to refine their hand tool techniques to unbelievable levels. Taking place over multiple days, the event always culminates with a friendly competition to see who can plane the thinnest continuous shaving from a long board.
Brooklyn, NY isn’t where you’d expect to find a major lumber mill, chock full of giant logs and heavy equipment, including a saw capable of cutting logs nearly eight feet in diameter.
Here is an exclusive look at some new products from the floor of the Woodcraft Vendor Trade show. Typically closed to the public, the trade show offers companies the chance to interact with store owners and collaborate on the development of new & better products. Here are just a few new products coming later this year. Stay tuned for more news.
“Kez” is a shortened form of a Japanese word for gathering, and I recently had the good fortune to attend the fourth annual NYC KEZ. As he has in the previous three years, Yann Giguere provided the venue for the event –his Mokuchi workshop and studio in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, New York. Yann also served as a demonstrator and master of ceremonies, presiding over an inspiring celebration of traditional Japanese woodworking.
In early April, I took a trip to the headquarters of Starrett to learn more about the company that makes some of the best layout tools a woodworker can hope to own. Starrett also designs and manufacturers many other tools for different industries, and operates factories and distribution centers all over the world. But woodworkers are probably most familiar with Starrett straightedges, squares, calipers, micrometers and other layout tools.
One of the first things you learn about woodworking is that many tools aren’t that useful by themselves. To get the most from a tool, you need to amplify its capabilities with different jigs and accessories. That’s why a router needs an edge guide and a tablesaw needs a dado cutter and a tenoning jig.