tatakinomi 叩鑿
KEY WORD : architecture / tools
A striking chisel. The primary structural elements in Japanese wooden buildings are pillars and beams, and not supporting walls. These pillars and beams, generally made from Japanese cypress or cedar, are left exposed, and a great deal of care is devoted to their finish. There are two types of striking chisels. The first is a framing chisel which is used to bore the mortise of a beam or pillar to enable a tenon to be inserted to form a joint. This type of joint is used for connecting major structural members in a large building. The carpenter normally has a set of 5 or 6 tatakinomi of this type. The blade-widths range from 15mm to over 30mm. Once in position, the end of the handle of the tatakinomi is struck with forceful blows from a steel-headed hammer *gennou 玄能. Therefore the cutting tip and the handle, generally oak, must be very strong , and the angle of the cutting edge, about 25-30 degrees, is larger than that of other chisels to prevent the blade from being nicked. The second type of chisel is the oirenomi 追入鑿 or ooirenomi 大入鑿 (butt chisel). It is a variation of the tatakinomi, but the shank is shorter and the angle of the cutting blade is smaller. It is not used to bore large holes in pillars and beams, but rather to do detailed joinery work in fittings for houses.


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