For the timber framer who has everything...or nothing at all! This is a favorite framing chisel of the very well known, highly opinionated, infamous, Pat Hennin. It is so well proportioned, that it can even function as a slick in a pinch. The rounded metal ring on the handle protects it from heavy mallet work and won't cut into your palms when used by hand to shave precise dimensions. The blade is even angled slightly to allow flat paring on tenons, mortices, and end grain.
This style of chisel is referred to as an 'Anaya Chisel' because many years ago, Anaya were builders (men) who specifically made mortices day in and day out and they were very efficient at it because that is all that they did. Each day an Anaya would travel to a site carrying a large genno (Japanese hammer), one anaya chisel and an extra large bentou (lunch box) since it's such demanding work . Anaya is not an occupation any longer, but woodworkers still use this tool to make mortices.
These particular anaya chisels are made by Fujikawa in Miki City, Hyogo. Each chisel is carefully hand forged with shirogami (white paper steel) laminated to jigane (soft steel) to form what is known as White Steel. This lamination offers extremely hard steel shirogami (white paper steel)Â on the cutting edge with softer, malleable steel, jigane (soft steel),Â in the body of the blade. The hollow ground on the back of this chisel, just like the Japanese slicks, makes for easier sharpening. Socket seat has concealed tang inside to assure a firm, lasting grip on the handle.
Please remember that the steel on these chisels is extremely hard and they can chip with just the slightest prying or twisting. Although they hold a sharp edge well a cut through wood beautifully, they are more delicate than some of the western-style framing chisels.
Let's talk about the width of the japanese chisels. In the US we tend to select a 1-1/2-in and a 2-in chisel and perhaps a 1-in chisel for timber framing. But these Japanese chisels are made using the metric system and mm do not always convert to evenly to inches. An accepted standard is to choose a 25 mm chisel when we are reaching for our "1-in" framing chisel, a 36 mm chisel when reaching for our 1-1/2-in and a 48-mm chisel when reaching for our 2-in chisel. But if you are vey exacting you may want a size outside of the norm. Check out the mm to inch conversion chart in the photos for more clarification.