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Miniature Woodworking Plane Netsuke


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For Alex Ptak - Hi Alex,


I managed to find the images of my little woodworking plane netsuke. Your lovely little planes reminded me of this one - I had forgotten it for a long time! :)


Netsuke - “After Tomochika”

A copy of an 19th century English woodworking plane, carved in English Boxwood, Desert Ironwood and hippo tooth. To scale and all moving parts are removable and fully operable. 2 3/8” x 5/8” x 13/8” Completed October 1998


The inspiration for this piece came from an unusual netsuke by Tomochika in the Avery Brundage collection in the Asian Art Museum (San Francisco), a 19th century netsuke of a Japanese style woodworking plane, carved in stained ivory.


This thing took just about every trick in the book to finish - lathe work, milling, thread cutting, carving, sanding, polishing, scrimshaw, gluing, and ultra-close tolerance fitting. Before it was over I was wishing I had a stereo microscope... :o




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Wow, Tom, that is as good as it gets! How did you thread the ivory? Was it a gradual cut on a lathe with a cutter, or was it with a die? Amazing. Thank you for posting this.




Hi Alex, it turns out you can cut threads in good quality ivory with just tap and die. No big tricks, just go slow and easy so as not to twist apart the screw, no lubricant since it will stain the ivory. And pay attention to the recommended sizes of clearance drills and screw blank diameter.

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