A saya-nomi (鞘鑿) is a type of Japanese chisel with several unique design features to best suit it for carving the inside of a wooden scabbard. Those who use them know how well they work for their intended purpose. A joy to use with woods like honoki (Japanese Big Leaf Magnolia), Nootka Cypress, and Birch, these sizes cover most saya work.
Hand forged from files, hayrake tines or steel spring rod recovered at a very old logging site, and finished with hand filing and honing, these are unique tools. The elongated neck is slightly curved to allow access in tight spaces and the bottom and side corners are slightly rounded to facilitate cutting inside a concave surface without leaving corner marks. The generous handles have rounded pommels and are designed for comfortable hand use as push chisels. The ferrule is forged from copper or iron pipe and the handle is shaped from seasoned reclaimed Birch or Nootka Cypress, left with the hand planed finish and oiled with 100% pure tung oil.
Saya nomi are available as blade only ready for DIY handle making. Ferrules are not necessary for push chisels but may be added as reinforcement and to allow thinner handles. The large blade is ~12-14mm wide and ~180-210mm long and the smaller blade is about ~7-10mm wide and ~140-160mm long with forged finish.
Material: Reclaimed logging spring steel, file, or hayrake tine, reclaimed copper or steel pipe, various available woods
Raw Materials & Process