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 and sometimes bull-nosed to facilitate cutting inside a concave surface without leaving corner marks. The natural wooden handles have slightly rounded pommels and are carved for comfortable hand use as push chisels.
Saya nomi are available as blade only ready for DIY handle making. Ferrules are not included as they are not necessary for push chisels, nor do these have the flexible type shaft. Three blade sizes are approximately ~7mm, ~10mm, ~14mm with forged finish. The 7-10mm range is recommended for most work and is generally the best choice for a single chisel size.
Material: Reclaimed logging spring steel, file, harrow tooth, or hayrake tine, various available woods
Raw Materials & Process