Kezurou Kai are gatherings for Japanese woodworking enthusiasts to share their knowledge & excitement for the tools & techniques. Kezurou Kai USA and Mokuchi Studio are thrilled to host the first national Kezurou Kai event on the East Coast. The overall event includes several specialized workshops and forums that culminate in the main event – Kezurou Kai.
BACKGROUND: In Japan traditional woodworking fairs, Kezurou Kai, had a revival over the past 20 years. They are now held in over thirty locations around the country. In 2002, inspired by Japanese Kezurou Kai, USA based woodworkers held gatherings to share knowledge and demonstrate traditional Japanese woodworking techniques. In 2015, Kezurou-Kai USA was formed in the San Francisco Bay Area and it held the inaugural Kezurou Kai USA. For the last 4 years, Mokuchi Studio has brought together new and experienced woodworkers along the US East coast at the NYC KEZ Mini.
This year’s larger Kezurou Kai USA will be hosted in Brooklyn AND Peekskill.
The Saturday Woodworker Forum and Sunday’s main Kezurou Kai event will be hosted at Dain’s Lumber in Peekskill, NY. We’re thrilled to be working with a Hudson River institution – family run since 1848. And, just a 3 minute walk from the Peekskill MetroNorth station.
2018 Events Schedule
The schedule has something for every level of woodworking ability… we encourage youth and those curious about Japanese craftsmanship to learn first-hand tricks as seasoned craftspeople share their knowledge.
Friday Forum - Brooklyn
In-depth Workshops (~2hrs each)
- Architectural Scale Model Process – Karl Bareis
- Shoji Joinery – Jay Van Arsdale
- Sumitsubo/Ink Pot & Making Sumisashi/Bamboo Pen – Kohei Yamamoto
- Chona/Adze Set Up – Jon Stollenmeyer
Demonstrations w/ assistance & feedback
Saturday Forum - Peekskill
Find more information and background on each of the presenters here: Kezurou Kai 2018 Presenter Bios
Kezurou Kai USA - 2018
Schedule of Events
- Log splitting with wood wedges – Group effort! Get involved!
- Axe (Masakari) Hewing
- Adze (Chona) Hewing
- Spear Plane (Yariganna)
- Large Ripping Saw (Maebiki)
- And, more if we can fit it in!
Tool Stations (with experts guides!)
- Chisels, Saws, Finish Planes, Wide Plane (Oganna), and Sharpening
- Japanese Architecture – Kezurour Kai USA President Karl Bareis
- Ishibatate Style, Experiences Working in Japan & Project Highlights – Kohei Yamamoto & Jon Stollenmeyer
- Japanese & Western Tools; The Common Ground – Wilbur Pan
Planing Competition! Compete to create the thinnest, full width and length shaving—and win a prize. Prep all day with competition at 3:30-4:30
Winning plane shaving is the best combination of thinnest, full width and full length (no tears/least holes!)
Each competitor will be provided:
- Premium Alaskan Yellow Cedar (clear and tight grain) for warm up & the final competition shaving
- Use of a traditional planing bench for a minimum of two hours to warm up & access to a sharpening station with water and tubs (10am-3:45pm)
Prize Information & Sponsors
Kezurou Kai is a social gathering and friendly competition showcasing the skill of woodworkers that use the Japanese tools. The craftspeople in an area get together and learn from one another. The competition focuses on using the Japanese hand plane in an attempt to make the thinnest wood shaving. This shaving must be the full width and full length of the competition piece of wood – so skill and grace is required to pull the most exquisitely thin and perfect shaving.
It is a tradition in Japan and, as Japanese woodworking tools have become more known in the US, we’re thrilled to be hosting the fourth annual mini Kez in NYC! It is a privilege to get Japanese woodworking and tool enthusiasts together for fun and an opportunity to challenge their skills. Plus, it is a fantastic opportunity to introduce curious newcomers to this very special type of woodworking.
In traditional Japanese woodwork wood surfaces are shaved very cleanly and left “natural” instead of sanded and oiled or varnished. To achieve a silky smooth surface much skill is required in sharpening and tuning the Japanese plane.
A Japanese plane is pulled rather than pushed as is a western plane, this allows much control. Very importantly the blade of a Japanese plane is made of two types of steel laminated to create an amazing combination of potential sharpness and workability much like the samurai sword!