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As a 'congratulations' present to myself for actually completing the "Camp Gate" a couple of weeks ago, I decided to invest in some actual Japanese tools. I bought five things total from Hida Tools in Berkeley, CA, and one of those things was this hammer.
The head of a genno is normally compact and without a claw. The handle is long and narrow. This handle is made of white oak and is held in the head with a small metal wedge. This is an 8oz. genno. I bought it for driving nails and adjusting planes. It's lighter than my Western carpentry hammer, and nicer looking than the ball peen hammer I typically use when I need something lighter.
You can't really see it in this picture, but one face of the head is flat and the other is slightly rounded. The flat face provides a large striking surface. The rounded face is best for driving in nails and pegs, so the edges of the head don't make marks in the wood around the fastener. Some genno have faces of harder steel welded on after the body of the head is forged. I don't expect that's the case with this genno. In those cases, the head is polished to show off the quality of the head. This one is painted black all over, and costs about a twentieth of what those would cost.
The handle is rectangular where it passes through the head. It narrows towards the middle and becomes octagonal. Towards the heel, it flares out again, keeping the octagonal shape. This hammer had some stickers on the handle, but I have already peeled them off.
On the underside of the head, there are two marks in the iron. Presumably these are maker's marks, but as I did not pay a lot for this genno, I don't expect these are famous names. I think I will probably be very happy with this genno, though.
2013.07.30 at 12:00am EDT
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