Kinshiro Planes 金四郎鉋

Does the Japanese plane in the photo above look a little strange? It should. It’s a specialized plane for cutting decorative latticework used in traditional Japanese joinery and casework. There are more photos of this plane below.

We have a limited number of planes in-stock by a famous craftsman that used the brand name “Kinshiro” 金四郎 when he was active. This brand name translates to “golden fourth man.” It was once common in Japan to give male children names that reflected their order of birth.

Kinshiro is a Niigata Prefecture solo craftsman named Kuriyama Noboru 栗山昇. Born in 1932, he is the second generation in this line. The brand name came from his father’s name, “Kinshiro,” the first craftsman in the line, and reportedly a very severe master. Mr. Kuriyama retired in December 2011. 

Mr. Kuriyama specialized in making plane bodies, but made various other tools as well, including marking gauges, cutting gauges, and kudegoshi using blades provided by his distributor. Mr. Kuriyama’s dual-blade marking gauges (二丁鎌毛引き) are famous even outside Japan.

The blades were forged by a Niigata Prefecture blacksmith named Ishibashi Kenji, who has since left us for the big woodpile in the sky. Mr. Ishibashi used Aogami No.1 steel. I assume he used jigane from the same bridge in Yokohama that Niigata blacksmiths are still using today.

Small tool blades are a niche market served by specialist blacksmiths, so you may have not heard of Ishibashi Kenji-san before, but whatever you do, please do not mistake him with Ishibashi Toshichiro, a Niigata blacksmith who made standard plane blades and got in trouble for unknowingly making weapons for the Yakuza. Tsk tsk. Toshichiro’s blades were unimpressive.

Kinshiro’s products are well-known for their precision, functionality, extremely high quality and subtle style. We have been using Kinshiro products for many years with absolute satisfaction. They have always been expensive, but worth every penny. They have not decreased in value since his retirement.

Although new, and of course never used, these planes are old stock and a few of the blocks have some patina.

Most of them are extremely rare and are no longer made anywhere in Japan. When they are gone there will be no more. We wish we could hold onto them forever, but the time has come to release them into the world.

If you like rare collectable Japanese planes and appreciate exceptional craftsmanship, these will interest you. But don’t wait too long.

The Kinshiro planes we have in-stock are listed in the table below. Prices and more photos are the link below. Even if you aren’t interested in purchasing a Kinshiro plane, the photos are worth seeing. Be our guest. If you have questions please use the Questions Form below.

Link to Photos and Pricelist

ミニ組子 青海波 和風雑貨 インテリア 欄間サンプル タニハタ
ミニ組子 分銅輪つなぎ 和風雑貨 インテリア 欄間サンプル 組子欄間 タニハタ
Kinshiro PlanesWidth
Ireko moulding plane 入子面鉋27mm
Ireko moulding plane 入子面鉋36mm
Etemen Adjustable Chamfer Plane 猿面鉋 30mm 30 °/ 60°
Kiwaganna Skewed Rabbet Plane right hand36mm
Kiwaganna Skewed Rabbet Plane left hand36mm
Kiwaganna Small Skewed Rabbet Plane right hand single blade30mm
Kiwaganna Small Skewed Rabbet Plane right hand single blade15mm
Ovolo Moulding Plane 銀杏面鉋6mm
Ovolo Moulding Plane 銀杏面鉋9mm
Ovolo Moulding Plane 銀杏面鉋15mm
Flat Ovolo Moulding Plane 平銀杏面鉋5.4mm
Flat Ovolo Moulding Plane 平銀杏面鉋6mm
Flat Ovolo Moulding Plane 平銀杏面鉋12mm
Ogee Moulding Plane 瓢箪面鉋6mm
Ogee Moulding Plane 瓢箪面鉋7.5mm
Ogee Moulding Plane 瓢箪面鉋9mm
Ogee Moulding Plane 瓢箪面鉋12mm
Ogee Moulding Plane 瓢箪面鉋15mm
Ogee Moulding Plane 瓢箪面鉋18mm
Ogee Moulding Plane 瓢箪面鉋24mm
Roundover Moulding Plane 坊主面鉋4.5mm
Roundover Moulding Plane 坊主面鉋7.5mm
Roundover Moulding Plane 坊主面鉋9mm
Small Roundover Moulding Plane 豆坊主面鉋2mm
Round Moulding Plane 外丸鉋9㎜
Round Moulding Plane 外丸鉋12㎜
Round Moulding Plane 外丸鉋15㎜
Round Moulding Plane 外丸鉋18㎜
Round Moulding Plane 外丸鉋21㎜
Round Moulding Plane 外丸鉋24㎜
Round Moulding Plane 外丸鉋36㎜
Round Moulding Plane 外丸鉋42㎜
Hollow Moulding Plane 内丸鉋7.5㎜
Hollow Moulding Plane 内丸鉋9㎜
Hollow Moulding Plane 内丸鉋30㎜
45° Mitre Plane 留め鉋 (SOLD OUT)18㎜
Narrow Chamfer Plane 糸面鉋3㎜
Hanagata Kumiko Plane Square No.1 Extra-large 花形組子 角1号特大
Hanagata Kumiko Plane Round No.3 Large 花形組子 3号丸
Osaka Dado Plane 大阪作里18㎜

If you have questions or would like to learn more about our tools, please use the questions form located immediately below. Please share your insights and comments with everyone in the form located further below labeled “Leave a Reply.”

4 thoughts on “Kinshiro Planes 金四郎鉋

  1. I had no idea such a thing existed, thank you for showing us this plane. It’s hard to imagine a setup with western tools that would make these attractive strips. Does the craftsman cut parallel long grooves and then shape the arches? How is the grain oriented for strength?

    Like

    1. Tim, If you look up “Kumiko Zaiku” on the internet (you might paste these characters into Google to get a more powerful search 組子細工) you will see many examples. It’s a crazy world of beautiful patterns. I received formal training in the basic 5 or 6 patterns and made them for a living for a while, but have no experience using the exotic hanagata planes listed. Sorry. The patterns they create are fragile with very little continuous grain. In this case, the craftsman would cut each kumiko lattice piece, thickness plane them by hand with a special plane or a super finisher machine, clamp them together, do layout, and then gang cutting using these planes. The plane pictured in the blog cuts the depressed areas where two kumiko meet with a half-lap joint. That’s why it has a flat projection at the center. The craftsman then uses rounds and hollows to shape the rest of the profiles. These are very rare planes no longer made. The demand was never very high and production costs are high.

      Like

  2. Great post as usual, I first heard about these planes in Desmond King’s blog and someone saying they were the price of a second hand car! That’s the highest precision plane I’ve ever seen!

    Like

Leave a Reply to François Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s