Reverence

endgrainRespect for tools was the real lesson I learned from a woodworking icon.

by Brad Rubin
page 64

My introduction to Japanese woodworking started with Toshio Odate’s underwear.

“My tools are like my underwear. You wouldn’t touch my underwear, so don’t touch my tools,” Odate told me and my classmates.

So began my first exposure to Japanese woodworking tools and techniques in a shoji screen-making class led by the renowned artist. I had little interest in shoji screens, but I had a keen interest in learning from a master. Although 15 years have passed since that experience, the many lessons learned during those few days have remained with me.

Twitter: Follow Popular Woodworking Magazine on Twitter.
To Buy: Download the December 2015 issue to read an in-depth profile of Odate.
In Our Store: “Woodworking Legends, An Interview with Toshio Odate,” a video on DVD or download.

From the February 2016 issue, #233
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