1. I made some kind of moss thingy today ヽ(=^・ω・^=)丿

    I cleaned the roof of my parents home so I had to remove a lot of moss and decided to use some of it to try to make something nice and green for my place :)
    I feel sorry for all the moss I couldn’t save but it is the way it is :D
    Moss is a quite fascinating thing because it can get really old and because it cannot store water it will look like it is dying and as soon as you spray water on it, it will start looking green and fresh again :D
    It is very uplifting to see it getting green again after looking as if it was dead (^-^)

    On tuesday I went to a Japanese bookstore after writing my exam and bought these books :3
    I chose the little Prince and Momo because these are books I like a lot and which are not written in an overly complicated way :)
    If I’m lucky I can read one page per day (^-^;)
    The book from Miyazawa Kenji was highly recommended to me by the shopkeeper :)
    I feel like I would fare better with books that start at a lower level but I couldn’t find any and the customs office here is sooooo slow that it can take up to 3 month for your package to be processed (; _ ;)

    I really like the story of Momo (もも) but the name of this book makes me feel sad because it was the nickname of my first girlfriend and my first love.

    Anyway I will just try to do my best and hopefully I can pass the JLPT N5 exam next year (^-^)

    By the way I’m not too happy about the way my exam went but I think I passed :)
    I suffer from a bad anxiety from exams and sometimes I sit there feeling like my mind has been wiped clear or as if I cannot trust what I know despite using this knowledge in the lab and getting good results and grades for it (>_<;)

    I wish you a great week and that you won’t have any anxiety issues about anything (^-^)/

  2. Finished my kitchen project today :)

    I made this shelf for my father because he asked me to build something to hold his noodle guitar :)
    Noodle guitar sounds like a word from a cheap and cheesy pickup line
    (^-^;) but it really is a tool for making noodles :3
    Basically you roll out the dough, lay it on the strings and push it through the strings using the rolling pin :) You can make 2 different types of noodles with this device by turning it over as the strings on each side have a different spacing :)
    My father makes delicious noodles x3
    He is a really good cook as is almost everyone in my family :D
    It is surprising that I’m very slim :D

    The rolling pin you see came with the noodle guitar so I decided to include something into the shelf to hold it so everything stays in one place and doesn’t get lost :)

    Both shelfs are titled upwards at the same angle to prevent the guitar and the rolling pin from falling down because this might happen if you take off the noodle board :D

    I choose the angle of the boards of the shelf to ensure that both stretchers of the noodle guitar sit on it :)
    If you want to make this in a accurate way you should skip doing math and make a drawing and use a bevel gage to copy the correct angle ;)
    It doesn’t matter if you use the computer or make the drawing by hand but it is easier to set the bevel gage this way than to calculate the exact angle and to transfer it onto your workpiece using a protractor (^-^)

    I used a smoothing plane and a rabbet plane for the first molding until I realized that I have a perfectly fine molding plane (^-^;)
    I did the rest of the moldings with that :D

    I really dislike these glued up beech panels but I have so many of those laying around. So I use them but because the people who make these don’t care about grain direction the grain goes in every direction and planing it is tricky :D Anyway if you try you can get good results :)

    By the way I realized that I never used a block plane in my life (°_°;)
    I feel kind of curious to try one :D Basically I just use my normal planes to work end grain or to do details :)

    I will write an exam next week and 3 more in the following week :)
    So I’m a little busy learning (^-^;)
    Basically I still need to write another exam but the professor did not give us the date or place tow rite the exam :| So I have no idea when to write it….
    Maybe he sits in one of the classrooms right now and is wondering why no one turned up to write the exam :D
    If you write me please be patient and be so kind to wait for my reply :)

    The hedgehogs are well and eating a lot :D
    They started exploring the garden :3 It is very cute to see them but they get scared so easily that I’m afraid of getting too close to them :D

    I know I did so before but I wish everyone a great weekend (^-^)/

    Some personal thoughts:

    Lately I have been feeling a lonely :|
    I mean I’m not alone but I miss having a girlfriend and sharing time with someone. I’m pretty used to living a solitary life because it is difficult to meet people with similar interests that live close by and my hobbies don’t offer too many opportunities to meet people either.
    I feel bad for this because I don’t want to have a girlfriend until I moved to Japan and can settle in a place for a longer period of time because I don’t want to hurt someone by leaving them behind :( even if it is only temporarily)
    I mean even if I find someone who want to move to Japan with me it will still mean a lot of trouble for this person and some time of living separated from one another. My last relationship became a long distance relationship at some point and I don’t want to have one again.
    Sorry for telling you all this but I needed to get it off of my chest.

  3. A delicious glue :3

    I tried to make rice glue or そくい from  cooked rice ごはん (^-^)
    I also found out that this is the best cooked rice I ever ate (๑´•.̫ • `๑)

    I washed and strained the rice in the evening and left it to sit over night in the cup covered by a saucer and a piece of paper towel.
    On the next day I put it into a pot and heated the pot up, cooked some water in the water cooker and poured the boiling water (1 to 1 ratio of water and rice ;) over the rice :)
    I let the water boil again in the pot and switched the stove to its lowest setting and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. I switched it off once the 20 minutes had passed and let it sit in the pot for another 10 minutes.

    I prepared a のりぼ or glue mashing sticks and mashed the rice on a piece of scrap plywood until it became a even gooey mass :)
    Try to pick out the solid lumps ;)
    The glue is really sticky and you might want to dilute it to make it easier to apply :)

    Also yes I made the stick asymmetrical because I planed to the wrong line (>_<;)
    It doesn’t matter thou it works just fine :) 
    I would recommend you to take of the sharp point on the triangular part to prevent it from breaking ;)

    I used it to glue in the new mouth for my smoothing plane ひらかんあ and it worked really fine and it is a dream to clean it up when it is dry but for as long as it is not dry it will make an awful mess (°_°;)
    I really like how tight the joint line of the mouth part turned out :3
    On the bottom of the plane I damaged a part of the sharp corner and now it looks like there is a gap but once the sole is prepared it won’t be visible anymore :D
    I liked how the glue lets the pieces slide :3
    Also you can loosen the repair piece again by giving it a good rap with a hammer :) That is also how I damaged the corner (^-^;)

    The blade looks awesome but I didn’t have the chance to finish preparing it yet
    I made the tap out part but had no chance to flatten the back yet :D
    Also the chip breaker isn’t ready either :)

    I hope everyone had a nice week (^-^)
    I everyone a great weekend (^-^)/

  4. Recipe for Nikuman :)

    I was asked to share my recipe for Nikuman so here it is :)

    What you need for the dough :)

    -180 g of flour
    -50 ml of lukewarm water
    -1 tablespoon of sugar
    -1 packet of dry yeast
    -2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
    -60 ml of milk

    Making the dough ((((((((((っ・ω・)っ

    Mix the dry yeast with the water and the sugar and let it sit for about 10 minutes.

    Mix the ingredients for the dough and and cover it for about 30 minutes.
    The bowl that contains the dough should be covered with a wet towel :)
    If the dough is too gooey you should ass some flour and if it turns out to be too dry you can add some milk (you can add water too :)

    The ingredients for the stuffing :)

    -1 scallion
    -2 leaves from a white cabbage
    -2 Shiitake mushrooms 
    -1 cm of ginger
    -100 g of minced pork meat
    -1 garlic clove
    -4 tablespoons of soy sauce
    - half a tablespoon of sugar
    -2 tablespoons of 
    sesame oil

    Chop the garlic and the ginger infer fine pieces (the finer the better ;)
    Cut the cabbage leaves into small pieces and mix with the other ingredients for the stuffing :)

    If you dislike ginger, garlic and soy sauce you can leave them out and make Nikuman with just minced meat, scallions and cabbage :)

    Next step is taking the dough (after you waited 30 minutes after mixing it ;) and cut it into 8 pieces ฅ( ̳• ·̫ • ̳ฅ)

    Flatten the 8 pieces into circles. Try to make the center of the circles thicker than the edge. This will help to keep the thickness of the closed nikumans even ;)

    Now you can put the stuffing on the circles and  close them :)
    You should try not to get too much soy sauce into the Nikuman (the purpose of the sauce is to marinate the meat and the vegetables ;)
    Sometimes the dough will not close properly so you might want to put a little water on your fingers to help close it :)

    Usually I turn my Nikuman upside down before I steam them and I use a rice cooker with a steaming function :)

    They should be steamed for about 20 minutes.

    If you don’t have a fancy rice cooker like I do here are some other methods you can use to steam all kinds of things :)

    The last method should not be used on gas powered stoves :|

    You need to wet down the kitchen towel and to fix it to the ring of the pot you use (I used a cotton string :)
    Also you shouldn’t use any synthetic kitchen towel for this as they might melt or catch fire ;)

    I used these methods before I got a steaming tray and my rice cooker :)

    Now you can enjoy tasty Nikuman ॱ॰⋆(˶ॢ‾᷄﹃‾᷅˵ॢ)ӵᵘᵐᵐᵞ♡♡♡

  5. Today I got around to working on yet another tool restoration projects :D

    This one is supposed to become my new smoothing plane :3
    I bought it as a used plane that had a really worn だい/body but the blades look awesome :3
    They were not rusted but needed a tap out maintenance and some sharpening as they had big nicks :)

    The mouth of the だい/body was far too wide so I decided to use the method that Toshio Odate mentioned in his book about Japanese tools :)

    Making these parts and the dovetail that is supposed to receive the insert is quite fiddly as you need to consider many different angles :|
    The insert is tapered on all faces and they need to fit really well….
    My small smoother made it a lot easier to creep up to a tight fit inside of theだい/body :)
    Honestly if you have to do some plane maintenance or furniture repairs small planes like this one really shine (^-^)

    Someone asked me if I sell the tools that I repair :)
    My answer is: “No not right now” 
    I bought these tools because I needed them and couldn’t afford to buy new ones that were okay so I might use my tools to make new tools for sale in the future but right now I will use the ones that I repaired to make some projects and to repair things :D

    I want to make some smaller products for sale in the near future but right now my exams have priority again and I will be busy preparing for them and cursing my brain for not being able to remember yesterdays lessons :D

    Anyway it is late now and I will go to sleep (^-^)/

  6. Nikuman :3

    I made these yesterday but was zoo hungry that I skipped making photos of these :D
    They are filled with minced meat, cabbage, shiitake, ginger and a little soy sauce :3

    They turned out quite well and to be honest this is the first time they ever looked that good :D
    Usually they are all kinds of shapes and sizes (^-^;)

    This is one of my favourite lemonades. Fritz Limo melon :3
    My absolute favourite is Orangina thou.

    Usually I drink apple juice or water :D

    The hedgehog family is doing well and today was the first day we saw the young hedgehogs eat the food we offered them :)
    Before mother hedgehog would nurse her young.

    I hope everyone had a great weekend and I wish all of you a great new week (^-^)/

  7. Hedgehog update ヽ(=^・ω・^=)丿

    Today I was able to get a few shots of some of the family members of the hedgehog family :3
    They seem to appreciate the food we give them (^-^)

    They dislike the sound of the shutter of my camera (>_<;)
    At least they always seemed to crouch and try to sly away when they heard it as opposed to the shutter from my mothers camera :D

    Some strawberries from my parents garden :3
    They have a very nice flavour and sweetness 
    (๑´•.̫ • `๑)

    I helped my father to prune the cherry plum in their garden and I found this  moth resting on its bark ₍˄·͈༝·͈˄₎◞ ̑̑
    It is amazing how well it can blend in with the bark of the tree.
    It was probably waiting for the sun to go down :)

    I wish all f you a great weekend (^-^)/

  8. My latest Project ( ^ω^)

    I made a new door for the electric compartment of my lathe :)
    There was no real reason to make a new door as the old one was not bad either but I wanted to paint it and having an even surface makes this a lot easier :D
    You can see the old door at the bottom ;)
    Because plywood doesn’t move too much I made the panel a structural part of the door :)
    It is quite strong despite being light weight (^-^)
    I guess most people would prefer this door to the new plywood door but it never felt like a suitable door for a lathe to me (^-^;) I will keep it and use it for something  else at some point :)

    I made the old door from scrap material which is why it is divided by a piece of pine :) I had to stitch 2 plywood panels together to form one of a suitable size (^-^)
    I really like it but it is a delicate door and I wanted something that could take a beating which is why the new one is made from 12 mm thick birch plywood and has a good coat of paint and clear finish on it :)

    I think the wave and Fuji-san turned out well ヽ(=^・ω・^=)丿
    The panels on the back are intended to prevent oil stains on the white wall behind it  and have a thick coat of clear finish on top of the painted Fuji-san on them :)
    I’m not sure if this splash guard will stand the test of time but I hope it will as I like the way it looks :D

    I used the photo of a のれん (a kind of an advertisement cloth :) from a book about the use of images of Fuji-san on Japanese items and advertisements :)
    I got this book as a gift from the owner of an Udon restaurant in Fujiyoshida (^-^)

    I want to add a lamp to the lathe as the room is illuminated by a neon tube which has the interesting effect that  at 1500 rpm (50 Hz mains frequency ;) the spindle will look like it is standing still :D
    You can hear that the motor is running but you cannot see it… this is a little dangerous… I got a halogen light along wight he machine and I will mount it to the machine :) I rarely go over 1300 rpm thou :D

    A short update on the hedgehog that I mentioned in one of my earlier posts :)
    We found out that the hedgehog is a she and that she has at least 4 baby hedgehogs with her (so cute x3
    Also she built her nest close to the patio on my parents house ヽ(=^・ω・^=)丿
    My father ordered some hedgehog food to help them gain weight for the winter
    Usually they like minced meat and other meaty things like cat food :)
    Basically you can feed them like cats :D

    Please forgive me for not taking photos of the hedgehog family but I don’t want to stress them out :) I will add photos from a distance when I know that I’m not making them feel uncomfortable ;)

    I wish everyone a great time and hedgehogs or echidna which are cute as well

  9. My new/old western style tools ヽ(=^・ω・^=)丿

    I wanted a bigger router plane for some time but couldn’t afford one :D
    I was actually thinking of making one myself but the blades are expensive D:
    This one was quite cheap and in a reasonable shape :) The same seller also sold an old spirit level in a suitable size so I bid on both and won \(^-^)/

    The spirit level need a little clean up to remove some glue from the glass (not much :) 

    The tinners snips are from Japan thou :D
    I like to work with sheet metal and I was looking for this type of snips for some time now :) Either they were too expensive or in too bad a shape or the quality of the material was too poor. I found these by chance when as it was sold by a ebay seller who specialised in used Japanese woodworking tools. It only cost 1$ plus shipping :D
    I already tried it on copper (1 mm), aluminium (1 mm) and 0.8 mm thick steel :3

    The blade of the router plane needed a little reworking as the back was wavy and had a lot of pitting (due to rust :)
    The layer of hard steel is pretty thick so I did not need to worry too much about loosing blade life by removing the rust :D
    Now it has a really sharp edge again and I hoped to get it as sharp as my Japanese tools but it didn’t get quite as sharp (^-^;)
    You can still shave yourself with it :D I won’t recommend you to do that thou ;) I use a straight razor for this :D

    There are some things stamped onto the blade like:
    -“HEFFIELD” (I assume they wanted to stamp SHEFFIELD on it :D
    -a big “7” or an “L” (it looks like someone wanted to stamp an L and all he found was a 7 so he just used it the wrong way around (o_O) 
    -a big “H”
    -“A. HOWADTH” or “L. HOWADTH”
    -“Caststeel” :)

    If you know anything about it please let me know :D
    The maker of the plane body seems to be a G. Everest :)

    Anyway I like it and it is in a pretty good shape :3

    On the last photo you can see my nibbler (the is the cutest name for a tool  that i know of :D and my other tinners snips :)
    I mean this one is fine and I like it but if you cut thin sheets it is not as nice as a pair of tinners snips without a levered mechanism :D 

    I was a little sick this week and spend my days like a cat ₍˄·͈༝·͈˄₎◞ ̑̑
    Sleeping, eating roaming around and sleeping :D
    I did some work for my parents thou :)

    I wish all of you a great weekend (^-^)/


  10. Finished my small そりだいかんあ (compass plane :) today \(^-^)/

    I put the big one (46 mm cutting edge :) next to it so you have somethings to compare it to :)

    This was a challenging project because you need a lot of patience to cut the insides of it :D
    In fact I screwed up once and had to redo the whole thing (^-^;)

    Making the grooves for the plane iron is really fiddly and time consuming :D
    I ended up cutting the fibers with a cutter knife and chiseling out the waste :)

    In fact my 1.5 mm chisel turned out to be too wide and I needed to add a piece of paper to the だい (body of the plane :)  to make the blade fit :)

    As with the big one I intend to use it to build a とりい (Torii/shrine gate :) with it :)
    So this one if for the scaled down prototype :)

    You can see my other small scale planes below :)
    They are really helpful for refining details (^-^)

    I use this くぎしめ (a kind of nail driver) to tap the iron as tapping them with a bigger hammer introduces the risk of accidentally damaging the だい (body of the plane :) 
    This particular one is intended to be used on the nails that are used to fix the sliding door and window handles to the doors and windows :)

    I didn’t do anything else in my workshop today :D
    I helped my father with his motorbike thou :)
    His battery died and getting it out of his motorbike is a laborious task (>_<;)
    You need two people to remove the battery D:
    I didn’t ride my motorbike today because I didn’t feel too well :D

    I wish everyone a great weekend/sunday (^-^)/