Home > Hammers > Quince and Gumi Handle
Image Item Name Price (AU$) Stock Origin
Quince and Gumi Handle POA Gumi Order
Quince Reference
Gumi = Japan
Quince = Oz


I am currently making a handle with quince for the shown Hiroki Maru 100 monme (375g) gennou. The bark is kept on for anti slip and the curve is just superb. Japanese gennou has one side flat and another slightly convexed (called kigoroshi-men = fibre killing surface) to sink the nail head. Since kigoroshi side is only slightly convexed, it is hard to tell which side is which if the handle was straight. By using a slightly curved handle, you can tell which side is which without checking.

The material is not completely dry yet, so I will proceed slowly and let it dry. Idealy it is better to dry for couple years, because although the moisture between the fibres will dry out quickly, the moisture contained withiin the fibres will take long time to dry. But life is too short I can't wait that long!!!

I will be making hopefully couple of handles for Masanari chisels with this material as well, as soon as the chisel heads and the suiting hoops and ferrules arrive.

Good tool making take long time(^^) With good tools around life could never be boring.

On the top right is Japanese gumi, bottom is quince from my friend's backyard. Both very tenacious material. Great for handle materials for gennou and ooire/tataki nomi since these wood absorbs shock and are resistant to chipping. I have been searching for a wild local material that would substitute Japanese gumi for a while. I've tried couple of wild gum trees and they were okay, but this quince has just easily surpassed anything that I've tried so far. The density and tenacity is so similar to gumi, and the colour is very beautiful. While gumi is creamy yellow, this quince is cherry red on one side, cream white on the other. My friend is lucky to have such a good tree in his backyard.

The butt of the handle chamfered roughly with kuri kogatana.

The head side gradually taking it's shape. This part needs to be extra dry and shaped accurately to fit the "hitsu (socket)" of the genno head. Make it a bit larger than the hitsu and let it dry and shrink a little. Then use a kehiki (or keshiki) and mark precisely the size of the hitsu and plane it just a little (about 0.2mm) wider outside the marked lines. And chamfer the edge and ready to be inserted.

The head side is basically ready. The core of the wood is set to be in the middle of the handle. That way the grain will look nicer because the core will not surface, and of course the handle will be stronger. The material is basically quite dry but it will still gradually shrink, so I need to keep it at least 2mm larger than the actual size of the hitsu (socket). the surface is smoothed with my Yokoyama Ouzan plane. Oh, how it shaved well! Although the grain is interlocked around the small knot, Ouzan planes without creating any scrapes at all. If this was a lesser quality plane, you'd have to sand! With Ouzan no sanding whatsoever and the surface is like a mirror. I can see the view reflecting onto the surface, and the corners are so sharp as if I can cut my finger.

Basically done. Beautiful grain. Aussie material Wafuu (Japanese) style! My dream genno comes true.

I will keep adding the making process as I proceed.


Finished attatching the handle today upon request from the buyer of this hammer head. I never thought anyone would be interested in such an expensive hammer, so this handle was made for myself.

It is only about 1/3 inserted at the moment. Please choose dry days and tap the butt of the hammer to further insert the handle, one mark per day. When the tip of the handle reaches about 5mm inside from the other end, apply oil and let the wood grow back. This way you won't need any wedge to tighten the handle.


Gumi handle for 750g Tenryu Hammered Finish Daruma. This type of handle takes much more effort and attention, so I'd have to ask for quite a bit, but if you'd like I can make one for you.

Traditional curved handle. Can be made straight as well, and that would be slightly easier.

Wider end at the end of the handle.

Kurigata-e (Chestnut shaped sectional profile.)


Latest Gumi handle, which came out really nice. In this photo you can see the high sheen of the Gumi material.



Seasoned Eihachirou head. Changing the White Oak handle to a Gumi handle.

I lowered the quality of the photo too much! It doesn't look half as nice as the real stuff.... Looks so dry.