The Japan Woodworker retail site in Alameda has been one of my favorite haunts for the last decade or so. They sell the best Japanese steel cooking knives and have kept them sharpened gratis. The place is steeped in quality and relationships with many West Coast woodworking folks like Kevin Drake and handplane expert Scott Wynn and many others whose names don't come to mind. They've traditionally held a sale/openhouse - there was one today - to which many vendors come to talk and present their wares. They have the greatest stock of Festool I've ever seen.
One more ache for a place of human warmth replaced by an online catalog.
I must say, I generally like WoodCraft. They have good people, at least in the local Dublin store, they are well stocked and their people knowledgeable and nice. It's hard to see the retail store go though, it's an institution.
I'm going to miss being able to oogle the handmade Japanese chisels, their purchase justified by supporting a marginal industry and tradition of excellence.
...good idea dwabyick, Taunton should consider the purchase!
Sally & Fred, thank you for many good years.
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