Japanese (Kanna) Hand Planes ??? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-27-2019, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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Japanese (Kanna) Hand Planes ???

I am interested in making (my first) Japanese hand plane. I have tried to research on line... but have so many questions. Are there any experts here?

Does the iron have to be wedge shaped, or will a western plane iron work as a test iron?
Is there a length that compares with a #4 western plane?
What are the angles and dimensions? Or Plans.
Does anyone have a good online resource of information about Japanese planes? (in English language)
Has anyone here had any success in making their own Japanese planes?

I have already made several European style wooden planes with good success and would like to try making a Japanese plane (not buy one).
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Gary
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-28-2019, 12:54 AM
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Please keep us posted when you build your plane, I for one would be interested to know also.

http://www.diychatroom.com/
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If you do what you've always done, you will get what you've always got.
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-28-2019, 02:18 AM
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Here Ya go ....

FYI, I have found that pulling the typical English style or Stanley planes to be more effective than pushing them in the traditional manner. This is a variant influenced by the Japanese pull method.
I have not made a Japanese style plane myself, but offer these links as suggestions:

I found this to be a good source:
https://www.fine-tools.com/japaneseplane.html

https://www.fine-tools.com/dai-making.html




The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

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post #4 of 10 Old 03-28-2019, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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I found these videos by a very talented plane maker:



He hardens the O1 steel...But does he anneal the blade?

I have seen the thin shavings demonstrated on many videos using perfect straight grained wood, but not on wood with knots or knurly grained wood. I wonder about what happens?

I have not seen how straight it planes for joining two boards either.

Gary

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post #5 of 10 Old 03-31-2019, 09:49 PM
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Hey Gary,

I'm not sure how this post of yours got by me...???...Thanks for sharing it.

I've only restored a few, and love (loved?) using them. As I'm building my collection back up hopefully this year. I lost the good one I had in a theft.

If you get a chance to use any, I think you will enjoy there simplicity and function...

Of the Japanese tools I love and have used, these are the ones I'm least knowledgeable about (from my own perspective) but may be able to discuss aspects in more detail if you have questions...yet much of what is needed to know the tool will teach and the rest is in some great books and now online; as you are aware of...

Thanks again for sharing this...!!!...

P.S. With your skill sets and some "book reading" I don't think you would find making one of these a challenge at all, and would love the results!!!

Tosa Tomo Designs
Confucius (551 BCE): "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand..." "...Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance..." Socrates:I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only help them think..."
Stephen Covey:"Seek to understand, before seeking to be understood..."
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-01-2019, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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It seems that the blade itself (beside being laminated with hard/soft steel) is tapered into a wedge shape on all 4 sides (not including the beveled cutting edge. It also seems that the taper on each (left/right) edge must be fitted (fettled) into the body of the wood, on each side to jam fairly tight as the cutting end of the blade becomes exposed as well. This detail was used on Japanese (Kanna) planes from around 1500 - 1900 AD. Around 1900 AD it seems a variation was borrowed from Korea...adding a chip breaker on a pivot pin, which lessoned the tear out when using their planes. Another recommendation I found was to wet the knots (which softens them) prior to planning, and to plane them at a skewed angle when planning them.

After considering the basics of the Asian plane design...The Western modern planes share many of the same traits, which make me wonder about...if a thicker laminated iron was made for a #4 Stanley/Bailey plane, and well sharpened, would it preform similarly? I think it might.

Gary
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-01-2019, 01:54 PM
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The pull VS push technique ...

Japanese plaane are used on the "pull" stroke, where English/USA versions are used on the push stroke. This may set up different virbrations in the blade and the need for different or more secure means of hold downs. I use the pull stroke on a USA plane when it's practical, but the tote and handles are not designed for that.


Check out this guy who makes brass woodworking planes:
http://www.petermcbride.com/metal_plane_making/


Other cool handmade planes:
http://www.holteyplanes.com/
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

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post #8 of 10 Old 04-01-2019, 11:28 PM
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Hello Gary,

You asked some great question earlier that I overlooked yesterday when I started watching-reviewing Young Je's video...

I'll try to go through them incrementally in order as I understand the topic. Let me know if you have more questions, and/or perspectives?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmercer_48083 View Post
...Does the iron have to be wedge shaped, or will a western plane iron work as a test iron? ...
In general no it won't. They are not as "wedge shaped" as shown in the one video for the most part. They are typically custom fitted to the "dai" (wood body) they go with...If that makes sense?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmercer_48083 View Post
...Is there a length that compares with a #4 western plane? ...
Yes, several depending on the wood, and grain pattern to be planed...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmercer_48083 View Post
...What are the angles and dimensions? ...
It depends on the wood species and grain type, if I am understanding your question correctly?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmercer_48083 View Post
...Does anyone have a good online resource of information about Japanese planes? (in English language) ...
Oh ya...you just had to throw the "English Language" hoop into that...didn't you? LOL

I want to assure you again (and any other readers) that I not that much different then the rest of you about this aspect of Japanese tooling. I've just lived longer (perhaps?) than most here with them and work in the Asian styles of woodworking a great deal, so perhaps have..."a little"...more insight, but probably not that much.

To this question, I would say that for another self proclaimed "novice" Stuart Tierney is one of the best. He has been a vendor, colleague, "go to guy" and source for all things "tool related" in japan for almost a decade. His web page, Tools From Japan is still open but may be closing in the next few years...!!!???...So check it out while you can. His knowledge of Kanna and related tools is extensive and there is a good well of info on the store web page...His pages and knowledge of planes is darn good!!!

D & M King has a great web page you may like?

There are a lot of books too, of which I know a few of the authors. Are you getting into this enough to want to get some books?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmercer_48083 View Post
...Has anyone here had any success in making their own Japanese planes?
...
For me...making...would include the blade and chip breaker both...along with the wood body...

I have already made several European style wooden planes with good success and would like to try making a Japanese plane someday. But I have fitted blades and "tuned" Dia before...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmercer_48083 View Post
...I have seen the thin shavings demonstrated on many videos using perfect straight grained wood, but not on wood with knots or knurly grained wood. I wonder about what happens?...
...Anybody that gets into "planes" and then starts looking at the Japanese planes and their method of used makes that observation...

Short answer...by and large...they don't yield the super fine shavings you see when getting into hardwoods like we have here in North America, Europe, Australia etc...unless...they are well tuned and then if the bevel angle is changed they improve further...They still work, and I've seen "some" work really well, but not the same from my perspective and observation...yet (?) perhaps better than many (most?) Western "push planes."

There is a few video out there of them in hardwoods, but those are Japanese/Korean and I only know a short snippet of a Canadian planning black walnut with some success...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmercer_48083 View Post
...He hardens the O1 steel...But does he anneal the blade? ...
I'm intrigued by his "go to it" methods of making a plane. He seems to have all the basic steps worked out, but I I did not see him "anneal" the iron in that blade, and in a side by side comparison over time, I do not believe (for a number of reasons) his blades would compete with a traditional blade.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmercer_48083 View Post
...It seems that the blade itself (beside being laminated with hard/soft steel) is tapered into a wedge shape on all 4 sides (not including the beveled cutting edge...
They are not as "wedge shaped" as they may appear to you. The lamination is in many of there tools, not just plan blades. It is a more yielding arrangement (aka more durable) and much easier to sharpen, among other reasons...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmercer_48083 View Post
...It also seems that the taper on each (left/right) edge must be fitted (fettled) into the body of the wood, on each side to jam fairly tight as the cutting end of the blade becomes exposed as well...
Yes...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmercer_48083 View Post
...This detail was used on Japanese (Kanna) planes from around 1500 - 1900 AD. Around 1900 AD it seems a variation was borrowed from Korea...adding a chip breaker on a pivot pin, which lessoned the tear out when using their planes...
Yes...but academic and open for debate in some circles...Looks like you are really getting deep down the rabbit hole...LOL...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmercer_48083 View Post
...Another recommendation I found was to wet the knots (which softens them) prior to planning, and to plane them at a skewed angle when planning them...
Yep...and wood in general can plane better if oil, or waxed among a few other tricks...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmercer_48083 View Post
...After considering the basics of the Asian plane design...The Western modern planes share many of the same traits, which make me wonder about...if a thicker laminated iron was made for a #4 Stanley/Bailey plane, and well sharpened, would it preform similarly? I think it might...
They are not as much a like as you may think...or that could just be my take on it. I have thicker blades in some of my "iron planes" and I like it. Kind of like Veritas blades are really think. But Japanese Kanna are a thing all there own for many reasons and I have not seen any "hybrids" that do as well as the originals...Not yet anyway...

A few video you may like?



Tosa Tomo Designs
Confucius (551 BCE): "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand..." "...Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance..." Socrates:I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only help them think..."
Stephen Covey:"Seek to understand, before seeking to be understood..."
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-02-2019, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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In my pursuit of knowledge regarding Japanese (Kanna) planes, I have come to the conclusion that for me, my best bet is to purchase this type of plane first before making one.

There are many reasons I came to this conclusion. The main reason is the blade, its shape, its makeup, its durability.
Although making the body of the Kanna plane from wood is doable, I must conclude that after all the effort/detail required to make and tune it, would be best used on softer cedar like woods in its basic form. I commend anyone who makes a kanna that works well, but for me... it would make me cry, to damage such a plane after all the effort that goes into the making of such a plane.

I have already made several European style wooden hand planes with success including, Rebate, Hollows and Rounds (various sizes), Tong and Groove, Skewed, Scraper, Coffin Smoothers, Snipe, Chisel, Bead, Router, Spill, and I am sure there are some I've left out. From what I have learned from trying is that you can make a simple side escapement rebate plane from a common construction grade 2"x 4", and it will probably last the rest of your life...and that a profile can be routed into the sole...converting it to do molding work. That finding a source of O1 tool steel allowed me to try and succeed in shaping and heat treating. I think for now I will continue on this path...mostly because of being on a fixed income, and each dollar has to count.

Gary
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-02-2019, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmercer_48083 View Post
...I have come to the conclusion that for me, my best bet is to purchase this type of plane first before making one...
Hi Gary,

You won't regret that choice (I don't think?) as even average plane is a great tool for what you get...

I look forward to following along on your journey with this...!!!

j

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Confucius (551 BCE): "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand..." "...Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance..." Socrates:I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only help them think..."
Stephen Covey:"Seek to understand, before seeking to be understood..."
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