MaFe style Kanna
Japan meets Krenov
For quite some time now I have had three wishes that I wanted to fulfill in one project.
1. To have a Japanese Naga-Dai-Kanna (jointer plane).
2. To combine the Krenov plane building style with Japanese planes.
3. To find use of a beautiful old hand forged Japanese plane iron that I had purchased some time back.
Here an example of a Japanese jointer plane I saw on E-bay.
On this link a seller in Germany, I think the price tag huts a wee bit: http://www.fine-tools.com/jhobm.htm
So here the plan, a small sketch in my little book.
The Japanese plane is different from the Western planes in several ways:
The iron is place in the other end, this due to the fact that you pull the plane.
The iron is wedge shaped and so it holds itself into the plane body.
The cap iron is also holding itself, but this is due to the fact that the top corners are bend and a pin is put through the body. that the cap iron wedge against. ( I have a theory that the reason for this design, is due to the fact that it was relatively late that the Japanese used Cap irons and so it has been retro fitted to existing planes and ways of building.
The story starts here.
I got a beautiful old iron and cap iron from Japan, these waited a couple of years in the drawer.
As you can see there are plenty of iron left, but it has been used.
So I filed of the edge that had bent over from beating.
The same for the cap iron.
Look at those fine old stamps from the maker.
Notice the old hammer marks from someone adjusting it.
Ok here it starts, with a cut!
In my wonderful friend Jamies work shop in Scotland, where I was to visit him.
The reason I brought the iron, was that I knew Jamie had one also and so I had a plan that we could work on this project together, while I was there. But Jamie got sick, so I spend the last day alone in the shop working on this project.
Jamie had said to me that ‘there are plenty of oak’ so I could pick what ever piece I wanted, and so I found myself a good piece, with a good density.
Thank you Jamie, I look forward now to create a useful tool from this wood.
Since I was in Jamies shop, I decided to use some of his wonderful tools, first the thickness planner and then the jointer. (Love these old heavy jointers).
In this way I knew I had the base lined up.
After reading in a Japanese book (on the left and to be read backwards) I was feeling confident to start cutting up the oak.
I cut it up in five slices. Sides, iron wedging and finally center bed.
The center and the two wedging sides together should match the widest part of the iron.
The cap iron should fit in between the two wedging sides.
(Look at later photos).
Marking up the place where I want the iron and in this way making a reference line between the parts.
(Jamie you might notice something here).
And marking up how I want the blade, remember that the blade is wedge shaped so you have to use the angle on the top of the blade or subtract the blade angle from the bed angle.
I just took 45 and then put the blade on top, in this way I end up on 47-48 degree in this way I make a plane that will work on hardwoods also.
I also choose 45 degrees for the opening, in this way it will be easy to clean up shaves, but some prefer a steeper angle, I have seen Japanese planes in all angles.
So time to cut.
Basically three cuts, two 45 degrees and one vertical, I start with the vertical.
The vertical cut gives a stronger edge and allows for some adjustment of the sole later.
Here with Jamies wonderful saw, again a favorite of mine.
The good old Dewalt.
Shut up and cut MaFe.
The next cut I made on the table saw, this only because I did not want to destroy Jamies setup.
First making sure I had a perfect square angle.
Here you get the picture of the principal.
And here with the cap iron.
In the back part of the plane, the bed and the sides are just following, so in this case I could cut these 45 degrees also and then draw the shape of the plane iron on to the other part (you can still se that line here).
Then cut that of and you can push it up to the blade and should have a snug fit when the blade is just a wee bit withdrawn.
Then you can put in the cap iron.
I had to sand a wee bit of my sides of the cap iron, so my measurement was not perfect…
Here we are, this is close to being a Kanna.
The sole of the plane looks fine and I can decide how closed or open I want the mouth.
Now it is all to adjust the parts.
First the back end.
Then the front.
I drill holes for dowels in the back and front to be sure I get it just right when I am going to glue.
Then it’s just to add glue, don’t be cheesy, we need a good contact.
The dowels are the hammered in, so I know it is all aligned up perfectly.
We can never have too many clamps and Jamie have tons.
Now I should wait 24 hours, but I’m going home tomorrow.
So I went for a bicycle ride and dinner, then took the chance after six hours.
And I was lucky, it seems to hold up perfectly fine.
First I chop of the dowels, and then a tour on the planner.
Back to the sled, here I cut of the ends, I cut the dowels away to get a clean surface.
The fit was not perfect, so I had to make some magic filler.
Sawdust from the same wood mixed with glue.
Ok, Jamie I admit, I took another saw blade, to make perfect crosscuts, but now the old one is back (it’s a wee bit wobbly).
Japanese planner plane.
MaFe san, full of good Zen.
Ok, I did not have the time to mount the pin for the cap iron, to set up the sole and test it, this because I had to get back to Copenhagen. I will have to be patient, since my entire work shop including the kanna is inside this truck, since I had to empty the shop and be out of the building for the next 4-6 months, due to renovation of the building, so this last part will be in a wee bit time.
Hope this blog can bring some inspiration, who knows, perhaps we will see some MaFe san style planes in the future, I have searched the web and not found even one.
Japan (plane type and iron)
Russia (Krenov born)
US (Where Krenov made his planes)
Scotland UK (where I made mine in Jamies shop)
Denmark (where I live and are born)
It’s a small and fascinating world.
Jamie on your table in the work shop, I cut up and left a piece of Oak, the pages from the Japanese book and your plane iron – this was meant as a challenge, now it is your turn. Hope you are all up and running my friend.
-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.