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Japanese Planing Beam (Modified!)

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Project by Lemongrasspicker posted 08-02-2017 01:27 PM 1291 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

If you prefer not to read, the video is here. Complete with a bevy of mistakes and tomfoolery.

View on YouTube

So with the limited space I have I’ve found it difficult to have a good size work bench. So I endeavored to find a way to get the maximum amount of versatility and work space with the limited space I have on my 3rd floor balcony. I needed something simple, but effective.

A thick topped bench was out of the question, I didn’t want to make a 300 pound monster that I’d eventually have to carry down 3 floors with no elevator.

The answer I found was in the traditional planing beam as written about by men like Toshio Odate. The beam is really just a thick beam supported by a single horse with a block at the opposite end. To make the beam rigid rather than just sheer weight and support systems, the beam is butted against the wall of the workspace/workshop. This way when you plane with a kanna you can use gravity as an ally and it allows you to plane a bit harder when you have rough sawn boards that need to be planed down. Traditional craftsmen in Japan have built countless items in the past using a beam like this and a few saw horses.

The key for me, as was with the craftsmen of old, is to make the absolute most of the absolute least.

Since I also use western style planes (mostly for hardwoods) I plan on having different heights of blocks to have the beam be level for using with a western plane. This is still a work in progress but I’ll come up with something that lets the height/angle be changed with ease for the different planing styles.

The vise is a feature that you will not find on traditional planing beams. This is to make it work for my particular work style. And for planing edges it makes life SO much easier. For very long stock I can simply attach a clamp across the bottom to hold the stock with the vise at the other end acting as an anchor.

The beam is much easier to store when it’s not in use, since it’s only 6”ish wide I can easily stand it up in a corner and have the support horse next to it. And at only about 80lbs and 7ft long moving it isn’t a massive ordeal. The wife is very pleased with this arrangement.

I am still working on a work holding system for it that I can move up and down the beam, in the meantime I just use screws to create stops for using a kanna, the thickness of the stock dictates the thickness of the stop.

I also plan on adding some notches to the support horse to help the beam sit more squarely in the space it’s provided. This will be the first thing I add after I build a better support block for it. But I ran out of money and time for this one, but it is perfectly functional but to optimize it will just take a little longer.

Thanks for reading/watching!

-- www.youtube.com/lemongrasspicker





8 comments so far

View fivecodys's profile

fivecodys

783 posts in 1358 days


#1 posted 08-02-2017 08:04 PM

That’s very cool.
And when you’re done you just sweep the mess right off the balcony! (just kidding of course)

-- Chem, Central California

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

633 posts in 304 days


#2 posted 08-02-2017 08:42 PM

Nice solution to having limited space!

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View Lemongrasspicker's profile

Lemongrasspicker

97 posts in 218 days


#3 posted 08-03-2017 01:59 PM



That s very cool.
And when you re done you just sweep the mess right off the balcony! (just kidding of course)

- fivecodys

Absolutely! What’s the point of working outside if you can’t take advantage of it?

-- www.youtube.com/lemongrasspicker

View swirt's profile

swirt

2279 posts in 2693 days


#4 posted 08-04-2017 01:45 PM

Clever solution to limited space.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View DS's profile

DS

2345 posts in 2142 days


#5 posted 08-04-2017 05:09 PM

When I first saw the title of this post, I was reminded of this Japanese planing competition.
(Who can plane the thinnest complete shaving)

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

1510 posts in 662 days


#6 posted 08-04-2017 06:13 PM



When I first saw the title of this post, I was reminded of this Japanese planing competition.
(Who can plane the thinnest complete shaving)

- DS


They’re having a competition down the street from my shop tomorrow.

http://mokuchiwoodworking.com/events/kez2017/

Fine Woodworking did a piece on it two years ago.

I’m going to try and attend as a spectator. I forgot to add this to my calendar, as usual :(

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)

View LJRay's profile

LJRay

103 posts in 1227 days


#7 posted 08-05-2017 12:50 AM

Nice!

How sturdy is that railing? Maybe attach a moxon vise or a tool holder.

-- Ray

View Lemongrasspicker's profile

Lemongrasspicker

97 posts in 218 days


#8 posted 08-05-2017 11:39 PM



Nice!

How sturdy is that railing? Maybe attach a moxon vise or a tool holder.

- LJRay

Not very. It’s got a bit of a case of the weeble wobbles that needs to be remedied. I wouldn’t feel comfortable putting anything of significant weight on it, the porch is quite sturdy though!

-- www.youtube.com/lemongrasspicker

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