|Project by fissionchips||posted 11-27-2011 04:49 AM||2662 views||3 times favorited||12 comments|
Delving into the world of Japanese woodworking is an enlightening experience for those who set down the path.
Inspired by Mafe’s blog, and by Toshio Odate’s incredible book ‘Japanese Woodworking Tools – Their Tradition, Spirit and Use’, I set out to find my first kanna plane. With luck I acquired an old 58mm hira kanna for a song on eBay. The only information I have about the maker is the stamp ‘Yukihiro’ on the blade.
The plane arrived from Japan and I was pleasantly surprised by its overall condition. The blade was in good shape but had a highly convex bevel. I didn’t have a course enough stone to flatten the whole bevel, so I made a flat on the front 2mm using an Eclipse style honing guide. This made the subsequent sharpening steps mercifully shorter.
The body (dai) was very bowed from taking on moisture, so I conditioned all the sides using sandpaper and a mini scraper plane. The white oak was a pleaure to work with, quite smooth grained. I finished the dai with beeswax, and smoothed its surface by burnishing against another piece of wood.
As fun as it is to make endless shavings, I got the most satisfaction from running my fingers along the edge of the plane-finished burnish-smoothed board. Sighting down the edge of the cherry board I could see a mirror-like reflection off of it.
I learned a few things along the way: High grit stones may not be crucial for sharpening. My finishing stone was 4000x, and a final hone with honing compound on wood brought out a nice shine. The photos show my haste in not taking out all the scratches, but future sharpenings should take care of that.
I can’t say enough good things about Toshio Odate’s book. I haven’t finished reading it yet, and am eager to absorb as much wisdom as I can from it.
A few more photos can be viewed in my flickr set.