Japanese Kiwa Kanna - back to life

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Project by mafe posted 11-26-2013 10:10 PM 2137 views 1 time favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Japanese Kiwa Kanna
back to life

I got this beautiful old Kiwa Kanna (skewed hand plane) from Japan, for next to nothing, fully aware of the crack in the body.
The truth is I bought it with out hoping to restore it, out of interest and to study it.
But when I got it I realized that it was fixable.
And so I gave it a shot, to see if I could bring it back to life.

1. Crack.
2. Drilling into the body, shows that there are metal inside…
3. Cut the end to get to the metal and look what I dig out, I also make a piece of hardwood to close it up after.
4. A Danish coin will be the washer on the threaded rod that will fix the problem, this to give it a new history.
5. After bolting it together, time to glue the hardwood in place.
6. Crack closed up, body restored – plane back to life.

I choose to let the repair be visible, think this is more honest.
It works as a dream after a sharpening and so it is now in use with my Japanese tools.

You can read more about Kanna’s in my Japanese tools blog series:

(Another post from the never posted archive – lol).

_Hope it can be a inspiration to fix and not give up,

Best thoughts,


-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

19 comments so far

View bobasaurus's profile


1558 posts in 2003 days

#1 posted 11-26-2013 10:36 PM

Very nice job fixing up this old plane. Finding metal when cutting into unknown wood is always annoying, and sometimes expensive as blades are destroyed… glad you got that nail out of there.

-- Allen, Colorado

View madts's profile (online now)


1318 posts in 1158 days

#2 posted 11-26-2013 10:38 PM

Pretty cool Mads. Nice fix.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

12510 posts in 1924 days

#3 posted 11-26-2013 11:05 PM

Way to go, Mads. It is back in service now. Those coins make good washers. What is it made of, brass?

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Schwieb's profile


1617 posts in 2280 days

#4 posted 11-26-2013 11:11 PM

That’s why I keep a metal detector handy. I’ve ruined a few band saw blades sawing up “urban lumber” with nails in it. I even found a big rail road spike once. Nice work on the plane rehab. I continue to be impressed with your photographic documentation of your projects, posted or not.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View Doe's profile


1137 posts in 1649 days

#5 posted 11-26-2013 11:42 PM

Nice restore! The coin is a great touch.

-- Mother Nature talks, I try to listen

View Don W's profile

Don W

15918 posts in 1386 days

#6 posted 11-27-2013 12:18 AM

Nice save. Glad you found it.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View CFrye's profile


4436 posts in 659 days

#7 posted 11-27-2013 01:01 AM

Autopsy turned resuscitation with a great outcome! Way to go Dr. Mads! Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View lanwater's profile


3101 posts in 1753 days

#8 posted 11-27-2013 07:29 AM

That’s a great save Mafe.
A fancy name too. by the time you are done with the Japanese tools you will be fluent in the Japanese language.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View stefang's profile


13914 posts in 2153 days

#9 posted 11-27-2013 08:14 AM

Nothing better than a venerable tool restored to usefulness Mads. I think tools must feel very secure in your hands.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View kiefer's profile


3568 posts in 1486 days

#10 posted 11-27-2013 01:39 PM

Nice rehab and preservation ,you left a loving mark on the old tool.

-- Kiefer 松

View Dave Smith's profile

Dave Smith

21 posts in 462 days

#11 posted 11-27-2013 02:06 PM

Hej Mads,
You should look around at some of the antique stores and see if you can find a pile of the old 25 Ore coins, they have the predrilled hole. Perfect for washers. :)


-- Thanks! Dave ...

View Rick's profile


7823 posts in 1852 days

#12 posted 11-28-2013 03:49 AM

Very Nice Work Indeed Mads! Thanks For Sharing!


-- Deodorant is like Common Sense. Those who need it the most, never use it.

View planeBill's profile


481 posts in 1228 days

#13 posted 11-28-2013 04:25 PM

A very involved rehab but it seems to have worked well so good for you. Nice job Mafe.

-- I was born at a very young age, as I grew up, I got older.

View mafe's profile


9874 posts in 1908 days

#14 posted 11-28-2013 06:46 PM

Hi there, LJ’s,
Planebill, yes, amazing the struggle we go through in life, lol. If I was a carpenter I would probably have traced it, but the truth is I’m a rhykenologist first, then building technician and architect – so not much carpenter there. In other words I love bringing life back to old tools and things, hope someone will do that to me, when I grow old and useless. Smiles.
Rick, thank you back.
Dave, actually there are a hole in the coins I used (new Danish kroner), the problem was that the hole was to small, laugh. But you are completely right, the old Danish 25 øre was famous for being good washers. What’s your relation to this?
Kiefer, a mark of love and care I hope, I believe it is the best mark we can leave. ;-)
Mike, it feels wonderful in my hand and I feel lucky to pass it on to new generations hopefully one day, after having used it.
Ian, laughs, I think it will rain frogs before I speak Japanese, but hope to get to Japan one day.
Candy, Dr. MaFe San… lol, specialist in suffering tools…
Don, thanks, I know we share a love there.
Doe, perhaps it even added a little value…
Ken, you can see you are not the only doctor now… Yes I think I will give my metal detector a better place in my workshop since I often use urban wood.
Jim, no some sort of steel I think, they are really hard.
Madts, Smiles here.
Bobasaurus, no tools suffered under this blog…
Best thoughts,

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Roger's profile


16061 posts in 1623 days

#15 posted 12-02-2013 12:29 AM

You’ll get it back in shape

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

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