Homemade Japanese Plane – Kanna

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Before I started this project I knew next to nothing about Japanese planes. After some research I was confident to give it a try and I’m glad I did as it turned out so good. I’ve always wanted to make a plane but up until now it just hasn’t happened.

As I mention in the video my son was trying his hand at hand planing with a Stanley no4 and was struggling (probably due to not being tall enough for the bench) but I thought a Japanese style plane may be easier. That’s the reason I decided to get on and make one.

Samurai Carpenters video on how to set up a Japanese plane

I also found this site very helpful

As always I’m happy to answer any questions.

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today I'm going to make a plane and it's going to be a japanese-style plane I've never made a plane before and I've never used the japanese-style plane either my boy the other day was trying to plane with a number four Stanley and he was struggling a little bit with it and I wondered whether a japanese-style plane may be easier I'm not sure if that's the case but so that's the reason I'm going to make one plus I've always wanted to make a plane I've just never got around to it I'm going to use one of these old plane blades that I've picked up from a flea market I'm not sure how much I paid for them but it wouldn't have been much I've got the played into a half-decent state it still needs shopping properly but what I need to do is add some mass to the back of the blade and to do that I've got this piece of mild steel and I'm going to glue that with j-b world I've never used it before but I think it's supposed to be pretty good and there's a large surface area so I don't think there'll be too much of a problem there but before I do that what I need to do is I need to shape this piece it needs to end up as a wedge so I've got to remove quite a lot of material there and I don't have a metal bandsaw so I'm just gonna have to keep going with a grinder I have thinner steel withouts to thin and this is too thick and then the other thing is is it's just a little bit narrower as well so once I've got the shape of this or worldA piece onto the side of it and then the final shaping and then glue it together it's really starting to come together and it feels pretty good I've done some sharpening but it needs more it obviously isn't going to be as good as a top-quality blade but I'm hoping that we can get some good shavings with it so we'll just see how it goes I've just watched one of the Sun your eye carpenters videos on how to set up a Japanese plane and what I found out I learned something that I always do learn something on these videos he's the back of the blade needs hollowing slightly so when that's bedded in the plane it stops any chance of any sideways movement in the plane so I'm going to take an angle grinder and take a few light passes off there I don't think I need to take too much off and I'll keep dunking it in water to keep it tall so I don't think I'm going to affect the edge there it'll just be light passes I reckon that came out really well the only thing left to do is to grind the two corners off and then the blade is finished the next job is to fit the chip breaker and I need to put a bar across there so the chip breaker wedges in there and I just ban this old sieve here I do use it to strain paint it was around the back of my shed and I've stolen a little piece of bar from that as you can see that turned out pretty awesome I understand that it's not a top-quality tool but for something I made I think it turned out pretty well and I'm very happy with it I even think Bradley found it a little bit easier to use he probably still needs to improve his technique which I probably do as well so hopefully you enjoyed the video if you did please like and subscribe and if you'd like to support me you can always buy one of my t-shirts or support me on patreon so thanks for watching and I'll see you on the next one

47 thoughts on “Homemade Japanese Plane – Kanna”

  1. I should have said in the video that Bradley isn't tall enough for the workbench. I did mention this in the description though but as not many read the description I'll pin it here. 😉

  2. Hello Neil,

    I noticed a few folks here have corrected you in regards to error of where the "hollow" was placed?

    I've been sent a few video's of your by students with quesitons. This being one of them.

    I like the "just do it…and get it done" approach of your videos!! 🙂 Nevertheless, it would be grand if you could post a comment above in your text explaining this error so other folks don't get confused on the proper layout of a Japanese 鉋 (Kanna.) The 裏上面 (Ura jōmen – Back) is the proper location and not the 甲 (K'o – bevel side) of the blade.

    You make great video for folks and are really motivating, but when errors get repeated and not addressed it does the craft a disservice…


  3. Nice video and nice plane; there is one thing I like to point out, you should have checked the direction of the grain in the wood you used, if any humidity gets in the plane's wood it will lift the fibers and those lifted fibers will leave marks on the material planed especially softwoods. As when you plane wood with the grain, so should the plane. Keep up the good work, I enjoy most of what you do.

  4. I’ve been wanting to try a japanese plane myself. My normal plane applies too much force, and I can’t find any surface that will keep it steady.

    The pulling motion might work a bit better.

  5. Excellent result for a light investment, i.e., no 'spendy' Japanese, master-crafted "iron"! Especially interesting was your hewing technique & sculpting of the plane's shoe….. Still, there's no reason why a similar result couldn't be had by laminating plywood with the lamina oriented vertically…..OR other parts fabricated from layers of polycarbonate (prob. "heresy" to woodworkers…?). Common laminated padlocks offer a clue to this alternative style of fabrication….

  6. You've taken some common materials and produced a fine plane. For myself, the japanese planes are easier on my wrists. Great job and thanks for sharing..

  7. finally something left me speechless – simplicity perfection and modesty – your work speak for you – you just decided to make it and you made it – it was a privilege to watch – thank you

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