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IgorV
03-08-2010, 04:49 PM
I just bought a nice japanese smoothing plane - Kanetomo kanna - it's superbly finished, feels very solid the hand and is made of a unique piece of very hard japanese red oak. The problem is, I tried to adjust the iron and it just didnn't move. I tried all the usual grips, left, right, also tapping the iron on the sides with a wooden mallet, nothing. It is as if it was cemented in the wood. I thought the chip breaker might be the problem and have pushed the pin out from the wood, removed the chip breaker only to find out that it had nothing to do with the chip breaker, it is the cutting iron stuck 100% in the wood. I applied a few drops of oil on the sides of the blade, even stored the plane for an hour or so in the freezer hoping that the iron would shrink enough to move, no result.

http://boatinhouse.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/dsc1769kanetomo_1.jpg

http://boatinhouse.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/dsc1771kanetomo_2.jpg

http://boatinhouse.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/dsc1772kanetomo_3.jpg

I would appreciate any idea or suggestion how to pull the iron out of the wood without completely ruining either the iron or the plane. I'm thinking of sending it back, but if there's a trick I'd rather try it before returning the plane. Many thanks.

John Meachen
03-08-2010, 05:00 PM
I will begin by stating that I have never held a Japanese plane of any type.I do own quite a few European planes with wooden bodies and they all release the iron when sharply tapped on the back face.It is less likely to leave a mark if the blow is applied with a wooden mallet than would be the case if a metal hammer were used.If the wood has moved since the plane was made,it may be necessary to ease the fit of the iron and a sharp,narrow chisel may be required.What is the humidity level in Slovenia at this time of year?

goodbasil
03-08-2010, 05:38 PM
Jay Greer will be along shortly. He'll get you sorted out.

IgorV
03-08-2010, 06:14 PM
Right now it's too cold and dry, should be much warmer actually. I see your point, movement of the wood due to humidity changes must be stronger than the temperature related movement of the iron...

Canoeyawl
03-08-2010, 08:45 PM
You need a Japanese plane adjusting hammer!
link (http://www.japanwoodworker.com/dept.asp?dept_id=12910&s=JapanWoodworker)

http://www.japanwoodworker.com/assets/images/product/JapanWoodworker/02.515.300.jpg

IgorV
03-09-2010, 01:27 AM
You need a Japanese plane adjusting hammer!
link (http://www.japanwoodworker.com/dept.asp?dept_id=12910&s=JapanWoodworker)

http://www.japanwoodworker.com/assets/images/product/JapanWoodworker/02.515.300.jpg

That would be a perfect match!

Mrleft8
03-09-2010, 08:42 AM
Tap the heel of the plane with a wooden mallet.

IgorV
03-09-2010, 12:05 PM
Following advice received here, I fixed the end of the iron in a vise, with the added thin pieces of wood between the jaws and the iron so as to prevent any damage to the iron, then hit the back of the plane with a wooden mallet. The blow pushed the plane forward out of the vice, intact, i.e. including the iron. I put it back in the vise, this time I squeezed 1/5th of a turn more, then gave it a sharp blow again, it didn't move this time and stayed in the vise.

http://boatinhouse.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/dscn0701.jpg

The third blow launched the plane which landed on the table in front of the vise, wood only :-)). There are no visible marks on the body or on the iron. Half of the work done, since sooner than later I will have to put the iron back so some of the wood has to be removed to accommodate the iron.

http://boatinhouse.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/dscn0703.jpg

Many thanks for the kind replies and all the advice.

Peerie Maa
03-09-2010, 12:37 PM
Half of the work done, since sooner than later I will have to put the iron back so some of the wood has to be removed to accommodate the iron.

http://boatinhouse.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/dscn0703.jpg

Many thanks for the kind replies and all the advice.

How much wood can that plane body afford to loose? Consider the alternative of grinding a sliver off of the iron.

IgorV
03-10-2010, 02:12 AM
How much wood can that plane body afford to loose? Consider the alternative of grinding a sliver off of the iron.

Great, I was thinking of sanding the wooden bed of the iron, it's hard to reach and to maintain the proper alignment going this way, your approach sounds much more simple and accurate, will try to do it. Thanks.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
03-10-2010, 05:29 AM
Be wary of the temperature if you are grinding the iron.

Jay Greer
03-10-2010, 12:42 PM
All new Japanese planes are sold without the final fitting of the blade being done.
The wooden "Dai" should be allowed to adjust to the humidity of shop for several months prior to final fit. There is a process of tuning the tool that can take several hours to accomplish. First, the lacquer must be removed from both the blade and chipping iron. This can be done by wiping them with actone. Next, the blade must be flattened on the hollow ground face side. This is done by honing the blade on a flat iron plate that is made for this purpose and sold by the Japan Woodworker, Hida Tools or most of the other dealers on the internet. this honing is done in conjunction with carbarundum dust and a drop of water on the honing plate. Only a tiny amount of abrasive is needed. As the
honing progresses the carbarundom will degrade and become finer. The end result is a mirror finish on the back side of the blade at the cutting edge. Only enough honing to make sure the cutting edge is flat is needed. Too much honing will destroy the hollow grind which is there to allow the fingers to apply pressure at the cutting edge and to not slip off of the blade during the sharpening process, an accicdent that can be bloody and annoying to say the least. Once the back of the blade is tuned, the bevel is then sharpened. There are seven water stones that are used to bring a plane blade from dull to final finish. A seasoned craftsman can shapen a blade by instinctivly keeping the bevel correct. But in the beginning stages a plane blade jig is really helpful for maintaing the bevel. Advanced craftsmen like natural water stones. but synthetic stones are perfectly acceptable for general use. The final stone is often finer than jewlers rouge and will put a mirror finish on the tool when used in conjunction with a "nagura stone" which is rubbed on the wet stone to produce a slury. The final pass of the blade is made by drawing the blade towards the body with a slight up lifting in order to put a slight micro bevel on the cutting edge. The whole process is quite fast. Western oil stones should never be used on Japanese steel as they will cause the edge surface to fry and chip.

Now the blade is ready to be fitted into the "Dai". The rough side of the blade is rubbed with a pencil and also the sides as well. The blade is then gently tapped into the slot in the Dai. Agressive pounding of the blade can crack the Dai. So be careful not to pound too hard. The blad is then removed by holding it by the sides with the thumb and index finger and supporting the Dai by curving the other fingers under it. The Dai should be struck with a Japanese plane adjusting hammer on its upper rear edge at the same angle as the blade rests in the slot.
Once the blade is removed, check the surface of the blade bed and sides for pencil lead marks. High spots are then gently removed with a chisle. It is often helpful to use the chisle as a scraper. The sides are opened up with a very thin chisel. Hida Hardware sells a special slot saw that is used to clean chips from the extreme sides of the Dai slots. It is helpful when fitting the blade to remove the pin from the Dai. This can be done by gripping it with a pair of vise grips and tapping the side of the plier. The blade will, most likely need several fittings in order to obtain a correct fit. This means that only a micro protusion of the blade is needed in order for the tool to work correctly. Once fitted, the blade is pulled back just shy of the bottom of the plane and the adjusting of the Dai itself is done.

On a flat surface such as a saw table, rub the bottom of the Dai over a piece of carbon paper. This is to insure that the bottom is flat. Rocking the Dai on the flat will also show if it is warped or not.
Adjustments of the Dai bottom are done with a Japanese scraping plane that takes off a very fine amount of material. Once the bottom is perfectly smooth. The "wave" is then scrapped into the surface forward of the blade. A gentle curve from about 2-5mm fwd of the mouth to about the same distance to the front surface is then scraped into the bottom again using the scraping plane in a circular motion. Care must be taken to not scrape the areas that are at the nose and mouth of the plane. The amount of wood to be removed is known, in Japan as 2 rice papers thick. This is about .18-.20 mm at the apex of the curve. I usually hold a straight edge on the surface and sight at the sky or a light source in order to see just a crack of light.
Once this is done, a pair of light knife cuts are made at the sides of the mouth just at the rear of the throat and a small chip is removed tapering from the front to the rear of the slot. This is done to allow the surface aft of the slot to be scraped down just the thickness of one shaving of the wood to be worked. The aft end of the plane is brought down as well and is slightly more than the amount removed at the mouth. The area between the two is slightly hollowed as well. What this creates is four points of contact for the body of the plane to ride on. It greatly reduces friction as well! It should be noted that the reason for the after surface of the body being slightly lower than the forward part is to allow for the thickness of the chip.

Once this work is completed, the slot can then be sealed off with a piece of wrapping tape, the kind that is water activated. The throat area is then filled with boiled linseed oil and the plane is set aside until oil can be seen bleeding through the end grain of the Dai.
The remaing oil can be rubbed on the body and excess removed with a bit of thinner. This seals the tool against changes in shape due to moisture absorbtion.
The pin is then re-inserted and the blade is tapped in. The chipping iron is inserted to a point that is about 2mm shy of the edge of the blade. Adjustments to the angle of the blade are made by light tapping on the edges. Japanese craftsmen prefer to adjust the blade from a very fine setting until the working "taste" is obtained. A properly tuned Japanese plane will produce a single staight chip that erupts verticaly from the tool over the entire length of a plank with no curling of the chip. The surface it produces on the stock often has a mirror sheen that requires no further finishing.

I will be lecturing on the care, tuning and use of Japanese tools this year at the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend.
Jay

IgorV
03-10-2010, 03:23 PM
That should be printed and included with every plane sold.

I will do just that and use it as a reference, thanks for that, many great hints in there. Looks like there lies great wisdom behind the apparent simplicity, minimalist design and lack of usual adjusting mechanisms in these planes.

Jay Greer
03-10-2010, 06:12 PM
I will do just that and use it as a reference, thanks for that, many great hints in there. Looks like there lies great wisdom behind the apparent simplicity, minimalist design and lack of usual adjusting mechanisms in these planes.
Indeed, most Japanese tools, especially the planes are very deceptive as to their incredible efficiancy. One would think: How can a honking thick blade stuck in a wooden block work better than a whiz bang Lie Neilson brass and steel wonder? Remember that most Japanese craftsmen work in a sitting posistion or at a very low bench. Hence the
tools are designed to work on the pull. Pulling a plane is less fatiguing to the user and much much more accurate. The user litteraly feels the tool cutting as an extension of the body and hands.
The heavy blades do not chatter and the laminated steel of the blades has been forge folded thirteen times! This amounts to nearly thirty three hundred layers of steel! The grain of the crystal structure of the metal is aligned in a fore and aft direction which makes the material very tough and flexible. This is why Japanese edge tools are tempered to Rockwell 64 rather than US Tool Steel that is usually Rockwell 52. Japanese blades are more durable and stay sharp much longer than those that we make. They also take a much finer edge.
Jay

IgorV
04-13-2010, 04:01 AM
I'm attaching here a helpful reply just received from a fellow boatbuilder in a private message, hope it is not against the rules of this forum:

This is the message that was sent:
***************
I'm a member of a Japanese woodworking group in Tokyo, called Shukou-kai, and having struggled over many weeks to tune my Japanese planes, I sympathize.

Some quick points:
1. There is an excellent article on sharpening and tuning, by Ian Green,
In Australian Wood Review

http://www.woodreview.com.au/magazineindex/authors.html

That will give you most of the information you need.

2. None of my Japanese colleagues use linseed oil in their planes. We do tune the planes before every use. After the plane has been set up, it is quite quick about ten minutes.

3. HNT Gordon have several excellent articles and pictures at

http://www.hntgordon.com.au/sharpeningblades.htm

Two key areas for good results is to have the back absolutely flat and at mirror finish, and the correct bevel angle. Yukio-san, (the master carpenter of the group) recommends a honing angle of 35, but I have seen higher angles used, and HT Gordon use up to 60 for difficult woods.

None of my shuko-kai friends use a honing guide, but I reckon it might be good idea.

Finally, if you wondering why this is not posted directly, I came across the debate whilst searching for information on bevel angles, and have joined the forum, but I am not yet admitted to the fold. Feel free to post the information to the forum.
Cheers
NigelMcC
***************

Jay Greer
04-13-2010, 12:48 PM
I received the same message last night. Here was my answer concerning several points that Nigel mentioned.
Jay
Hi Nigel,
Thank you for posting the information on Japanese planes and other tools to me. I will go ahead and post it on the site.

I have been using Japanese saws, planes, chisles and other tools almost exclusively in my business for nearly thirtyfive years. My Sensie was Toshio Odate a master shokonin who is capable of doing incredibly fast and accurate work with simple tools. It was he who opened the door to a new vision of woodworking for me.

So far as using linseed oil on kanna dai, it is for the purpose of sealing the inner grain of the dai in order to create stabalization of the wood once it has adjusted to shop humidty. However, my most prized kanna is an Evening Calm made by Sadahidi San would never receive an oil treatmen and is only used for ultra fine finish work on white cedar. For those, who have not mastered the feel of sharpening a blade free handed, I do recommend the use of a guide.
Of course the back of blade is only placed on the #7 toshi to remove the burr. I only tune my planes when they are in need of it.
Fair winds and many thanks,
Jay

Mrleft8
04-13-2010, 08:40 PM
Kanichi-wa

Lew Barrett
04-13-2010, 10:04 PM
That should be printed and included with every plane sold.

If it were, sales would plummet! You have to want one of these really badly to tune with such dedication.

Fortunately for me, Jay has told me I can borrow his whenever I'd like. :D

Fortunately for Jay, we don't live near enough for me to take advantage of that!

Lew Barrett
04-13-2010, 10:12 PM
I made some sport here, but in fact this has been a great thread. Thanks one and all.

Jay Greer
04-14-2010, 12:40 AM
Lew, your input and sage advise is always appreciated.
Jay