What is special about Japanese tools that sets them apart from their western counterparts? Five qualities come to mind: tradition, tool design that offers centuries of tried and proven use, unmatched craftsmanship, the steel used, and, of course, the pure beauty of the tools.
The Japanese Kanna or smoothing plane is a pull-style tool with a heavy-duty blade designed for efficiency and using the body to control and operate it.
Scott Phillips and Phil Fuentes demonstrate Japanese hand plane tuning and the accessory tools to accomplish the task of a finely tuned plane. Featured are Iwasaki files and the Matusi straight-edge, available at Japan Woodworker.
Scott Phillips of The American Woodshop on PBS interviews Phil Fuentes of Japan Woodworker in an overview of Japanese woodworking hand planes.
WoodRiver Planes are based on the reliable Bedrock design and feature heavy, stress-relieved, ductile iron castings, fully machined adjustable frogs and high carbon steel blades. We took the opportunity between manufactring runs to conduct a critical review and incorporate a few improvements. These handplanes are an extraordinary value.
A guide to setting up, sharpening and using Lie Nielsen Bench Planes.
The first time user should be aware that Kanna do not arrive from the maker ready for use. All best quality Japanese plane bodies (Dai) are made from select, air-dried Japanese Red Oak (Akagashi) or Japanese White Oak (Shirogashi). When the planes come from Japan to the drier U.S. climate some shrinkage occurs. Actually, shrinkage also occurs in Japan, and the Japanese woodworker expects to adjust or "condition" his plane.