OK…I’m sure that you all are getting tired of my posting about kanna. I have to admit that it does seem like my life has been all kanna, all the time for the last several weeks. Even management has been asking when I’m going to actually build something again.
My goal was to transition to using the kanna for the majority of my work. I’ve made that goal in the past and always seemed to fall short for reason or another, but that was not going to happen this time around. So I immersed myself in the subject until I grasped the concepts and the use. All that remains is to build my skill in maintaining and using the kanna and that will only come once I start using these planes for building projects.
To fully transition to using the kanna I needed to have a few working planes. At the very least I needed one for rough work (jack plane), one for truing (jointer) and one for finish planing (smoothing). I managed to salvage one of my original dai by installing a fairly thick shim and reworking the bed. That kanna will be used for rough work and I cambered the iron accordingly. To end up with a finishing/smoothing plane the path was a little more involved. I purchased a used blade and chip breaker from Japan thru the big “E” auction site and I had to learn to make the dai (plane body) for it. There were several ups and downs, but I managed to bring everything together in the end. Which brings me to the truing/jointing plane.
Starting with a blade set that I already had, I began fabricating a dai. The dai needed to be a little longer and a little wider than a standard dai. Technically, any kanna can be setup to be a truing plane, but purpose-built can add a little extra functionality as well as durability.
I’ll spare you the blow-by-blow and just hit the important points.
The extra width is offset to the right side of the plane. This gives me extra material for maintaining this edge 90deg to the sole. For many truing operations this plane will be used on its side (think shooting board) as such, this edge will require periodic maintenance. Hence the extra material/width.
The extra length is subjective and can be a function of personal preference and/or material generally being planed. I simply made mine as long as my remaining blank of maple. How’s that for scientific? LOL
The sole is conditioned with three points of contact, one point at each end and one just in front of the blade. I kept the scraped areas of the sole as shallow as possible. Of course it works.
So now I have a working set of kanna, roughing, finishing and truing. I even ended up with a couple of handy block planes to boot. The path has been steep and a little bumpy, but the journey should be much smoother from here on out.