Learn about Kanna, Japanese Hand Plane

Learn about Kanna, Japanese Hand Plane

Kanna, or Japanese plane is a tool for shaping wood surface. It is not only useful in cleaning up the rough surface of wood but also in correct the warped wood. When you want to level the apparent warped surface, it is the situation when kanna is used.

Same as Japanese saws, it sharps wood by pulling towards the user rather than pushing which is in the manner of western style planes.

How to adjust Kanna?

What should we do first to slice off wood? First, we should adjust the way to put out the blade. Pull out the length of blade you want to cut (basically 0.1~0.2mm is the best) by hitting the blade and top of kanna. If you tap the top part of body, the blade will go backward; if you tap the top of blade, blade will come forward. If either the left or right part protrude too much, hit the same side. It is important to put the blade horizontally. Hit the blade from the side, and adjust it to be horizontal. Check by touching by finger. Remember not to slide sideways, otherwise it will hurt your finger.

If you hit the blade from the surface, the blade will come out gradually, and if you hit the blade by side, you can adjust it to left or to right. So, adjust it with hammer or mallet to make it just horizontal.

How to use Kanna?

When you hold the kanna, hold it firmly so that you can hold it down. The important thing is to force the kanna vertically against the wood. If with weak force, you cannot sharp wood cleanly and stably Hold the board of kanna with your dominant hand. Put your the other hand’s finer on the blade. Exert your strength in abdomen. Lower your back and pull slowly. The most difficult part is just before cutting. Don’t relax until very end, and try to control to cut it horizontally and not slanting.

Some people may get rattled during process. The biggest reasons are: the blade is damaged, the vertical force is not stable, they put too much of blade out. The work bench is especially important. It doesn’t work well If the bench moves while sharping. It is important to have a sense of firmness while working.

After cutting the wood by saws, the exposed part is gritty and the quality is not good. In addition, it becomes very easy to absorb water. This can be solved by using kanna, and improve the quality of DIY very easily.

How to maintenance?

If you use kanna with replacement, exchange the blade when you feel the blade doesn’t cut well as before, just like shaving. (SUIZAN does not offer replacement blades for planes.)

Check the board often, and shave it with paper. Put it on a horizontal place, leave the place around kanna, the top and bottom part un shaved, and just shave the part between them. Just keeping adjust so that the whole is horizontal. Try different things to get used to it in practice.

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