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in this video I’m gonna show you how to set up and use a Japanese hand plane called a kana, and I’m going to give it a final review. in the last 20 years or so, there’s been a big resurgence in the popularity of woodworking hand tools and the hand plane is no exception, and Japanese hand tools have also become very popular I picked this little plane up for $15 on Amazon, and I’m just really curious if it comes even close to ready to use, and then once I go through a good sharpening and setup process, whether this thing really will function as a decent quality hand plane. so step one is I’m going to adjust the blade height and see how this thing cuts right out of the box alright so I’ve gone through the process of of adjusting the blade. I’ve adjusted it to be straight by tapping the blade left or right. retracting the blade you hit it in the back. to advance the blade, in the front, and I think I have it for a set for a pretty decent shaving, so let’s give it a try. and that is really not bad maybe a hair thick. you can always sight down yeah that’s still a hair thick and tap it beside you give it another shot that’s a pretty thin shaving, not bad try it again ,and that got a little sideways. that’s my technique, and this is a fairly thin piece of wood, but those are not bad shavings. that blade is halfway sharp, and that soul must be halfway flat for being able to do that. I am actually quite pleasantly surprised at that, but I think we can definitely take this to the next level with a standard hand plane setup, so next I am going to sharpen the blade now. I’m going to remove the blade, so we can have a look at it and take it over and sharpen it. you remove the blade by tapping on the back of the plane. you can tell the sound is changing a little bit. there we go. the chipbreaker is loose, and the blade is still in this pretty snug in the slot there there we go okay I’m over here my sharpening Center which I have set up on a deep sink. it works very well because you need some water I have the Shapton system, and I have a 1000 grit and a 16,000 grit, and I’ve already used the diamond lapping plate to flatten these and I’ll probably do that a couple times during the process, so you will get to see that. I always like to be able to see what I’m doing, so I use a big marker, and this is not an exclusive trick – to me a lot of people do this, but I’m going to highlight these areas. this Japanese plain iron has been relieved on the back, and that should make flattening the crucial parts a lot easier, and I’m also going to mark this leading edge, so when I go to sharpen it, I’ll be able to see when I establish the secondary bevel. okay nothing nothing fancy here. I’m going to lay this flat on the 1000 because that’s what I’m going to use to do the bulk of the flattening of the back, and I’m simply going to move around to keep the slurry well distributed as well as to even out the wear and tear on the stone, and I’m just going to keep a little bit of pressure out towards the leading edge. the back where my thumbs are is not as critical as the cutting edge. feels pretty flat you can actually feel the difference. it starts sucking down and being a little harder to move around. yeah this edge here still needs some more work. but in the end, flat equal sharp, and if you’re not sharp, you’re not cutting wood. you’re tearing it I think we are done. there’s just a little bit of a spot right here, but I’m gonna

call that good enough for our purposes right now because I want to move on. okay now that the back is ninety percent flat I’m now going to work on a secondary bevel. this should be pretty easy. I’m simply going to register the bevel that exists, raise up just a hair, and this is not quite as easy on this small plain iron, so I’m going to have another make another attempt at this with a little different technique. that’s a little better. okay stop and feel for a burr. got a pretty good burr in the middle but the edges need a little more work. there we go. that’s a nice burr. you know maybe I might have an off camera there, but I’ve worked around and I’ve established a nice burr all the way across the back of there, creating a secondary bevel, and you can see I never touched some of this ,and that’s exactly what you want. so now we’re ready to move on to the sixteen thousand grit. I’m gonna rinse this just to make sure I don’t cross contaminate and bring the rougher particles from the one thousand grit over to the sixteen thousand grit and here I’m going to establish a tertiary bevel, or a third bevel, so I’m going to find that main bevel that’s ground into the plane. I’m going to lift up like I did before, and I’m going to do that much again because there’s no sense sharpening anything about the very cutting edge. this blade has a little bit of a rounded facet to it, so I am gonna have to work these edges a little bit manually. I think I got it pretty well .now it’s time for the old rule ruler trick which I believe Rob Cosman attributes to Charles Ellsworth it’s a really cool trick because on a plane iron you don’t need the flat registration like you do in a chisel so we can take that burr off much much quicker and still be very accurate I’m running this back and forth, keeping it near the edge, elevating the back on the edge of the ruler. I’m just trying to get rid of that burr because that would not be sharp, and it’s gone, so just like that, just a few minutes work and we’ve taken the original plane iron that wasn’t half bad you know it cut a shaving, and it wasn’t half bad, but I think this is going to be a lot better. I’m very quickly going to work the chip breaker as well seems pretty flat. someone has worked this, but I’m going to throw this up here and just work the back a little bit it has little dog-eared corners here instead of putting pressure across the entire blade they’re keeping it towards the leading edge, and this seems relatively flat and ready to go. I’m going to just find that main bevel, and now I’m going to raise up just a hair to give that a secondary bevel, and we now know that that is flat straight. I’m going to break any little burr I created over here using the same ruler trick. now with this being sharp and flat it’ll lay flat on the plane iron, and we won’t get any shavings jammed up under

the chip breaker which jams it up makes it really hard to use. so now that we’re sharp, let’s take it back to the bench and reinstall this and adjust the plane and get it ready to cut now that our blade is sharp, let’s reinstall it into the plane, this is a bevel down plane, so we install it with the bevel going down towards the sole this goes into a slot pre-made for the blade. press it in with your thumbs, being careful not to cut yourself. now it’s time for the chip breaker. chip breaker does not go in the main slot, but it goes up here and goes underneath this pin, and gets pushed underneath. this is the first plane I’ve actually seen where the chip breaker acts like a wedge I’m going to use the sharp side of this hammer to tap the chip breaker home, keeping my hand on the bottom side away from the blade okay and I’m gonna sight back down again it did make the brave the blade protrude just a bit, but just about right actually okay I think we’re ready to give that a try. all right let’s see if sharpening that blade helped. a little bit thick. let’s retract that blade. okay so is it the absolute most perfect shaving in the world? no, but that could be me the next thing to really check is if the sole is absolutely dead flat especially right around the throat where the blade comes through. if it’s not dead flat then you’ll have issues this is performing pretty well, but I think it’s worthwhile to just to grab a ruler and check this. and to do that I’m going to back the blade out so that it doesn’t contact the ruler. that’s good alright I’ve got a nice little straight edge and I’m going to see if this is flat at the sole probably difficult to see on camera but it is most definitely not flat even where it’s critical. it’s not performing half-bad, but it is definitely going to be worthwhile to to make this sole nice and dead flat. so in order to flatten the soul of this plane, I have the plane iron installed and the wedge and chip breaker is locked in because you want this under tension because the tension can actually change the shape of the soul just a little bit, but the blade is retracted well back in, so that I don’t damage the blade while I’m doing this. all I really need is a good flat surface. this is some self-adhesive 150 grit. it’s not real sticky anymore, but I think I can make do with it I’m on my bandsaw table which should be nice and flat, and I’m just gonna keep weight. the the most important part is around the throat, and this is actually where this base is a little bit concave, and that’s probably why I’m not getting quite that beautiful shaving with it just yet so let’s just sit here and work awhile and make this thing dead flat. you can see that it has flattened this part because there’s actually a surface planer or jointer marks in here. I’m cutting just a little bit right here, but this the heel area needs a little more work still see it just a little bit more clean the sandpaper up one more time

yep that is it nice dead flat and smooth. the bed that the plain iron sits on this part back here, is just not flat, and that causes that allows the blade to rock around on the bed and cause some uneven cuts, and no doubt about it, you cannot have a good, accurate, well working hand plane without the bed being nice and flat to hold the blade nice and flat. then the blade is rock-solid and the whole plane can work well, so I’ve got to remove the blade and flatten the bed. alright I have the plain body clamped down to my bench so it’s reasonably solid to work on, and I am gonna work on the bed where the plane iron sits. make it nice and flat right now it’s high in the middle which is causing the blade to rock around when using it. I have a small file that fits down through, and I’m simply gonna keep this flat while work on it, and I’m going to sight down through it until this is flat. the key is keeping the file nice and flat, contacting the entire surface the whole time. I’m going to stop and check my progress often by installing the blade and running it up and down hopefully to make some burnished marks or some black marks, and it’s still high so by burnishing you can see that the blade made a dark mark. it’s still high in the middle, so I’ll keep working the middle ,but it’s not as bad as it was work the blade in here again. rub it around hopefully make more black marks or burnished marks. yep still a little high in the middle but it’s flattening out and getting better okay now the burnished marks have actually move towards the outside just a little bit, so I think if I work this just to here right there just a hair right here I’m gonna work it all the way across a couple times. I think that is greatly improved. yep no more burnished marks ,so by rubbing the plane iron in here on the bed it make some burnished marks it gets rid of the file or sanding marks, and I’ve held this up in raking light, and I can now see that this is just evenly burnished all the way across, so I’m ready to reinstall the blade and see if that improves our cut so I’ve reinstalled the blade, same as you saw me doing before, and I’m gonna set it for just an average shaving, and I’ve got a new piece of wood because

the other one was getting so thin I was hitting the plane stop. now let’s see how we do okay that is a very nice shaving, and I can tell by the lack of vibration that that bed that the plane is sitting on is flatter. there was a little micro vibration / micro chatter that isn’t there anymore. that is just so important to getting any hand plane set up. I had to do the same thing to this little hardware store plane, and it works pretty sweet too, so let’s go for an even thinner shaving. let’s see if we can make tissue. okay, that may have been off a little okay that’s thinner. I went too far okay there you go that’s almost tissue. I’m going to try one more adjustment there you go. not bad. you can hear how it’s just smooth and it’s just cutting the wood. like I said, you may not have be able to hear it, but there was just a little micro vibration that was there before that is not there anymore. so for $15, and I don’t know, half hour to an hour set up, I have a nice little Japanese pull plane. it makes nice, sweet, tissue thin shavings. it leaves a beautiful polished burnished edge so if you like this video, I hope that you’ll click the like button, and I really hope you’ll subscribe because I’m going to be making a lot more videos I’ve got a lot of shop organization, and set up work benches and LED lighting

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