Saturday, July 26, 2014

Dodged a bullet.....

Long time no posts... What gives??!!

Living on the Oregon coast means that you need to make hay while the sun is shining ("What's that bright thing in the sky, Dad?). Summer is short and mercifully dry, so I've been outside working at the forge a bit, but mostly I've been making charcoal. LOTS of charcoal. That in itself is worthy of written comment, and I will, as soon as I have a good grasp. Don't hold your breath. Making good, tight, blacksmithing charcoal is hard! There is a world of nuanced particulars here. Bad charcoal is easy, I can tell you that, haha!

I haven't been in the shop too much, but the other day we did have a bit of rain, so it was time to reacquaint myself with a few back burner projects.

My most recent Japanese tools purchases will be remarkably easy fixes. More on this later.

My problem is that whenever I work on the tools, it fuels the completely ridiculous desire for MORE tools. I dodged a bullet today on two *very* interesting kanna that sold on eBay today. VERY interesting!!!

#1 looks nice.

The proportions seem just the slightest bit off.....

..... because it's HUGE! I emailed the seller for confirmation, and he said that the numbers are correct. The dai is 21.5" x 5". My longest naga-dai jointer is about 16" x 3.25", so this guy is considerably larger.

The blade is 3.75" (probably 95mm) wide x 5.125" high. This is an unusual size. My large kanna are close to 75mm wide, to continue the comparison.

I couldn't find any specific info on this big monster, but it sure looks nice to my eye.

#2 is a kanna that I actually have seen before (in pictures). "Horyu” by Miyamoto Masao. The Jeweled Dragon!

 Again, looks very nice, kinda dirty, but basically unused. I bet that it's never been sharpened by western hands. If so, they knew what they were doing. Too often you see these ridiculously nice/expensive tools that have been horribly worked over by someone who " bought the best ". Does that sounds like envy? Yep.

 The blade proportions are odd because it's huge! 

 4" (probably 105mm) wide x 4.75" high. A MONSTER! I've only seen this kanna in a 70mm width, so.....unusual, to say the least. Someone got a screaming deal.

The front is nice too.

The body of these blades are very soft wrought iron and the rounded areas are inserts of harder steel. These areas typically get all smashed up and folded over, at least if you adjust your kanna using a steel hammer. This blade will stay pretty, even if it sees hard use.

The back blade/chip-breaker is a work of art.

I love how the laminated steel of the lower edge is gently curved and symmetrical. It's perfect.

Thankfully they both sold for far more than I will spend, saving my long suffering wife the need to restrict my access to the bank account. Both of these kanna would be relegated to the display shelf, as I can't imagine actually using a 4" (105mm!!!) wide plane. GOD, imagine the pull! You need bigger stones to sharpen a blade that wide, too. I sure am curious, though. If one of you bought these kanna, please let me know how they are.....I am seriously envious!