Saturday, August 9, 2014

More Japanese tool "dress-up"....

I got a package of tools from Junji (eBay seller: yusui) and, wonder of it all, easy fixes every one. I love it when all you need to do is wipe 'em off and go to work, but that would be TOO simple. I need to fiddle, so......

Almost every single Japanese tool that I have bought has come with a usably sharp blade. Even tools that have obviously been sitting for years, sharp. Obviously these guys have a culture of sharpening their tools after they have been used, as opposed to me, who sharpens so I can start working. Their system works, and I am trying to relearn.

My friend Brandon says that every (traditional European antique) tool that HE has bought, has come with a dull, chipped blade, and has been spattered with white paint. Me too! My Japanese kanna usually have saw tracks on the bodies and are often spattered with RED paint, and some kind of glue. Hide glue, maybe? Sharp blades, though. Different strokes.

This little round-over chamfer plane (a ginnan-men mentori-ganna) is ready to go.

Today feels like a hammer day, so I tap down the mushroomed head, using a hammer with a polished face, and a big vise as an anvil.

Then a different hammer to planish and refine the shape.

0000 steel wool... Done.

The groove cutting plane (a higashi-gata (eastern Japan) style Soko-jyakuri-ganna) is good to go too, but.......I can't seem to help myself.

The body is in great shape, and even has a rosewood insert at the mouth.

18mm width. Perfect match to a nominal 1x (actual size 3/4-).

I like the eastern Japan style, with the stepped side. They are more comfortable to hold, but also less versatile, as they can only be used on their single flat side. The western Japan style is flat on BOTH sides, and can be used to trim a 90° face, like a big rabbet plane.

The blades are nice. Well made.

I love the curved aspects of the paired blades. I decide to file a very slight chafer along the length, just to ease the sharp, forged arris.

Since I've already started filing.....

On to the main show! Old kanna 72mm, looks like hell.

Nice blades, though. Engraved mei, skillfully used condition. Not all are (skillfully used, that is)!

The main blade is identified as having been made of Swedish steel (so Junji says), a very refined, high carbon steel. Not a super tough steel or anything, but takes a very fine edge, supposedly. Secondary back blade is laminated and signed/stamped.

It will be interesting to use an identified steel type to form a basis of comparison. I have many kanna, but few are identified as to steel type, so this may help. Each kanna seems to perform differently in its own way, but there are generalities that can be made.

This kanna looks rough, but is actual ready to go to work, just as it is. Sharp blades, well fitted.... Even the dai is straight, with a properly relieved sole. A working, functional tool.

It is unusual for me to buy an old, rough looking kanna, have it shipped half way around the world to a different climate, and still have it be in such good working condition. This is a good one!

The kanna dai is matched to the blades, and over time, they have changed shape, becoming asymmetrical.

The dai is thicker on the right.

However the blade is longer on the left. Opposite to what you would expect.

What this means, is that the hole that houses the blade is crooked. It may have come from the maker that way, or it may have just been adjusted unevenly (maybe after a few too many Suntory?). If I had dived right in without checking the overall fit of the blade in the dai, I would've screwed up the fit.

There is one thing about this kanna, something that I don't like.......

It's got hammer head.

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Like all of us, I am figuring this out as I go, so when you see something that is incorrect or flat out wrong (and you will!), let me know. This is a learning process. Real people and names, please. Constructive comments and questions are very welcome, but hate speak/politics are not! Life (get one!) is too short.

Thanks, Jason