Japanese Planes Overview with Andrew Hunter
Learning to use a Japanese plane takes time and dedication, but as Andrew Hunter demonstrates, the reward of the shimmering surface it leaves is well worth it
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Andrew Hunter first took the plunge into the unfamiliar waters of the kanna, or Japanese handplane, more than 15 years ago. Learning to use one takes time and dedication, but the reward of the shimmering surface it leaves is well worth it. Japanese planes cut on the pull stroke, and it can take a while to adapt to this, though when you do you’ll discover it gives you both more power and more control. The heart and soul of the Japanese plane is its massive tapered blade. A descendant of the samurai sword, the blade has a thin layer of super-hard steel laminated to a thick layer of softer mild steel or iron. The hard steel provides a cutting edge of unparalleled sharpness, while the softer backing metal dampens the heat and vibration of the cut.