A Japanese hand plane is also known as a Kanna. The major difference from western planes is the Japanese plane is pulled, not pushed. The plane is made of either Japanese red or white oak, while the blade is a lamination of hard iron to softer iron. I will be making a smoothing plane which is similar to a Stanley no. 4 in its function. The Japanese planes are readily available to buy, although I just want to see if I can make one out of scraps of wood and metal laying around with minimal tools and effort. In fact, the only material I bought was the epoxy. In pic #1, I got the one on the right(similar to jack plane) off eBay. The one on the left(a jointer) I bought only the blade and made a sub-blade and a body from quarter sawn red oak. While the one in the middle is the plane I make in this instructable. I recommend reading material over the kanna to fully understand the tool before building one.
Step 1: Laminating the Blade
The body of the plane is made only after the blade is in hand. Therefore, the first step is to make the planes blade. The blade is comprised of a very thin layer of hard, high carbon steel forge welded to a large section of soft iron or soft, low carbon steel. As visible in the above picture with my materials, I have an old Wards Master blade laying around which will be the hard cutting edge, any good steel will work. The flat bar is a cheap, soft metal which will make the wedge of the blade while the saw blade will add thickness between the soft and hard metal. The measurements are available in pic #2. The blade is around 4 inches long and 2 inches wide. The thick end is 5/16" and the thin end is 3/16". I shaped the wedge before laminating with an angle grinder. Remember to not burn the hard metal. After shaping, I used J.B. Weld to hold the three layers of metal together. After a day to let the epoxy dry, I ground the blade to a 25 degree angle and honed it to a razors edge.