Instructables
Picture of How to Build a Japanese Hand Plane
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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.
 
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Step 1: Laminating the Blade

Picture of Laminating the Blade
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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.
geppetto4258 months ago

very nice but body of wooden plain should be quarter sawn, not flat sawn, with grain running vertically. No biggie but could be important in the long run.....

What makes you say that? These ones are also flat-sawn:

http://dougukan.jp/contents-en/index.php?id=222

Eh Lie Us!6 months ago

I didnt' know that 'pull' planes existed. Kinda blowing my mind here.

what the....?

cool

hotdiggidy8 months ago

Beautiful project!! Thank you for sharing!

Gyozu8 months ago
Nicely executed. I would be interested in how well the epoxy laminated blade works and if it is holding up. I find that laminating idea quite fascinating and was wondering if you have any other examples of it being used.

I tried different expoxys and found the best one was one call weldbond but you must make sure to clamp after you epoxy and you let cure for 24 hours

RobertBean (author)  Gyozu8 months ago
This is the first time. It is sort of an experimentation. However, the plane functions fine and is holding up.
kblack138 months ago

Beautiful! I want one!

submark8 months ago
Some very stable and beautiful wood might be obtained from flooring installers or dealers for the plane body, as well as for other projects. The wood is dried and milled specifically to be flat and stable in flooring.
Use only solid wood flooring, not laminates. Bamboo flooring might be worth a try.
vincent75208 months ago
Well done !
DaoudNaouri8 months ago
excellent job! I have been wanting to make one of these myself and this has demystified the process. I had bookmarked another site that had more formal steps, but this seems way easier (especially slicing the plane in half then gluing back together).Thank you.
RobertBean (author)  DaoudNaouri8 months ago
Thanks, chopping the mortise can be intimidating.
Dang, that's slick!