What to look for when buying a used Kanna :)

As I’ve discussed in 2 previous articles where I got asked about which Kanna to choose I looked for a certain blade width and tried to determine the blade angle from the sellers photos :)
I got this one from an auction for two reasons, which are to write an article about tuning up this plane and to have a smoothing plane with a different setup on its sole (^-^)

There are a few things to take into consideration before buying a plane.
-What do you want to do with it?
                               -Do you want to use it as a smoother?
                               -Do you want to salvage the blades?
                               -Is this your first Kanna?
-Which possibilities do you have at home?
                               -Do you have another plane to condition its sole?
                               -Do you have a good set of chisels?
                               -Do you have winding sticks or a flat reference surface?

When you are looking for a plane to get ready without putting a lot of work into it you need to look for a Dai without a lot of cracks and a lot of thickness/life left in it a blade with little to no rust.
The thickness of the Dai is important for 2 reasons, first it means you can use it for a longer period of time, second the mouth will be tighter which gives you more possibilities for using it :)
A new Dai has usually a thickness of 35 mm ;)

The blade should have very little pitting :)
Pitting means that the rust has eaten little dents that ate into the steel of the blade. This means this material is gone for good you cannot restore these parts.
You need to grind the surrounding material down until it is at the same level as the bottom of the dent which is a lot of work (>_<;)
I did this a lot and I don’t think you should stay away from these but you need to be aware that this means a lot of work and wear on your stones :|

Restoring a lot of pitted blades is the reason why I wear out one 240 grit stone every 1 ½ years :D <=the ones I use are 50 mm thick (^-^;)
So, yes it is possible and very rewarding to fix up a badly rusted blade but it requires skill, patience and it can go wrong too.
I had a blade where the pitting reached through the hard steel right to the soft iron which ruined the blade because you cannot get a consistent layer of steel for the cutting edge.

In my case I got very lucky with this plane the blade has only surface rust and no real pitting on it. The cap iron however has some pitting on the bevel which is not too critical :)

The cross pin that hold the cap iron can sit loose but this is easy to fix (as long as there are no cracks ;)
it should be clean but a little rust is usually okay :)

The top edges of the plane should not be ragged and rounded over.
The back corners can show some checking due to the hammering it took while adjusting the blades but if they do not go too far (they shouldn’t reach the grooves that hold the blade :) these are okay.

The Dai quite often check right behind the grooves that hold the blades and this is okay as long as the Dai is not completely cracked but you need to address this during the tune up and this usually means more work :)
This happens when you store the blade under tension or forget to adjust the fit of the blade in the Dai.
The front and back can crack as well.
The reason for splits in the front of the Dai is usually a poor selection of wood for the Dai which you cannot repair. It can be usable but it won’t be a good smoothing or finishing plane.
The back usually splits because someone hit the Dai in a bad way, either too close to the sole or with the edge of an hammer…. but can also crack due to a bad selection of the lumber used on it.

The area holding the blade should be flat and on this one it looks rather butchered but it is not too bad :)
The thick iron layer of the blades usually eat up the vibrations and prevent any impact this might have on your cut :)

The blade should not stick out of the bottom of the Dai right out of the box. It should have a minimum of 3 mm before it reached the bottom of the blade :)
This one has 3,5 mm from the cutting edge to the bottom of the Dai which is just right (^-^)

The ends of the Dai don’t matter too much but I like them to be smooth so them don’t catch on your clothes and look more tidy :)
It also mean that you can detects checks and cracks more easily ;)

The edges on the front and the back of the sole should be as sharp as possible to act like a scraper to prevent the dust on the wood to get in-between the sole and the wood :)
On this one the edges got rounded over (^-^;) <=I’ll fix that…

So to recapitulate :)
-No cracks in the Dais front and back.
-No pitting on the back of the blade unless you are prepared for failure ;)
-No cracks in the blade either ;)
-Smooth surface on the Dai :)
-A thick Dai for a long life :)

This article cannot replace gaining your own experiences and knowledge on this topic but I hope it will help at least a little :)

This week was kind of weird to me but okay :D
I just wish I would be faster at writing my thesis (>_<;)
I often wish I had someone to cuddle with though.
I will go to some events this weekend though :)

I wish everyone a great time, someone to cuddle and sweet dreams (^-^)/

Real power tools!

¡Pura fuerza! Herramientas de pode…
Ahora mis espigas serán de 19mm y hasta 25mm. Eso significa que mis muebles duraran más, primera de las dos grandes obligaciones, no darle gato por liebre al cliente, darle muebles que duren como un encino centenario (respeto). La otra obligación: no hacer muebles desechables, menos consumo más vida.

This are real power tools!
Now the mortises that I build can be 1" and ¾", this means stronger joints, furniture that las decades for two reason: for respect to the client, giving him something that will last, not like Ikea; secondly less consumption more life.

Des outils des pouvoirs!!


Another side project :)

I have been using old newspapers to protect these blades for some years now (^-^;)
I had some leather scraps laying around though and needed to vent some of my “I need to make something” Energy so I decided to finally make some covers for these :D

The first one is kind of a rough carving knife :D
It is quite sharp though :)

The Stubai carving gauge works quite well ever since I rehardened and tempered it :3
This sleeve was the easiest to make :)

My spoon carving knifes sleeve/cover was the most challenging to make :)
It was the most fun too :D
Basically I made some kind of bent lamination before sewing everything up :)
It was made from a great steel :3
This was the first and only edge tool I ever got that was sharp right out of the box :3 The steel is very prone to rust though so I made a habit of oiling it every time I set it aside :D

Anyway I’ll continue to work on my thesis now :)

My thesis has very little to do with woodworking or toolmaking :D
I feel like my blog is somewhat misleading about some of my skills (^-^;)
I mean I can write simple scripts in C and Assembler, design simple electronic circuits and do some more stuff :D
I have to admit though that woodworking and making tool is something I enjoy very much :3 Maybe this is because I spend hours on my computer each day or at the computer at my former workplace and I welcome the chance to do something with my hands :)

This is also one of the reasons why I don’t have a youtube channel :D
Sometimes I get asked why I don’t have one…

Anyway I wish everyone a great time, sweet dreams and sharp tools (^-^)/


I prefer hand tools over power tools in a lot of instances for a lot of reasons.

This drill was my dad’s, and I couldn’t begin to list what he all made with it.

It’s known as a hand pillar drill or a hand drill press. What’s neat about it is that it can be used as a drill press, or flipped over and used as a regular hand drill.

Some more info and links can be found here:


A short update :)

I decided to let ポテト (the plush cat (^-^;) hold the awl to make @todayintokyo and potentially some other people as well happy :D

I made a sheaths for it to protect its tip and to prevent it from rusting :)
I used one of the Kogatana I made earlier to carve out the shape and a Mame Kanna (a very small plane :) to smooth it out :)

I use the same kind of cover on my Kiri (gimlets :) 
They work the best if you put a drop of oil into them this way each time you insert the tool into them you apply a light coat of oil on them :)
I like to use pine of fir for these since these are readily available but Kiri works very well too :D
Kiri is kind of hard to get a hold of in Hamburg though and I need to keep track of my money and I don’t have much Kiri left (^-^;)

Anyway I made some handles for the Kogatana as well :)
I used Kogatana without a handle for a long time until I saw a video of Kiyoto Tanaka carving the neck of a guitar using a Kogatana with this style of hand and ever since I tried it out myself I don’t want to use them without a handle anymore :D
The exception being my marking knife which I prefer to use without a handle or any wrapping :)

I finished the Osaebiki Nokogiri :)
The shape is not 100% correct and closer to a Katabe for details but this is because I’ve have had some situations where the saw blade was too tall to cut inside of a Dai and I had to resolve to using a jewelers saw which was tricky and annoying so I anticipated those situations and chose an old rusty run down saw that had a small saw blade :)
This will make some things on big Kanna less easy but I’m just happy I have a saw that works for both applications right now :D
The saw I used was a very rusty and bent one…
It came with a handle but it was falling apart. I tried removing it in a nondestructive traditional way but this didn’t work so I used a chisel to split it open and it seems like someone used epoxy to fix the handle to the blade :(
Please don’t do that Epoxy is just not good for that application. Yes you can heat it up to remove the blade but heating it up puts it at risk of loosing the temper since you cannot heat the tang directly and if you loose the temper retempering it is basically impossible for someone who’s not doing this on a regular basis (I have experience with metalworking and heat treating so I kind of know what I’m talking about and even I would not attempt doing this).
So please please please don’t use epoxy to fix a handle to your chisels, saws or awls m(_ _)m
All it does is marry a consumable (the handle) to the part that is supposed to last (the blade) so that it is a lot more work than it should be to separate both when one of them is used up.

For reference here are some articles I wrote about how to make traditional Japanese saw handles :)

and :)

I recommend wrapping the front part of saw handles with copper wire or steel wire to prevent it from splitting :)
There are many ways to go about this but I found that the way I like the most is to carve a shallow groove not deeper than the thickness of the wire into the wood of the handle and to fix the beginning of the wire in place using a small wooden pin/nails then wrap the wire tightly around the handle and fix the end of the wire in a similar fashion :)
This way you can easily salvage the wire when the handle wears out and reuse it on the replacement handle :)

Also I have 3 plush things :D
I’m too old for that (^-^;)

My next project is making a proper way to store my drills :D
My sharpening tray has fallen out of use because i sharpen at my kitchen sink and it is too big for my tiny kitchen…
I thought about salvaging the wood but I decided to put some partitions in it and to use it to store my drills which I usually store by wrapping them in newspapers (^-^;)

I need to make some kind of tool wrapper for my carving knifes as well (^-^;)
I have some old pieces of a jeans that I damaged so maybe I can use those to sew some kind of carving knife protection thingy :D

This article got longer than I expected (^-^;)
Sorry for my rant about epoxy but I’ve restored several tools where this was the case and it is one of the worst things I had to deal with (>_<;)

I wish everyone a great weekend with sweet dreams (^-^)/


Finishing various things I forged :)

The first, biggest and only completely finished thing is the awl :D
I only had a 2 mm thick piece of steel so I had to draw it out and squish it to make a 4 mm thick square piece of steel from it :)
It was a lot of fun and work to make it but I’m very happy with how it turned out and how it works :3
The handle is made from beech and the copper ferule from a old piece of copper that I shrunk onto the handle (by heating it up and putting it on the wooden handle :)

Up until now I have been using the awl from my set of screwdrivers that I’ve been using for 13 years now (^-^;)
Also that is the name of my former employer not of the manufacturer on the cover of the screwdrivers :) <=My classmates and I got these from our boss for Christmas, he was convinced that engineers need a good set of screwdrivers :)
I have been using them a lot over the years :D
I found the awl to be a little too big for marking things accurately so I adjusted the size of the new one to suit my needs :)

The half round carving gauges turned out nicer than I thought they would :o
The one on the right might look rough but the edge is great and clean :3
I left the surfaces that are not critical to its use raw and unfinished because those are covered by a layer of iron oxide which will prevent them from rusting (there are different kinds of iron oxide one is rust which will destroy your blade and the other doesn’t and keeps the rust away ;)

I screwed up making one of the gauge at first… I dropped a roughly shaped hardened gauge and it shattered into a thousand pieces (; _ ;) the tang was not hardened so I decided to make a tiny carving knife from it :D
I made a double bevel kogatana and a tiny plane blade too :)

I still need to put a clean bevel and cutting edge on the tiny plane blade though…
I want to make a tiny coffin smoother using this blade :)

The carving gauges as well as the kogatana and mini carving knife will receive traditional Japanese carving knife handles :)

Making these was a lot of fun and I want to make 2 chip carving knifes next :D

I wish everyone a great weekend, long lasting tools and sweet dreams (^-^)/


I finished my sharpening stand thingy :D

I used some really bad doubles fir that I had laying around (^-^;)
It was quite challenging to get good results using this wood as it is very brittle and splintery for some reason :|
The rails on the bottom of it are great quality fir though (^-^;)
Later on I realised I should have used some of the scrap fir instead of those on this project (^-^;)

The reason i use bad quality pieces is that they will look quite battered in a few weeks because of the nature of the task I put them to so using say oak for this would not significantly increase its longevity, and cost a lot more and I would probably end up burning this wood :)

So this way I can use what little oak I have to make more special things and pay some respect to these pieces of wood by making something I want, need and will use a lot :)

The carriage bolt, washer and wing nut are made from A4 steel (stainless steel) because these were the only things that fit that I had laying around :D

I decided to split the top and slightly bevel the top towards the center to allow the water to drain and prevent the stones from rocking :)
Had I made the top flat (as I did on my previous sharpening stand the water would have accumulated on it and made cleaning it more tedious and would I have crowned the top the stone would have rocked but this way the stone can rest on its edges so that it sits stable and securely :)

The adjustable sliding stone holding thingies are made this way because this can compensate for the shape of my natural stones and were the simplest way to realise this detail :)
I wanted to have a way to prevent my stones from sliding around and hitting the stop at the other end (this happened a lot with some stones on my old stand… ;) This way sharpening is more enjoyable :)

I bought the black Suehiro stone shoes some years ago and wanted to use them as feet for this stand because they reduce vibrations and thus reduce the noise produced while sharpening :)
This is also the reason you see the stand next to the sink because the sink kind of amplified the noise which made me cringe and worry about my neighbours tolerance for my woodworking endeavours (^-^;)

I keep my sharpening stuff under my sink :)
The plastic box on the left contains the stones that I use the most :)
My finishing stones are not there because I like to keep them away from the dust produced by the rougher stones :)
The green towel has been my sharpening towel for some time now :D

To make @todayintokyo happy and to show the first item I sharpened on the stand I let my cat plushy hold my pocket knife :D
It was made by the french manufacturer Opinel and has a carbon steel blade :)
I own 2 more of these and I think they are very handy and nice :3
The oldest one I’ve had for more then 16 years now (thats more than half of the time I’ve been alive now (°_°;) at one point it was quite worn out and I dropped it while opening a Bentou in Tokyo… So its blade looked not so great (partly because I dropped it and partly because I was either 13 or 14 years old when I got it and was quite bad at sharpening at that time (^-^;)
So when I found the workshop of a professional scissor and knife grinder/sharpener in Ise city (Mie prefecture :) I asked the owner whether he could take care of my knife and he said yes :)
Even he said the blade is made from an excellent steel and was very happy with his work :D He did such a great job that the blade looked like a new one :o

This is one of my favourite memories of my stay in Ise because we were all happy in the end and everybody had a hearty laugh and was happy :D

I never understood how German knifes became so famous from what I saw and experienced they are inferior to French and Japanese knifes…
Some of these are kind of dangerous to carry around though because they can open up in your pocket which is not really what you want to happen with a knife that is sharp enough to shave yourself with (^-^;)
They have a locking mechanism but you need to remember to use it :| <= and to be not too lazy to use it :D

Anyway in the very rare case I carry a knife with me it’ll be one of those :)

Sorry for the advertisement for the knife (^-^;)

Today I went to the job center (which is also its German name :) because I’m currently unemployed and apparently still considered to be a student by them :D
I had a nice time walking there and walking back home :)
Being there wasn’t too bad either since the staff was quite friendly :)
I think their job must be quite hard as they take care of the people who are unemployed for a longer period of time so I appreciate them being friendly a lot more :)

On my way back I could charge up on cat energy because a cat decided it wanted to “talk” with me when I read a plaque on an old house :D
She didn’t seem like a hungry (although cats seem to be hungry all the time :D or homeless cat since she was well fed and was wearing a collar :)
So I petted and cuddled her :3
This made me very happy (o^-^o)
Also I say “her” because she was obviously pregnant (^-^;)

Anyway I’m making the best of my current situation :)

I wish everyone a great time with sweet dreams and enough cat or dog energy (whichever you prefer :) (^-^)/

It’s Time To Make Things Easier By Reading This Article About Woodworking

TIP! Use pre-stain conditioner if you plan on staining your project. This will reduce the risk of irregularities and blotches in the final product. Do you want to start a new company or try a new hobby? Do you enjoy making things with your hands? Have you always wished to give woodworking a…