Japanese Planes

Tsunesaburo are a third-generation traditional Japanese plane making workshop from Miki city (Japan’s Sheffield).

The Japanese planes (kanna) featured here have been recommended as suitable for intermediate level western woodworkers transitioning to Japanese planes for the first time.

Whilst still being relatively affordable, these Japanase woodworking planes are professional quality 'lifetime' tools optimised for use on western hardwoods, the plane blades are laminated from blue paper steel and soft iron, mounted in carefully seasoned white oak bodies. With proper preparation and care they will deliver many years of excellent service.

New Japanese planes are normally delivered 90% finished, with blade fitting, final honing and sole preparation down to the new owner. Tsunesaburo planes are a quite a bit closer than that, having been set up at the factory so that the blade will advance just far enough to take a cut. After allowing the well seasoned timber to acclimatise to your workshop, a tiny amount of scraping on the bed (literally microns) with a scraper chisel might be necessary to fine tune the setting.

Learning these Japanese plane set-up processes forms the foundation of the skills you will need for maintaining your Japanese planes throughout their working life. There is an excellent series of videos by Sumokun on you tube that explain the process in English (watch the first video, then the third, then the second).

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