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Blog entry by posted 11-07-2007 06:45 PM 1864 reads 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch


13 comments so far

View Betsy's profile


3394 posts in 4953 days

#1 posted 11-07-2007 08:07 PM

Jojo – that’s a great explaination of the Kanna. Simplicity at its best. And honestly, it’s a pretty tool. Curiosity gets the best of me—- so what would you pay for a Kanna like this?

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Mark Mazzo's profile

Mark Mazzo

352 posts in 4970 days

#2 posted 11-07-2007 08:17 PM


Interesting tool. When you cut grooves/rebates/dados with it, do you have to first score/cut lines to define the edges to avoid tearout?

-- Mark, Webster New York, Visit my website at

View 's profile

593 posts in 5030 days

#3 posted 11-08-2007 12:55 AM

Thank you Mark. And to answer your question, yep. here is where the kebiki comes in handy. Once you scribe the lines—both at the same time—you set up a temporary fence by clamping a straight piece of wood and start working the cut. Once you carve the first 1/8” you can take out the makeshift fence and keep going inside the groove until reaching the desired deep.

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 5020 days

#4 posted 11-08-2007 04:54 AM

Thanks for the show, Jojo. If you are like me , you couldn’t live without your shoulder plane. this one is simple

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 5151 days

#5 posted 11-08-2007 05:45 AM

Thanks for the new installment. I wish I had gotten into woodworking seriously a year before I did… My sweetie’s brother lived over there for 5 years. I could have had him pick up some of these mainstay tools and had him bring them home at Christmas or whenever.

Do you know if most of the tools you plan to cover are available at or other sites?

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 5054 days

#6 posted 11-08-2007 05:53 AM

What…you won’t tell us more here, where everyone can see? Ha.

Looks like a joy to use. It’s really sharp and ready to roll from the store??? That’s great! To plough grooves of various sizes you’d want a whole set of these, eh? How many different sizes do they make of this plane? What’s the smallest?

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View furnitologist's profile


198 posts in 5071 days

#7 posted 11-08-2007 07:19 AM

Hey Jojo:
So now we’ve got the Kebiki, that you illustrated nicely will scribe for the mizo ganna. Are there different manufacturers like the many masters of chisels or is it a tool made by one company. When you use the tool is more like paring or is it much like a western plane except for the cutting direction as you discribed.

Nice description…..... a body, a blade,....zen!

I’m enjoying this very much Thanks!!!!

View 's profile

593 posts in 5030 days

#8 posted 11-08-2007 08:46 AM

Betsy, Jeff, later on today I’ll get back on to you with more details of what you asked for.

Indeed Thos, such a simple tool but used so often, I really love it. The ease in which is setup also helps to overcome the potential laziness of using “yet another plane just for this little thing”.

Yeah, Dorje, all the japanese planes I have came from the store ready to cut. Only in one, that will be the subject of an upcoming installment, I had to enlarge the throat itself because there was—literally—no space for the thinnest of the shavings to climb up. So you tune up the opening depending on which kind of job you are going to do with them. But for the iron themselves, they all came with razor-sharp bevels and yes, the plane themselves are a joy to use. Plenty of sizes available, I will check it out the most common and get back to you.

Neil: There’s plenty of manufacturers and every tool comes from different sources. In Japan the “buy local” attitude is still predominant and, in most cases also, the regional specialization. Nowadays I’m tracking down a very particular kind of saw requested by a potential customer and it is becoming quite hard because it seems that this particular kind traditionally has only been manufactured in a certain region of the country (unfortunately not where I live). There is also a large number of small manufactures that specialize in a single kind of tool and quite a bunch of craftsman/blacksmith that still hand-make things like the famous ”katana” or the huge carpenter’s ”kanna” that oftentimes can go up for thousands of dollars. Regarding the cutting action, it’s similar to the western style, given that the angle is more or less the same.

Thank you all for your compliments, it is nice to see that there is some people that appreciate these little posts when there is so many other great things on this site.

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4932 days

#9 posted 11-08-2007 09:23 AM

I love your writings about Japanese woodworking and tools. You are a great writer and the west has so much to learn from the old traditions of Japan. It is great that you are bridging the gap. I have always been interested in Eastern culture in general. Please keep it flowing. Thank you so much.

-- Happy woodworking!

View woodchips's profile


238 posts in 5022 days

#10 posted 11-08-2007 10:20 AM

Woodworking is one of the oldest trades in the world and the Japanese culture is one of the oldest cultures in the world. Together that is a wonderful combination. Thank you for your posts on traditional Japanese woodworking tools and styles. Your posts are a pleasure to read. i wholeheartedly agree with Blake, keep it flowing! And by the way that is one very cool tool, probably the most esthetically pleasing plane I’ve ever seen precisely because of it’s simplicity. Form and function at its best!

-- "Repetition is a leading cause of carelessness, and carelessness usually leads to injury"

View Jiri Parkman's profile

Jiri Parkman

953 posts in 4870 days

#11 posted 01-17-2008 04:01 PM

Nice tool.

-- Jiri

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4932 days

#12 posted 01-17-2008 04:21 PM

This is cool. I get the Japan Woodworker catalog and often wonder about the differences with the western tools. Thanks for the lengthy, informative descriptions.

View 's profile

593 posts in 5030 days

#13 posted 01-17-2008 04:44 PM

Thank you Rikkor. Mostly “ours” are simpler, older in design (and thus less ergonomically perfect also) and made of wood and a different kind of steel, often harder than western counterparts. They are also very specialized and specific for single tasks due to the less extended use of stationary power tools (space IS a premium here) versus more use of portable power and hand tools.

But, hey, the most important thing is that they are cool! ;o)

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