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A Look at a Mini Kanna

I have very few tools. In keeping with my living space but also in keeping with my belief that skills should surpass the tools that are used. In my mind it makes more sense to be able to make your own tools. So I was attracted to the Japanese thoughts of minimalism in both their tools and their methods.

A mini kanna was something I've wanted for quite a while. it's difficult to find one that is high quality new in the US (online or otherwise), but I found a maker (in Japan) that seems to focus on this particular kind of Kanna for not alot of money. Of course being so small it makes sense that they would be more affordable, but I was very surprised (happily) to see the level of care that was put into this particular little plane.

The maker Fujihisa is located in Sanjo in the Niigata prefecture of Japan. The video is short but I'll write some more on the topic in this post. Forgive my rambling in the video, and my frog of a voice haha! Also I'm aware I mispronounce the maker's name, perhaps I'll remedy that in a future video.

View on YouTube

The finger plane has the same concepts/design as a full size Kanna. With a Kanna this small a chipbreaker really wouldn't be feasible or logical.

I wanted this plane for my instrument work as I'm always (and I mean always) needing to thin down stock to some crazy measurement like 3/16" and using a large plane to do that is annoying and doesn't work too well.

The blade seems to be of good quality, I am no expert on the blades of Kanna but I know decent steel. Sharpening wasn't much of a chore since there's not much to sharpen. The blade was square, flat, and well made. I simply touched it up with a 4000 and 10,000 water stone, then stropped it a few times and it was ready to go.

Shavings are very thin and depending on how I set the blade I can get fine powdery shavings or some full width paper-like shavings. You really have to just finesse the blade set until you find that "sweet spot".

Just a little note, here is one way you can tell a good amount of care went into a plane.

Wood Finger Material property Office ruler Ruler

Notice that the mouth is just barely 2/64ths wide (that's 0.79mm in metric) Most of the finger planes you can get in the instrument repair/maker circles have wide mouths that in my experience are the source of much hand pain from having to press and squeeze while you grind the plane over the wood surface. With the mouth being this tight it makes planing with it an actual pleasure. To make a 50mm or larger kanna with a mouth this tight is easier since it's larger, but to make one with a mouth this tight on this one (which is 20mm) takes a steady hand and a great deal of patience.

I have used IBEX finger planes that are good, but the cuts are always rough even with sharp blades, I attribute this to the design of the plane itself with the wide mouth. A wide mouth makes the little plane work more like a scrub plane than a fine cutting finger plane. I suspect it has more to do with being able to mass produce a product than it does with making a very high quality product. The surface after this plane is used is much nicer and cleaner compared to others. Here is the figured cherry I planed in the video for the demonstration.

Table Wood Floor Wood stain Flooring

So to make a conclusion, I really like this little plane and I really will enjoy learning to master it. It's tiny, but it's the little things in life we should enjoy. It's getting late here so goodnight everyone! ありがとうございました

Sanding block Wood Flooring Hardwood Wedge


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