This kit brings together the work of three top-flight tool makers, with our little Australian touch. It includes specialist tools that can be used to build a Japanese plane block (dai), a blade for that dai, and a block of Australian Jarrah that we had earmarked for one of our own plane projects, until we decided that someone else might enjoy it, too.
Every tool here is special in it's own way.
The core of the kit is the 70mm Aogami plane blade set (blade and chipbreaker) handforged by master smith Yamamoto. These are the same blades that we have used in plane-making classes with Takami Kawai of Kyoto's Suikoushya carpentry, and having seen them used to make beautiful and functional planes under his guidance, we have also used them in our own plane projects. Yamamoto's work speaks for itself, with the blades taking and keeping phenomenal edges while being a pleasure to sharpen.
To form the channels of the dai that will eventually hold the blade, a specialist saw must be used that can cross-cut hard timbers, leave a fine kerf without the use of a spine and is thin enough to fit through the roughed-out mouth of the plane. Although there are a number of workarounds, the hand-made Osaekiki Nokogiri by Hishika is a beautifully finished tool that has been especially crafted to fulfil this role.
Although the three chisels included in this set are not the only ones you'll need (a sharp 18-24mm chisel will be helpful for excavating the waste), they are all hand-forged with white paper steel edges by master smith Ouchi-san for very specific purposes in the plane-making process. The three chisels included are;
- A 1.5mm super-fine chisel, used for tuning the sides of the blade-holding channels.
- A 9mm cranked neck chisel, fantastic for tuning the bases of these channels.
- A 24mm flat-tip chisel, with an extremely low profile that can be inserted through the mouth of the plane to tune the bed or the koppa-gaishi
Finally, we are including a Jarrah block that we have dimensioned appropriately for use as a dai. We have a few experiments lined up to make Japanese planes from Australian timbers, and while we are yet to make a dai from this species, it seems to have the appropriate qualities of hardness and stability that we think will allow it to produce a worthy block.
We have only one of these sets for sale. We will provide it's future owner basic documentation that we have followed when making our planes, suggestions for further reading, and advice on how to best sharpen these blades and go about the kanna-making process. We are yet to encounter tools such as these in Australia, and are very keen that their owner be given the knowledge needed to use them well.