Plane Tuning

Japanese planes are quite tuned straight out of the box, however, in some cases they require extra tuning. Timber breathes.
Firstly, when the blade is in position and almost out of the sole, you need a 0.5mm gap between the sides of the blade and the plane itself. This will allow you to square the blade to the sole. If there is not enough gap on one of the sides, you can fix this by:
  1. Hold the plane up to a light to see which side has no gap between the blade and the plane.
  2. Remove the blade. Carefully.
  3. Use a 3mm chisel or a thin file to shave off some material of the plane to create space for the lateral movement of the blade. Ideally, you would like the blade to be parallel or square to the sole with 0.5mm space on each side of the blade.
Secondly, you might have to perform another tuning adjustment to the plane.
When you are hitting the blade into the plane, it should run square and should end parallel to the sole.
If the blade is not touching the sides, and it is still at an angle, you will need to relieve the bed of the blade. To do this:
  1. take the blade out
  2. use a pencil to shade the back of the blade. This will rub off onto the bed, which allows for marking points that can be shaved off.
  3. Shave small amounts off until you feel the blade is running down square.
Lastly, the chip breaker should sit 0.2mm - 0.5mm just behind the edge of the blade. Often, the chip breaker in these planes are quite tight. You may need to file the corners of the top of the chip breaker to make it slight down more easily to achieve the desired distance. Bear in mind that the chip breaker is only holding the blade by about 10%; 90% of the pressure is achieved by the wedge shaped blade into the block of the plane.