Japanese Handplanes: A Traditional Approach
A Masterclass with Dale Brotherton

 

Japanese tools are capable of scary precision when fully tuned. The Japanese Hand plane requires more care and maintenance than western hand planes. Learn the art from master craftsman Dale Brotherton.

Learn everything that you need to know to make these legendary tools perform just as the master carpenters do. Create paper-thin shavings without tear-out, finishing wood far smoother than sandpaper could ever hope to!

We'll start by flattening and preparing your water stones. Then learn basic setup and sharpening technique on your own chisel. We cover removing and resetting the handle fitting the handle ring, preparing the back, dealing with the hollow ground, blade angles and subtleties of honing with Japanese water stones.

Sharpening is done by hand with no guides in the traditional manner. Next we move into the hand plane first learning to flatten the back using the "Uradashi" technique of forming the blade with a hammer and anvil. Then honing on a steel plate for perfect accuracy.

Finish sharpening and trimming the blade as necessary. Next the chip breaker is carefully shaped, honed and fit to the main blade. With the blades ready, the block is trimmed as needed and fit with the blades.

A scraper plane can then be set up and used to shape the plane base to the proper contours. Finally learn how to micro- adjust the blade settings and make shavings! Wood will be available for those with time to practice basic chisel and plane use techniques.

Note:

You will need to bring your own tools to this class. We'll be adding some recommended tools (from either Hida Tools or Japan Woodworker) shortly. We're also looking to provide Kanaban (flattening plates) and Anvils for you to buy in class.

We are suggesting two tool lists. If you bought the basic tools for this class your investment would be around $250. The ideal tool list would be around $400. With either set of tools you'll still get the full experience of working with Japanese handplanes.

Dale recommends buying the tools from Hida Tool - mention Dale's name and the School and you'll get a 10% discount.

Basic Tool List:

  • Chisel:
    Any chisel medium size (Japanese chisel preferred). Also one 1/8" if you have it.
  • Hand planes:
    Bring one Japanese plane at least 48 mm wide (with laminated steel chip breaker). 
  • Sharpening Stones:
    Japanese water stones: 1 medium (1000~1200 grit), 1 finish stone (minimum 4000 grit). Dale does not recommend combination stones.
  • Kanaban:
    This is a steel plate for lapping. Mininimum size 3" X 10" X ¼"thick. The Plate uust be flat and smooth on one face. If possible get cold rolled steel (not hardened). Can usually be gotten cheap at a scrap steelyard. Take a straight edge along and get a flat one.
  • 220 grit wet dry sandpaper:
    Bring 2 or 3 sheets.
  • Small water bucket
  • Hammers:
    1 medium size & 1 small size. Dogyu brand is recommended.
  • Miscellaneous:
    Pencil, square, straight edge (beveled is preferred) & a small round or ½ round metal file

Ideal Tool List:

  • Chisels:
    Bring one new Japanese chisel 12 to 24mm. Any other chisels 1/8 to 1 ½".
  • Hand planes:
    Bring one new Japanese plane at least 48 mm wide (with laminated steel chip breaker). And a  Japanese scraper plane (tachiganna) any size, but wider is better.
  • Sharpening Stones:
    Japanese water stones: one medium (1000~1200 grit), One finish stone (minimum 4000 grit). Dale does not recommend combination stones.
  • Kanaban:
    Steel plate for lapping. Min. size 3" X 10" X ¼"thick. Must be flat and smooth on 1 face. If possible get cold rolled steel (not hardened). Can usually be gotten cheap at a scrap steelyard. Take a straight edge along and get a flat one.
  • Anvil:
  • Any chunk of metal that is soft (not hardened) big enough to be stable with a rounded corner at least 1 ~2" wide.
  • 220 grit wet dry sandpaper:
    Bring 2 or 3 sheets.
  • Small water bucket
  • Hammers:
    One medium size 375~550g & 1 small size 100~250g - Dogyu brand is recommended.
  • Miscellaneous:
    Pencil, square, straight edge (beveled is preferred) & a small round or ½ round metal file, rags.


Class size:                10       
Cost:                     $300
Materials:               $15

Coming Classes:

Please note:

We did not get enough enrollment to run this class. The class content is covered in the weeklong Japanese Carpentry course.

 July 27-28, 2013  Japanese Hand Planes  Register
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 Port Townsend School of Woodworking  and Preservation Trades

200 Battery Way | Fort Worden | Port Townsend, WA 98368 | (360) 344-4455 |  email

The Port Townsend School of Woodworking and Preservation Trades is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit. 
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