I thought I would talk a little about restoring a Japanese Plane. First buy an old knackered one that no one else really wants.
They are good for a few reasons:
1. No one else wants them (apart from me of course)
2. They are cheaper
3. They require more work to do up, this is proportional to the amount of knowledge you will gain.
4. Now and again you get the beauty hidden under the beast, the sword inside the blade etc.
5. For me - it is the performing of a valuable process, namely the rejuvenating of a worn out tool, I am honouring the craftsmen who made them originally.
This blade had the biggest chips I have ever seen in it - remember I teach in secondary schools so that is saying something! They must have been 2-3mm gouges out - 3 of them, ahhh!!!!
This took days, a little every day of course. Ground all down by hand on my diamond stone. Good hand skills practised. Finished on my waterstone. You can clearly see the hardened steel edge - but the lamination is not good in my opinion, its is not 'clean' but spotty, and porous if that makes sense, not the work of a great blacksmith - although the signature (whatever it says?!) is nice.
If you love planes then this is how you get to know them in my humble opinion, which is why I still restore coffin smoothers occasionally - even tho I don't like them. Really uncomfortable to use if you have bad hands like me.
You could post parcels through this letterbox!
So I am going to fit a new Ebony mouth - it will match nicely the black card I used to raise the bed to tighten the blade. Incidentally the Dai was not made accurately so I have had to re cut and change quite a bit on this plane body - again this is all teaching me lots about how much to take off and where - simple from the outside - little more complicated (but not a lot) when you get into it.
Ebony inserts (I always do spares as I go) ready to have the dovetail sides done - I will do this on my electric sander I think - it will be very accurate and dead quick. Notice I have already angle the moth opening, so lots of angle on this ebony piece as I like a wedge fit for accuracy so the opposite side to the mouth will be angled fractionally in the opposite (or parallel direction)
Anyway more to come on this....