Sunday, 1 July 2012

Tuning up old Dai's and sharpening Kanna Blades.

Essential Equipment:
Winding Sticks
Straight edges - here I have 24" and 12"
On this point I think the most important addition to all my tools over the last 10 years have been well made straight edges, I really cannot believe I have gone this long without them - using thin flexible metal rulers....
ESSENTIAL kit for accurate work.
Scraper Plane
Notice Anglepoise for optimal sensitivity to light, with this set up even the finest of gaps is detectable easily to the eye.

When tuning up old Dai's that I don't like the Patina on (usually I try and leave it if possible) there is something nice about using another Japanese plane for this job.

I have just figured out a really cool way of making Japanese chip breakers so this plane now has a laminated cast british steel chipbreaker - I will do another post on this soon.
Tuning up the blade.
This blade weighs over 350 grams - so some good surface contact going on in this photo!

Very important to flatten all your stones and check them (all the time) with a good straight edge against a good light source. I rarely find flat bevels done by hand, but I sharpen all my japanese blades by hand - like this one - everything else by jig.

Mind you I have made a jig to hold japanese blades - making a metal version currently - will show this one soon as well on the blog - good wat to save on not buying the Grintec which is the only jig for holding japanese blades I know of on the market. Tradition stands proud here and looks down, a JIG?!?! but if you can do this by hand you should try a jig as well, the stone is a jig, a ruler is a jig, where do you draw the line? You can take this form of reasoning too far - the foundations of your arguement will soon start to crumble - like the hippies who think drugs that grow are OK while powders and pills are bad - I have read the Death Cap tastes really nice - but its always fatal, this reminds me - I must get some paracetamol for my headache.
Incidentally for those of you 'in the know' I inherited this blade with the back like this - not my doing!
But it is lovely steel - very low angle (18-20 from memory)
No there is nothing hidden under there holding it up - just very flat.

Made a wooden Tanto once - you could stick the handle to the scabbard, the Tsuaba was ebony and perfectly flat - the suction could hold the whole weight of the scabbard!

Oh and no I do not usually finish off this translucent Arkansas for my Kanna blades - waterstone is my favourite for that. 
It is for carving chisels and it works very well for that - you would not want to sharpen your 60degeree V chisel on a 8000grit waterstone!

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