A Misconception To Clear Up

May 2, 2013

Last night during a weekly woodworking get together called Woodchat we discussed hand planes. We talked a bit about Japanese planes in the discussion but I didn’t have a chance to explain their construction in much detail so I decided to make this quick post to clear up a misconception.

Many woodworkers who see a Japanese plane think the blade is secured in place by a wedge and pin. This is not the case. What appears to be a wedge is actually the chip breaker or as I call it sub-blade. The steel pin holds the sub blade against the main blade. The main blade is held in place via a wedge fit to the body ( dai ). Not only is the main blade a wedge shape, it is also slightly curved along its width and length. The combination of this blade & dai geometry securely holds the main blade in place, no pins or wedges needed. Many Japanese planes are in fact a single blade set into the dai. I don’t have time to go into much more detail today so hopefully these photos will help clear up this misconception.

Take Care

DJO

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