1. Hi Brian!
    Your blog it’s a treasure. It’s very kind of you and generous to share all this splendid info since there’s poor and few information about japanese handtools and woodworking in other languages than japanese. I have enjoyed and learnt very much and I am sure too many people around as well. Your anvil insert is really nice and seems very convenient. I use a typical small anvil, I also round the tip of my funate gennou which I employ for Ura-dashi. I usually hit lower the bevel than you, maybe my poor technique or the type of steel in my blades. Briefly, awesome post as usual!
    My best wishes

    1. Hi Hayabusa,

      Thank you, I appreciate the encouraging words and I will certainly keep at it. While I do maintain my interest in 18th century western tools it would seem the bulk if my interest is in Japanese tools. They’re simply enthralling.

      Hitting a little lower is fine, I tend to aim right for the middle or err on the side of caution and stick with the upper bevel, depends on how well I know the blade.

  2. Fantastic post Brian! I will keep my blade backs hidden in shame. LOL. Seriously tho, this is something I really need to tackle. Frankly I’m very nervous about attempting the tapping out process. I just got these planes working well, the last thing I want to do is crack a blade. Your post almost gives me the confidence to give it a go…almost. 😉

    1. Thank you! Being a little nervous, or rather cautious is probably a very good thing. It’s initially unnerving but gets much less so over time and with a little success. You might want to pick up some flea market blades to give it a go until you feel comfortable working on your everyday blades.

  3. Very nice write-up Brian! I’m interested in the method of working the middle of the Ura with the piece of wood to get the landing thin and even. To what extent can this be done with old blades, that have wide “legs” from extensive flattening of the back? Or is it only for the finest adjustments? It would be interesting to see a video of the process, to get an idea of the force and duration needed. Do you know any references?

    again, thanks for taking the time!


    1. Hi Oskar, That part is simply where I am straightening the blade and removing any warpage which will start things off in the wrong direction. I would expect that old blades that have wide legs have already been worked flat but you could certainly check them.

  4. I enjoy following your exploits. After putting my tools aside for a time, it encourages me to get back in the game. FYI – looks like you have an old stake from Casting Specialties. More info on the Ganoksin/Orchid website.

    Karl Carvalho
  5. Thanks Brian. I agree, that if the legs are wide, then the blade is probably without warp, as a consequence of flattening the back. My thought was, that if one can hammer a warped blade flat, then maybe one can also hammer an old, ground out blade in order to make the ura deeper, i.e making the lands thinner. I imaging putting shims along both edges of the blade, and hammering in the middle. But maybe this is not possible, or stressing the blade too much ?

    1. Hi Oskar, That part of the action doesn’t really move the hollow, it’s removing a few thousands of an inch of warpage from the blade. I would not recommend trying to pound the hollow deeper, you will likely crack the blade as that is not really the intended bit of that process. If the legs are wide, very wide, you can sometimes have the hollow reground. You might contact So and ask him to recommend someone to do that sort of work as I know he has contacts in Japan that can do it.

  6. thanks Brian! I see now the difference between that minimal warp correction an a renewal of the ura. I have to see how the blade looks when it arrives. Its always interesting to follow your work, and I’m already looking forward to your next post!

  7. Brian,
    I was shopping (well looking) at William NG site and found the Ura-Dashi hammer and had no clue what it was for and your blog came up as one of the first in my Google. I don’t know a lot, just enough to be dangerous as far as Japanese wood tools go and had no clue what that hammer was about until I read your excellent article on it. So my understanding is you are shifting the white (or blue) steel hard edge by striking above the weld line on the wrought iron to very gently make micro movements on the hard edges to even them out as part of the sharpening process? I think this is a process that m must be taken in a class to achieve proper understanding of exactly what a person with no knowledge on the subject is doing. My gosh, I as an un-educated type could really F up a beautiful chisel or plane with the best of intensions. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.

    1. Hi Patrick, Thanks for your comment. You are expanding the soft iron by tapping out and in turn that will cause the hard steel to curve downward. I run classes on this topic, Happy to help get you on the right track.

  8. Reading your blog above makes me realize how little I know about my Japanese plane blades (I have two.), and how much there is to learn. The info is not easy to find and that’s what makes yours so valuable. Where did you learn all this!? It’s very good of you to share it and to take the time to produce such good photos and clear and concise text. Inspiring, too! Thanks for your generosity, Brian. Regards, Bill

    Bill Rankin
    1. Hi Bill, Thank you, Ive learned from a large number of sources and from my own experimenting in addition to that. Chris Hall, Stan Covington, Jim Blauvelt, So Yamashita and Des King have all provided me with a lot of information and help in my search. I also attend Kezurou-Kai annually and have learned a ton of the finer points from Andrew Ren and Jude Noteboom, both of whom are just absolute magicians with a plane.

  9. Pingback: Japanese Plane (Kanna) Blade Prep with Brian Holcombe Woodworker

Leave a Reply