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I just received the Japan Woodworkers catalog (very dangerous thing to do).  I know several wood workers that rave about the Japanese wood-bodied  planes.  Has anyone used these for rod making?  I'm just  wondering.  The extremely hard blades sound good but I'm not sure about the  wood soles.  (Ed Berg)

    I've made several wooden bodied planes and tried one small one on a rod once. It wasn't ideal. You can't adjust the throat of course unless you make an adjustment to do so which I did in the end but  the Japanese planes don't have that so right off you have that problem then the plane sole does get a furrow from the bamboo reasonably fast. I used Jarrah which is hard and it was chopped up by the end of the exercise.

    Ultimately in the way we all seem to have about us on this list where common sense is abandoned in favor of obscure tangents I wound up making a few compound planes by dovetailing at first steel then brass sides to a steel sole which I milled a recess into to accept a sliding throat.  The body of the plane was wood and used the same plane iron adjustment setup as a Japanese plane.

    They looked pretty and work OK and took as long to make as a few rods and I now use a Stanley bench plane to rough the strips out then 60 1/2 & 9 1/2.

    I gave the last and best working little plane I made away to somebody who thought it looked nice.   (Tony Young)

    I have not used the Japanese planes on cane but at one stage I used a modified skew bladed plane that had a beechwood body, common on English planes.  It cut well but the cane soon formed a hollow in the sole of the plane so I had to buy brass to resole it.  However this lost the low friction benefit gained from using the well used wooden plane so I abandoned it.

    I think the Japanese planes are either Beech or Maple which is similar so I suspect that you would get the same result.  (Gary Marshall)


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