Hand Tools Archive

Awesome planing video

Bill Tindall

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Professor Kawai speaks little English so use easy to translate English in your reply.

Professors Kato and Kawai studied planing in the mid 1980's. They comprehensively studied the effect of the cap iron(chip breaker), blade alloy, grain angle, etc. under conditions relevant to hand planing. (I believe their research was directed toward SuperSurfacer machines). Their results were published in Japanese technical journals is dense technical jargon that is difficult to translate. Some of the journals have been impossible to find in the US. I have a translation by Mia Iwasaki (Woodworking Club member)and summary written by Wiley Horne, Steve Elliot and myself to clarify(I hope) the technical jargon and concepts of the chip breaker study that is most revealing.

In the quest to track down the journals I could not find in the US, I found and contacted Professor Kawai who has sent me the articles I was unable to find in US libraries. I now have copies of everything these professors have published.

These professors were at a technical college and teaching students was an important part of their positions. Part of the teaching program was learning to use hand planes. The parts of Professor Kato and Kawai's work that was relevant to hand planing was published in educational journals as an aid to teaching students hand planing. (These were the articles that I could not find in the US libraries.) To supplement the most important of these articles(it is not translated yet) they made a video showing the action of the chip breaker at various distances and angles from the blade edge upon planing wood with and against the grain. The video reveals in great detail the mechanics of shaving formation and action of the chip breaker/cap iron/shaving bender or whatever you wish to call it.

Professor Kawai posted this video on his University web site for me download. We can be most grateful for this effort for this video has been "lost" to the western world for quite some time. It is an MP3 file and can be easily copied to CD for study. Then Mark Hennebury, right here on WoodCentral, re-posted it on the site linked to above. Mark is in the process of improving the video.

To help understand the pictures it will be helpful to read the summary made from the translation. It will be ready to share soon. But till then the variables studied are distance of chip breaker from tip, angle on leading edge of chip breaker, and grain angle. These values can be seen in the cartoon preceding each planing experiment. The response is the shaving formation, shaving structure and fracture ahead of the blade tip, which can be clearly seen in some cases.

Mia is working on a translation of the narration and we expect it to be ready soon. Lots going on. Can anyone help on the translations of Japanese to English?

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