Kanna is one of the fundamental tools of Japanese woodworking. In fact it is the most revered carpenters tool in Japan. During an apprenticeship in Japan I learned the history, use, and fabrication of this powerful tool from Toshio Tokunaga, a master of kanna shaping and kanna finish. I now apply the techniques and traditions that he taught me to everything that I make. Since my furniture is made without the aid of machines, kanna are fundamental to every stage of my building process. I craft special wooden bodies for each task, so that I can create pleasant lines and a finish that cannot be matched by any western method. With kanna I am fully able to express my personal identity. Through daily practice I have developed a muscle memory that connects my hand, mind, and tool so that I can sculpt my mental image with the stroke of the kanna.

Kanna is more than just a means of self expression and shaving wood. It is also the best way to waterproof and protect wood. Kanna can extend the life of a board ten fold in comparison to a sanded board. It can sever fibers thinner than human blood cells and this ultimately means an incomparable shine to the surface of the wood, that will last for generations.


My dai-making services are fixed rate depending on the style of plane. As with all of my work, they’re built using only hand tools and kanna finished. Wood choices are:

  • Persimmon
  • Osage Orange
  • Hornbeam
  • Beech

Please email me at villegasj2012@gmail.com if you’re interested in having me make a dai to fit your blade. We can further discuss the details and cost.