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Watch a Japanese Hand Plane Shave Wood Impossibly Thin

Japanese hand planes or kannas are remarkable tools that can shave off layers of wood so ridiculously thin that they look like tissue paper. The wood shaving in the GIF above is only 8 microns thick which almost sounds like an impossible measurement because even human hair has a diameter of about 50 microns.


Kannas are used in carpentry to shave down wood and create a smooth finish, because the tools can maintain the wood’s natural pattern. (Sandpaper scrubs that all away.) It looks fun to use because it turns the stuff of trees into translucent curls of nothingness.

There are also hand planing competitions in Japan, which look like they get pretty intense.

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I don’t think they like to be called “A Japanese”