A Peculiar Plane

Somewhere along the way I picked up this gigantic solid rosewood plane of Eastern design and unknown genesis.  I vaguely recall it being in a box of Japanese planes but since I turned 65 I am uncertain of this is a true memory or a false one.  It does not really matter one way or the other.

The coincidence of building my Japanese toolbox and Wilbur Pan’s presentation to DC-area woodworking guilds led me to pull it out again and give it a closer look-see.  I sent the photos to Wilbur and he shares my inkling that this may be a Chinese plane, not Japanese.

The rosewood body is heavy enough that it would be like planing with a large brick.  To say the very least if there were a sharp iron in the tool there would be precious little chatter.

The piece of hammered steel(?) in the plane throat is only 1/8″ thick, probable too thin to be the cutting iron.  But, it is not exactly configured for functioning as a chip breaker, either.

I asked a friend from China to interpret the pictograms but she was unable to decipher them so I have no idea what information is contained there.

I may just wind up buying a piece of 1/4″ tool steel 4″ x 6″ and grinding my own cutting iron, but am still scratching my head over this peculiar tool.

If you have any ideas about it let me know.