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Competitive wood planing

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 07, 2013

What a day! First we were delighted by a madcap U-turn video that is probably fake, we learned there’s such a thing as windless kite flying, and now we’re learning that competitive wood planing is a thing. In Japan, the best wood planers gather each year to see who can shave the thinnest shaving off of a piece of wood. My literal jaw literally dropped when I saw how thin the shavings are:

9 microns! A micron is one-millionth of a meter or one-thousandth of a millimeter. For reference, the diameter of a red blood cell is 8-9 microns, a cloud water droplet is about 10 microns across, and an average human hair is about 100 microns across. How do you get such a thin shaving? A really sharp blade. Like maybe a knife sharped with .025 Micron Polycrystalline Diamond Spray? (via @Colossal)