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Krenov Style Hand Planes

One does not tune a Stradivari with a monkey wrench.

James Krenov






I'm waiting for the humidity to drop a little more before starting on my next guitar, which I think will have the shape and size of Antonio Torres' FE 19, with an Engelmann spruce top and California laurel back and sides. While waiting, I thought I would take the chance to make a few planes in the Krenov style. I think I must be the only hand tool wood worker who hasn't made any of these, though I have contemplated making a few over the last 20 years or so. It was all this gibberish about needing a bandsaw, boring machine and 8 inch floor jointer to make such a plane that kept me from it. I know that my skills are good enough now that I will do most of the work by hand. Okay, I will use my Dewalt contractor saw, Bosch sliding compound miter saw and Delta bench top drill press for more accuracy, but I swear I will remove saw marks with a hand plane and cut out the final shape with a shop made bow saw!

I received 3 Hock Tool blades today, along with Dave Finck's book (it's almost a little too detailed in planemaking, but I recommend it!) and I finally was able to replace my paper back copy of Krenov's The Fine Art of Cabinetmaking, with a hard back copy printed by Van Nostrand Reinhold Company.




I found some nice heavy black walnut at a local flea market, I will put a bubinga sole on the planes I make because I have some on hand.




My trusty Stanley No.5, Type 11 jack plane resting on a blank that is nicely squared. I think I will make an eleven inch smoothing plane from this piece of walnut and an eighteen inch jointer from the large piece. I really want to make the scraper plane that Finck shows towards the end of his book, Making and Mastering Wood Planes. I think that such a plane would be great for the final thinning of guitar sides!

Remember, Hand Tools Rule the School!

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James Krenov, The Impractical Cabinetmaker, 1979


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Jose Ramirez III, Things About the Guitar, 1990




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