Famed woodworker James Krenov (1920-2009) was world-renowned for making and using hand planes at the very highest level of craftsmanship. He described his planes as “fine instruments,” and instructed his own students in the art of making tools that are as beautiful as they are functional.
David Fleming learned plane-making directly from James Krenov when he studied with him at College of the Redwoods, 1984-1986, and he is delighted to pass on that knowledge to another generation of woodworkers.
In this two-day class we will make a wooden-bodied smoothing plane, exactly as Krenov himself made his. The finished tool will be approximately 10” long and will feature a 38mm (1-1/2″) Hock plane iron, designed specifically for this style of plane. This plane is well-suited for a wide variety of shop tasks, including for planing wood surfaces to a smooth finish.
What’s more, the same construction methods can be used to make planes of any width and length, as well as specialty tools such as round-bottomed planes, rabbet planes, etc.
On Day 1, we will start with a single block of hard maple and will resaw the “cheeks,” saw the bed and escapement angles, rout a recess for the chip-breaker screw head, carve and fit the crosspin, and glue up the whole assembly.
On Day 2, we will make a small plane-adjusting hammer, sharpen and prepare the plane iron, clean up the plane body, flatten the sole, make a trial and final wedge, and take the plane’s first shavings. The last step will be to shape the plane body using the bandsaw and various hand tools.
By the end of the weekend, you will have an elegant and supremely useful plane, as well as the knowledge of how to make additional tools in the classic Krenov manner. It’s easy once you know how!
Prerequisites: None. All levels welcome.
Tools required: None. All tools and materials supplied by the school.