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Thread: Making a Krenov-style plane--at long last

  1. Making a Krenov-style plane--at long last

    A local master cabinetmaker and friend introduced me to these planes just out of high school (15 or so years ago), and he's been using them since the 70's/80's, encouraging me to make some for myself. I also have a back issue of FWW from about a decade ago with an article on how the Krenov instructors do it, and it's been in my "to do" pile for that long! Well, I'm finally getting to it. And since I glean more from SMC than I ever give back (shame on me!), I thought I would take some pics of this and make a little post about it. Maybe someone will get something out of it. I'm sure this subject has been rehashed enough times. Anyways...

    I was thinking I wanted a heavy-ish block plane size to start out with, maybe use for small-parts shooting even, and I had some bloodwood hanging around, pretty heavy stuff. I added a sole of ipe, not so much for wear resistance, since the bloodwood seems pretty tough, but more so to prevent the bloodwood from transferring to lighter woods, which I've seen it do. I'm using a 1-1/4" Finck A-2 Iron assembly. The plane will be around 7" long when finished.



    To make the round tenons for the cross pin I placed the 1/2" square blank in a little piece of pvc pipe and turned it in place against a stop with a small table saw sled. I took little bites at a time so nothing would kick back--fingers were close here after all. I probably took 12 passes to get to 5/16" dia. Next time I'll buy a 5/16" tenon cutter for the drill press. That would be a slick way to do it.


    Ready for gluing.

  2. #2
    Nice post! Love the pics!

    What I liked about Derek Cohen's review of these planes was how he showed the different curvature that the plane body received to conform to the hand.

    Here are some links again that i posted earlier for those interested in pursuing this worthwhile endeavor.

    Derek Cohen's review:


    James Krenov interview on planes:

    Setting the blade in a wood plane:
    Last edited by Eddie Darby; 01-20-2008 at 12:48 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Fishers, Indiana
    Thats a very clever idea with the PVC tube.


  4. #4
    The PVC idea may not be all that bad; I've gotten as close to the blade in similar situations, but it goes without saying that a lathe is the proper tool for that job. And defining the shoulders with a saw and hand rasping would work too.

    That'll be a nice plane Jameel. I hope we see it after glue-up too.

  5. Thanks everybody. This is a fun "spare moments" project. It seems I always have one of these going during real work, something to spend a little snippet on here and there. Makes the for-money work go a little easier.

    Yeah, could have made that on the lathe. This was a little tricker though for me. I'm not a lathe fan, although I do turn, with the pvc I could shave a hair off and test the fit immediately without having to move the tailstock. I think the slickest way would be to use a tenon cutter. I could see doing a run of planes in several sizes. This going to be addictive, I'm afraid.

    More pics to follow, but here's a boring one in the meantime.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sontag View Post
    The PVC idea may not be all that bad; I've gotten as close to the blade in similar situations, but it goes without saying that a lathe is the proper tool for that job. And defining the shoulders with a saw and hand rasping would work too.
    I agree with you Tom. I've built several planes of this style and a parting tool on a lathe makes quick work of the job. I turn the ends just slightly oversized and use a plug cutter cranked on by hand to do the final sizing.

    While it is still chucked in the lathe I'll use a rasp to do the final shaping of the cross piece.

    Never the less, Jameel, it looks like your doing a fine job there and having fun. Of course you know you have just entered another branch of that slippery slope.

  7. Okay Okay, next time on the lathe already!

    Here are some more pics. This plane works great and feels great. I know, I know, should have made some of these years ago. Now I'm kicking myself!


    Fitting the wedge for flattening the bottom.


    The final wedge and the top of the plane cut away a little


    Throat opening. It could be tighter I suppose. I'm satisfied.


    First shavings. It works! This is basswood (yeah, pansy wood, I know)


    Ahem, uh, cough cough, ahem.

  8. DSCN5272.jpg

    Out with the pansy wood, and in with some wood with attitude. Bird's-eye... smooth as wet ice. Ahhhhh..........


    Shaping on the bandsaw


    Knocking the corners off--wasn't too finicky here--gonna use it after all--not just look at it.


    Spokeshave here, scraper there, a little wax...


    Nothing like a wood plane. I love it.....

    Made a little plane hammer too to match. The bloodwood has a nice heft.
    Thanks for tuning in. Hope someone enjoys.....

  9. Hi Jameel,

    thanks for your beautiful photos, which I *did* enjoy :-) That's one sweet plane...

    Slightly off topic: may I ask how you fixed the wood attachment to the head of your hammer? I just made one just like it, but had no idea how to cleanly put on that piece of wood to the brass.

    Thanks + regards,

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    What a beautiful plane, Jameel! And the results from the "business end" look wonderful. That birdseye is glowing after you took the tool to it!

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  11. #11
    I was watching David Marks make one and he used a brass rod to hold the wedge. He just pounded it in. I'm not sure how well that would work, but it would probably be fine.

    I have Finck's book and have been meaning to make one. I have a nice block of hard maple just waiting to be worked, although I was thinking about putting on an ironwood sole.

    Great post. Many thanks.


  12. #12
    That is a home run on the first effort! When I attempt to make one (someday), I hope it works half as well.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Fort Pierce, Florida
    Nice looking plane there. Mine is just about finished, I just need to flatten the sole and open the mouth enough to let the blade out (if needed after passing it over the jointer, that is). I used some hard maple for the body and cocobolo for the sole, wedge, and pin. Pictures coming when I have some shavings to show.

    Interesting idea with the pvc. I cut my pin ends on the bandsaw and then used a rasp to round them but ended up way too large. Round, but too large. I then set my DP to its lowest speed, chucked one end up in the DP and used the rasp to size the other end down to the size I wanted, being careful not to exert too much side pressure on the chuck. Swapped end for end and finished the other end. Sure wished I had a lathe. Wouldn't a longer piece of PVC let you keep your fingers a little further from the blade? Or would it just be too unstable? Have to give it a try nest time.

  14. Thanks fellas. This was an easy quick project. I took my time on this one, being my first, but I can imagine knocking one of these out at the end of the day, gluing, then finishing it up in the morning. I'm looking forward to the next one already.

    Christoph, I kerfed the end of the handle then glued in a wedge. That's it. We'll see how long it lasts. I suppose you could also drill a cross hole through the head and drive in a pin. That might help if the wedge gets loose.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    northern minnesota
    [quote=Michael Fross;751952]I was watching David Marks make one and he used a brass rod to hold the wedge. He just pounded it in. I'm not sure how well that would work, but it would probably be fine.

    I did the same after the wood cross pin split. I wasn't about to throw away all that work so I made the body of the cross pin out 5/8" diameter brass round, drilled a 5/16" hole through it and milled a flat the length of the pin. I then made a 5/16" diameter brass shaft a loose fit through the cross pin, knurled one end of the pin so when I drove the pin through the cheeks of the plane one end would bite into the wood and keep shaft from turning. It worked good, no problems so far.

    I bought a Hock blade/chip breaker directly from Ron.. my mistake was buying the cambered blade. I should have bought the blade ground straight across and slightly cambered it myself.

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