Building a Krenov Plane

James Krenov was born 1920 in Russia and died 2009 in California.

Famous is his simple furniture design and the facile construction of his versatile hand planes.He taught at many schools in America as well as in Europe. Many woodworkers revere him by his inspiration to fill there own work with simplicity, harmony and not at least with the love to the fantastic wood.

In 2003, Fine Woodworking magazine asked Krenov how he would like to be remembered… He responded, “As a stubborn, old enthusiast.“

Many of his books with his creativity , survive also in future generations.

To create an own woodworking plane you must have:


 a.                  a piece of hard wood like Ash, Oak, Hornbeam or a tropical hardwood

b.                  a blade with a back iron like mine

c.                  a cross pin

d.                 and maybe a piece of lignum vitae

e.                  a piece for the wedge

The wood for the body will be precut and angular planed. The dimension should be app. 300 mm long and 75 mm high. The width depends on the width of the blade. Width of the blade + 1,5-2 mm + 2 x saw blade cut +  2 x sides with 10-12 mm and 3 mm for truing.

I like trOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAuing with my jointer.


When the wood is on all sides angular and the sole side is fixed, it is the bark side,the wood is drawn and sliced. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

To slice the wood a band saw is ideal because the saw cut is very narrow and after the gluing the annual rings of the wood suit nearly exact.


Now to the layout.


The mouth is drawn app 20 – 50 mm in front of the middle. You can prepare a bedding angle between 45 and 55° and the angle in the front should be app. 62 °. Create the outer shape according to your own liking.

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe middle section is cutted.

The  place for the lignum vitae wear plate is cutted and angular chiselled and planed.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The wear plate is glued.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now the bedding angle is angular planed.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The deepening for the back iron screw is drawn and milled or chiselled.



After adjusting of all parts the components are clamped and the auxiliary holes for the dowels and the hole for the cross pin are drawn. Don’t forget the place for the wedge.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The blade should touch the front about 1 mm from the sole level.Before gluing the shape of the cross pin is triangular planed or rasped and inserted.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGlue with supplements under the clampsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA and after curing of the glue the outer line is sawed. 


After sharpening and inserting of the blade and the final planning of the sole, the mouth can be opened after own requirements. I prefer a very narrow mouth.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now the plane is ready for the first test shavings and for the final finishing and the surface treatment. I prefer an oil finish like Danish oil or similar products.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now good luck with the finished smoother


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