Making Music with a Plane
A celebrated craftsman explains his devotion to an indispensable cabinetmaking tool
Don’t just be a woodworker; make something more out of it, if your heart’s in it, writes James Krenov. This short article is more philosophy than how-to, a soul-searcher that grapples with the question “Why to bother to work wood?”. Planes are the symbol of his theory, and he describes the process of making them without worrying why they work well until after they’re complete; the engineer and the peasant reach a parting of the ways, and that is true throughout the craft. Woodworking requires accuracy, but he extols the virtues of remaining flexible. When he discovered joy in making planes, he realized that a tool can be improved, and it is a personal and intimate thing. Find a balance between the time you work and the time you take care of your tools — don’t let one overtake the other. Don’t let fussing take over. Just think of what the tool will do and what you can do with it.
From Fine Woodworking #126