I am self-taught.
James Krenov and my Grandfather are solely responsible for impassioning me with the love of woodworking that now consumes me. James has left us, but his legacy is alive and well. My Grandfather passed away many years ago as well, but his spirit dwells in me like a bright, ever burning candle.
My Grandparent's raised me. Grandfather was forever building something with wood. I used to watch him saw and plane his wood. As I recall, his plane was not much to look at but it seemed to work well enough.
One of his creations that I was not too fond of was his roof ladder. The rails were made of 2x4's and the rungs of 1x4's. It weighed a ton. I used to dread being sent to do some chore on the roof because I was a kid at the time and could hardly lift this behemoth. I would never admit that though, but I was glad we always lived in a one-story home.
Grandpa's shelves were build very sturdy. I was fascinated watching him build all of those things with wood. Bang, bang … saw, saw.
One year for Christmas, beneath the tree I discovered a large brightly-wrapped box with my name on it. It was a Sears & Roebuck Woodworker Tool Kit. It came in a cool green, metal box. Wow! Thanks, Santa!
It had a saw and a hammer and other neat tools. The saw was my favorite. I guess I got a little over zealous using my new tools because my tool kit vanished one day. I couldn't believe it! Where had my tool box gone? I asked everyone if they knew what happened to my tool kit and all I got for my inquiries was usually a, "Why no, I haven't seen your tool box. I wonder what happened to it?".
I really missed my tool kit, … and all that I could do with it.
Looking back, that was the whole problem - I could do too much with it. I probably did more de-struction than con-struction. No more sawing for that young, budding wood worker. No siree!
Oh, well …
Many, many years later, I came upon the October 1997 issue of Taunton's Fine Wood Working magazine. On the cover stood James Krenov holding one of his wonderful wooden planes. In the article he proclaimed that a wooden plane "is like a musical instrument that you have to tune up a little bit before you start the concert."
Concert? What's this dude talking about?
When I first read that line I had no clue. I am more worldly now - after making over a dozen Krenovian wooden planes, that is. Only about six have survived. That should tell you something about mass failure when it comes to making these wonderful hand tools, er …, musical instruments. Sorry, James!
I still have that magazine. I also have all of his books.
There is also another book which features the work of his students which is quite inspiring. It is entitled - With Awakened Hands.
The Fine Art of Cabinetmaking is my wood working bible. I have found it to be the most essential read of all his books.
Since that time, James has cost me a fortune becoming a wood worker. But you will never hear me say that I regret the journey that began that cool, fall day. No way!
As you peruse the content within, you may find yourself saying, "This guy goes to a lot of work just to do this or that!". I make no apologies because I do take a lot of precautions along the way. I try to always do the best that I can because James and my Grandfather would expect nothing less of me.