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Rob Cosman Planing Technique

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D_W

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OK, I just read more about krenov than I ever did before. for those of us unaware of his history:
* lived in the US
* moved to europe with his mother a *long* time ago
* ended up in sweden hiking and fishing a lot, and eventually took a job for a modelmaker who built things for restaurants (this seems like an odd line of text, but that may just mean building little details that restaurants would like to have for uniqueness - vs. big coarse joinery).
* got a 2 year education from someone famous for design in sweden (I may be butchering some of these a bit - this isn't a peer reviewed summary)
* worked in his basement, sold a book and it sold better than he expected - 1970s
* got a permanent job at a college around 1980 (there's a lot of time between 1920 and 1980 - if I recall correctly, frid was already out of industry work and teaching by the time he was in his mid to late 30s?)

here's the departure in the US vs. Europe - my grandparents came to financial comfort in the 1950s. In the US, tradition didn't really amount to much - at least in keeping things. American and European history for them was a big thing, but you don't have to fill your house with rubbish to know about something.

The wiki entry makes it sound like krenov got traction in the 1970s when he wrote a book, and the excerpts google brings about are a bit on the woo side. They're not the whole technical design and aspects, but more about the "touch" or "harken back to hand made" kind of thing. I guess that hit big here in the 1970s after the hippies and counterculture, and probably was about when hobby woodworking took on more than crude stuff for most here.

It also coincided perfectly with the period when disposable income started to expand greatly in the US (coming out of the 70s and through to now, disposable income has exploded). If the same book had been written in the 40s, it would've probably fallen flat.

(this departure mentioned as frid and peters are often mentioned as having had a go in production woodwork and it sounds like krenov was more like a "make it in the basement for a while" kind of guy.

Sellers....not in the same conversation. I don't see any evidence that he ever made a living on mid-high to high end work, but he does have a lot of the woo).
 

D_W

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Nothing, but he always seems to get a mention.

Somebody has touched on sharpening, tearout and that they could correct Krenovs' planing technique and setup to avoid it too.

The only thing strange to me about these mentions is that if you suggest that planing of nastier stuff is not difficult (so you can like your krenov and eat chipbreaker cake, too), you will run into comments like "krenov never did it, so I don't need to either".

Yeah, we don't actually need to woodwork at all as a hobby, so I guess anything useful can be written off as pointless.

I don't need to make chisels. I don't need to use decent steel for them. Sometimes it's nice to learn things just because there's no reason not to.
 

Adam W.

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The only thing strange to me about these mentions is that if you suggest that planing of nastier stuff is not difficult (so you can like your krenov and eat chipbreaker cake, too), you will run into comments like "krenov never did it, so I don't need to either".

Yeah, we don't actually need to woodwork at all as a hobby, so I guess anything useful can be written off as pointless.

I don't need to make chisels. I don't need to use decent steel for them. Sometimes it's nice to learn things just because there's no reason not to.

It's all just in your head D_W.
 

TRITON

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Now he's been mentioned, I wonder what the plane exponents will think of Alan Peters and his planing technique.
From wiki
" He is famed among other woodworkers and furniture makers for his use of the No. 7 plane - a particularly large and heavy one - for nearly everything "
 

D_W

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It's all just in your head D_W.

no, those are actual comments and discussions. Some online and some over the phone (one last week with a recently retired professional - not a student who makes comments like "anything after 1600 is too recent").

But, nice try.
 

D_W

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Now he's been mentioned, I wonder what the plane exponents will think of Alan Peters and his planing technique.
From wiki
" He is famed among other woodworkers and furniture makers for his use of the No. 7 plane - a particularly large and heavy one - for nearly everything "

most of the woodworking (the volume, not time duration) was done with power tools?
 

Jorny

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OK, I just read more about krenov than I ever did before. for those of us unaware of his history:
* lived in the US
* moved to europe with his mother a *long* time ago
* ended up in sweden hiking and fishing a lot, and eventually took a job for a modelmaker who built things for restaurants (this seems like an odd line of text, but that may just mean building little details that restaurants would like to have for uniqueness - vs. big coarse joinery).
* got a 2 year education from someone famous for design in sweden (I may be butchering some of these a bit - this isn't a peer reviewed summary)
* worked in his basement, sold a book and it sold better than he expected - 1970s
* got a permanent job at a college around 1980 (there's a lot of time between 1920 and 1980 - if I recall correctly, frid was already out of industry work and teaching by the time he was in his mid to late 30s?)

here's the departure in the US vs. Europe - my grandparents came to financial comfort in the 1950s. In the US, tradition didn't really amount to much - at least in keeping things. American and European history for them was a big thing, but you don't have to fill your house with rubbish to know about something.

The wiki entry makes it sound like krenov got traction in the 1970s when he wrote a book, and the excerpts google brings about are a bit on the woo side. They're not the whole technical design and aspects, but more about the "touch" or "harken back to hand made" kind of thing. I guess that hit big here in the 1970s after the hippies and counterculture, and probably was about when hobby woodworking took on more than crude stuff for most here.

It also coincided perfectly with the period when disposable income started to expand greatly in the US (coming out of the 70s and through to now, disposable income has exploded). If the same book had been written in the 40s, it would've probably fallen flat.

(this departure mentioned as frid and peters are often mentioned as having had a go in production woodwork and it sounds like krenov was more like a "make it in the basement for a while" kind of guy.

Sellers....not in the same conversation. I don't see any evidence that he ever made a living on mid-high to high end work, but he does have a lot of the woo).
He got his education at Carl Malmstens verkstadsskola and later worked for Malmsten. He was part of several exihibitions and seems to havet been readonably established as as an artisan before his book.

Most of the famous woodworkers like Frid, Peters etc are mostly famous among woodworkers. Not as designers in a wider sense.
 

D_W

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He got his education at Carl Malmstens verkstadsskola and later worked for Malmsten. He was part of several exihibitions and seems to havet been readonably established as as an artisan before his book.

Most of the famous woodworkers like Frid, Peters etc are mostly famous among woodworkers. Not as designers in a wider sense.

Sorry if my explanation made it sound like he wasn't doing anything - what I was intending to imply was that between schooling and working for a modeler, he must've been *actually doing things woodworking* for quite some time, and making a living at it, as this is what wikipedia said:

"... and then struck out on his own, keeping a shop in his basement...."

Most modern hobbyists would see this as a perjorative, but in the united states, it's not that uncommon for people to have worked professionally out of their house (garage or basement, whatever it may be), and that's exactly what local furniture restorers in my area did. It's a matter of economic necessity for a lot of those folks, and the tax system made it more beneficial than renting space elsewhere and leaving the basement unused, let's say).

A brief reading (wikipedia -krenov) looks like:
* he had two years of formal education
* he got a job in a professional shop as a modeler (I went back and read again, he was staffed to make architectural models of restaurants)
* he then went out on his own at some point
* he ended up back in the US and eventually had a professorial position beginning around 1980 or 1981, but his first book was published in 1976. If someone is going to go out and release media to troll for beginners, they're probably going to do it before they're 55 or 56 years old (the snippet also says he was surprised at its success). If they're going to give up and find teaching easier, then they'll look more like Cosman or Sellers. I don't know if too many people are going to suggest that Cosman or Sellers had a serious career as a maker for any duration before finding the lure of teaching beginners.

With no other occupation mentioned specifically, one would assume he was doing woodworking of some sort professionally - the article (wiki) isn't specific enough to give much of the timeline between the two year college. For all we know, his basement could've been 1500 square feet.

My other comments about only doing it the way krenov does it have nothing to do with his actual work - more peoples' interpretation that there's a personality that they latch on to and then they hope to become an impersonator. Elvis didn't use a guitar that looked like the one Prince does, so then I won't. That kind of thing.

There's apparently a group of folks here locally who are into the "handles on planes make them uncomfortable", and in the past, David Finck has been here to do a class on plane making and use. This came up because in discussing potentially giving a hands on class about a few things, I mentioned that I made planes. When I said they're more of a combination of bits from around 1800-1850 because those planes are more practical if you're going to do most of your work by hand, the responses was : many of our members are mostly hand tool users, but of course after the stock is roughed and is through with the thickness planer. I don't know what krenov said about planes other than that handles are uncomfortable because I receive YT PMs from time to time questioning why I would make a plane with handles when it's "less comfortable".

What usually happens is a slow realization that "you can't get anything done working by hand" is a statement made in a professional context .If someone is working as a hobby worker, relying on Krenov's balance of doing the rough work by machines isn't required - you can dimension four or five board feet of fine hardwood an hour (and do it maybe when you're already tired and it will perk you up and build neurons - but if you do design/layout/fine wok when you don't feel like it - not so good).

He obviously has influence (Krenov) and with his influence comes his furniture. Way different than someone like sellers or cosman (even though I think if Krenov hadn't written, none of us would have a clue who he was) - when anyone thinks of sellers or cosman, is there a trademark-ish design that comes to mind (I mean like a whole piece of original furniture that appears in various iterations - not just rows and rows of dovetails, etc).

What's curious, and this was just a side comment - is that the permanent residency for krenov came far later in life than it did for frid (and I don't know that much about alan peters - he's only referenced over here because Cosman put him in a video. In furniture circles, he's probably more well known).
 

Adam W.

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no, those are actual comments and discussions. Some online and some over the phone (one last week with a recently retired professional - not a student who makes comments like "anything after 1600 is too recent").

But, nice try.
LoL! You are a funny little man.
 

thetyreman

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still loving my krenov style smoother high angle 55 degree plane here with no handles...
 

D_W

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still loving my krenov style smoother high angle 55 degree plane here with no handles...

In the context most people refer to (with krenov - doing most of the work by machines), I think that's perfectly fine.

Actually, after reading more about krenov today (never read much about him because the furniture designs themselves aren't very appealing to me), I admire him to a great extent outside of that - working seemingly for himself and not just going with the flow in the time period, and suggesting (against the grain apparently) that beginning woodworkers are missing out on something if they are introduced entirely to power tools early on.

This context is so far in the past in the US that it's hard to keep in frame - as in, hand tools to students were pretty much dead, but that does make sense. My grandfather's school friend became an accomplished clock and cabinet maker and none of his work at my grandparents' house would suggest much or any use of hand tools.

At any rate, I get that folks like the plane type. I don't have much experience getting to the point that a plane is needed after a power and jointer planer, though. The whole cap iron discussion is kind of minimized if a good power jointer and planer are used, and if the final surface is sanded. Maybe the same is true of handles.
 

D_W

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LoL! You are a funny little man.

You should recall it well. I asked you why someone would use a scrub plane outside of wet wood, you refused to answer whether or not you used wet wood, and said something along the lines of a late 1700s plane innovation being several hundred years too late, and then you told me about how you have a degree.

That was funny - not showing anyone something from a portfolio, but telling us you have a degree. Sears had a "tire college", too.
 

D_W

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LoL! You are a funny little man.


>> I only work in oak, elm and scots pine, as I live in the 16th century most of the time and Follansbee is far too modern for me.

Other bijou types of woods are for carving. <<

This is the humorous bit.

You proceeded to bloviate about the virtue of riven wood over all sawn wood and then I tracked down a few of your posts showing wood that I wouldn't dream of using to make planes.

You did tell us about your degree a couple of times in "I should know, I have a degree in it" style.



yes, sit down everyone. Here comes someone with a degree.
 

Jacob

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Did Krenov do much besides his little tobacco cabinets? Chairs tables and the likes?
There are Krenov "inspired" tables on line, not very inspired.
Just looking at Tage Frid. On-line; I did have a book but seem to have lost it.
His stools resemble the trad Irish "Tuam" chair I might have a crack at one.
 

D_W

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His stools resemble ......

for some reason, in the age of the internet, this seems like a potentially risky read.

Krenov's life history is documented - at the very least, he built architectural models for a restaurant developer.

I'm a little bit interested in krenov at this point, not for the furniture or the planes, but the hendrix-like road paving going against the grain when the environment here was definitely going power tools.

There is a vacuum here for hand saws very early, and then a super fast decline for everything else around late 1940s. At the time krenov was making a push to do post-dimensioning work with hand tools, I guess it was pretty bold. he doesn't come across as the oppositional type, either, and I've never heard anyone say he rubbed them the wrong way in person. there are some other accomplished instructors who did professional work here who have left folks in their wake remarking about the outsized amount of arrogance vs. achievement.
 

Ttrees

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Did Krenov do much besides his little tobacco cabinets? Chairs tables and the likes?
There are Krenov "inspired" tables on line, not very inspired.
Just looking at Tage Frid. On-line; I did have a book but seem to have lost it.
His stools resemble the trad Irish "Tuam" chair I might have a crack at one.
Was wondering what you'd think of that.
Quite like marmite but I kinda like it... well for the most part.
 

TRITON

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most of the woodworking (the volume, not time duration) was done with power tools?
Well i dont think that really detracts or means anything specifically. I worked with a bloke who turned out lovely furniture and only had 3 not too sharp chisels and a Chinese specials plane. We used machines for the majority of the work pretty much like most makers. But all his hand work was done on cheap tools.

I'm more than sure your hand made chisels weren't brought up to temperature by tucking them under your arm or down the front of your trousers :LOL: 😜 ;)

His stools resemble the trad Irish "Tuam" chair I might have a crack at one.
Go for it.
I did something not to dissimilar in spalted beech(Heavier legs and a wider back.) Sold well to an interior designer.
 
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Devmeister

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I think we can all agree that the success of any design breaks down into three distinct immediate areas.

1). The execution of technical skills. How it’s made and from what.

2). The application of sound design skills and adherence to a desigm genra.

3). Ones own personal taste.

I find cutting dovetails easy. The design is my challenge. What makes a design a excellent design? There are guidelines.

I personally don’t like Veritas planes. Until this thread I didn’t know why…. now I do. Inappropriate mixing of straight lines and curves.

we have heard about the use of the golden triangle to set height and width proportions. A design rule that dated back to the greeks.

Stradivarius is famous for his violins yet he never worked to a dimensional system. Metric for example didn’t show up til 400 years after his death. He used something called an arhchitype. A set of rules for working with geometric figures. No wonder there are no curve/staight line violations in his designs.

We find ourselves today struggling with this concept while having to wade thru all of the industry tool review news and hard sellers while being starved for the help we need to understand the design problem itself.
 

Devmeister

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Some of you said you had a look at some of Krenov’s work and said you weren’t inspired.

Why?

when you get that gut feeling of not being inspired … of not liking something…. I think it is to our own personal development to understand why we feel that way.

Don’t think your alone. Worse yet, what if you make the same mistake on your own work? You deserve to know if a design principle has been violated.

Its been my experience that this little guy feeling that has no apparent explanation is often a design rule violation.
 

Devmeister

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As an another example take the design of a bar or pub fitment. The successful designer will use colors and materials known to drop ones inhibitions.

You go to the pub for a quick beer after work and wind up stumbling home at midnight. It’s not entirely your fault. You unknowingly have been played.

Many SUV autos today all resemble jelly beans on wheels. Very un-inspiring.

This is the importance of good design and I respect those who have mastered it.
 
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