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Rob Cosman Planing Technique

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hennebury

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View attachment 128014

View attachment 128013
You guys think you could make cabinets as well as Krenov? Well good on you.

He is only a God in your mind,
he's just another woodworker to me.


krenov.JPG
 

Devmeister

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There had been a lot of discussions about hand tools versus power tools.

I think one of the most significant contributions of Gustuv Stickley was not his furniture but rather his approach to making it. He came up with a balance of machine work and hand work. Let machines do what machines do best. Let hand tools do what hand tools do best.

I have and use machines. I am esp fond of my Wadkin PK saw and my Oliver shaper. But machines need set up and tooling. If I need a tad of speciality molding I may not have the knives. It might be faster and more prudent to knock it out using planes. A Stanley 45 or hollows and rounds.

The Wadkin saw is extremely capable of doing complex work.

In shaping gun stocks, I have found rasps and chisels to more of a go to. This is especially true for inletting items such as barrels and locks.

In doing drawers, I find hand cutting dovetails with chisels more convenient than fiddling with machines. On my workbench I wanted super accurate dog holes based on a shaker design. Here I used a vintage porter cable router and a quick jig. I could have done it by hand but it was quicker and more consistent to use the router.

When beginners get introduced to hand tools they think Stanley bench planes. And then it’s only a few standard culprits like a #4 or #5. They are blown away by the shear number of older speciality planes.

when you unplug to make money, the cost of the projects sky rockets. A set of two hollow and round planes by Bickford is almost 500 dollars. A total set is 36 planes! I bring this up as these planes are hand made to high quality.

So I fall back on what stickly said. I will use a machine if it’s the most prudent means to an end. But I will use hand tools if that is what the feature calls for.
 

pidgeonpost

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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).
I don't know much about Krenov. Came across one of his books in the local library in the early 70's and the simplicity of design struck a chord with me. I pretty much forgot about him until I noticed the book in a charity shop 2-3 years ago and bought it. The designs still appealed. I had some time on my hands while recovering from surgery, and very small quantity of nicely figured oak that had been moved around the workshop for 4-5 years, so I combined the two to make something 'in the style of'. Did it work? Mmmm...not quite. The heavily figured quarter-sawn oak somehow undermined the simplicity I'd hoped for. But I don't have to keep shunting that oak around anymore and as a hobbyist I enjoyed the exercise.
That particular piece by Krenov is uncharacteristically ugly in my opinion, but you know what they say about beauty.
 

Jorny

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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).
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.

I don't know that much about Krenov, haven't read his books. But that he worked for Malmsten says something about him. It is also woth to remember that Verkstadsskolan was a school were the students were prepared to work in the furniture industry and were expected both to be able to efficiently produce furniture, as well as understand design. Malmsten had a deep admiration for craft and artisanship, but he designed high quality furniture that still is produced industrially like the "Widemar chair" below. An image search carl malmsten - Ecosia - Images show more of his brilliance.


Stolab Chair-Widemar_TOP.jpg


Why do I talk about Malmsten? Just to point out that since the late 19th century, the lone craftsmen building and designing furniture have not been the ones influencing the design of furniture. The industrial revolution changed that. People like Malmsten understood that, probably Krenov as well. Krenov seems to have been content making cabinets as much for his own sake as for making money. He found customers that suited him. Being able to do that is admirable in itself. Malmsten on the other hand was a designer with strong principles and ideas, but he was in the end out to make beautiful everyday furniture for a broad audience.

All of these guys mentioned among woodworking enthusiasts are mostly famous for people reading Fine Woodworking. They have not influenced the wider world of furniture. What is striking is that someone like Tage Frid had skill for design (design is a skill that can be practiced, just like reading and writing, but it requires dedication and training). The modern gurus among hobbyist woodworkers seldom show any good furniture designs. And why you would choose a guru that make things that do not look good I do not understand.

It could be that they see something and think: "Wow! that is hard to make and takes a lot of skill to carry out!", and do not consider the design. Things that are made just to show of skill are usually not very good designs. It is a bit like endless guitar solos vs a really good song in rock music. Yngwie Malmsten vs Jimmy Page.
 
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Devmeister

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Here is a disconnect. Tha scandavian perspective. Scandavian furniture had its own unique style and one I admit I don’t understand it’s evolution.

But as passed thru the federalist period at the same time as the machine revolution, we saw it influence modern thinking with the work of Frank Loyde Wright, Stickley, Morris and others where we saw a diversion from ornate to more basic lines. Surely the shaker designs had an influence here as well. So how much of this new movement was influenced by the scandavian designs? There is no doubt that scandavian designs did ultimately have an effect on most modern designs. You can see it if you look for it.
 

Craig22

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So you walk about liking everything, and dont have an actual opinion of your own ? You feel you cant say 'I dont like that'
Sure we can appreciate the work that has went into something. I find that piece anemic.

If you look back I said that I found the cabinet that is the subject of this discussion shouty and not my cup of tea. How's that for an opinion. And no I don't say that everything from a maker is excellent. What I do appreciate is the philosophy that different makers apply. For example Kernov refused to make chairs, on the basis that all good chairs had already been designed. Whereas some makers embrace the chair, like another recently dead maker David Savage. Google David Savage Chair and look at the images.
 

J-G

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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.
I cannot let that pass without serious correction!! (Sorry Devmeister - It seems that I am attracted to your errors :unsure: )

Antonio Stradivari (A 'Stradivarius' is an instrument not the maker's name) died 18th Dec 1737 - add 400 years to that and you get 2137 - a year yet to come!!

Of course he worked to 'a dimensional system' !! - it wasn't 'The Metric System' which was introduced in Milan in 1803 (Antonio lived in Cremona just south of Milan) - 76 years after his death - but there were standard units of measure during his life and work. As far as 'length' was concerned, the smallest unit was the Atomo but he would have mostly worked in 'Diti', 'Punti', 'Oncia' (12 Punti), 'Piede' (12 Diti) [ foot ].

I have to presume that you mean 'Archetype' rather than 'arhchitype' which simply means what today (in woodworking) we might consider to be a 'Rod' or 'Stick'.
 
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TRITON

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If you look back I said that I found the cabinet that is the subject of this discussion shouty and not my cup of tea. How's that for an opinion. And no I don't say that everything from a maker is excellent. What I do appreciate is the philosophy that different makers apply. For example Kernov refused to make chairs, on the basis that all good chairs had already been designed. Whereas some makers embrace the chair, like another recently dead maker David Savage. Google David Savage Chair and look at the images.
I've got autism. Are you attacking me because of that ?.

No obviously not, but can you see how saying im picking on a dead furniture designer just because he's dead, rather than i find that individual piece of work to be horrible to my eyes.
And nobody is getting shouty. In forum terms THIS IS GETTING SHOUTY I and others if anything are being judgemental, and as designers and makers thats perfectly normal.

Are you his minder or something ?

I dont need to google D.Savage, im well aware of his work.
 

D_W

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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.

So, this is the kind of chisel that I make (some finish work left to do - but these chisels will pare with anything and can be malleted in cocobolo without issue if you can tolerate the handles.....but...
20220125_204054_copy_1694x438.jpg


I don't correlate anything of them with being necessary for good work. They only work slightly better than "good enough to be acceptable" chisels, and the difference between these and decent machine ground die forged chisels (machine ground meaning automated machine grinding, not "guy with machine") is really just discretion. They will leave you sharpening less often, but if a maker is a good maker and willing to sharpen their inexpensive chisels, I can't say there's an advantage (just like ikea furniture stores socks as well as any other, these chisels are made for the purpose of making and using them - the chisels are an end).

Long way of saying, I hope nothing I ever say comes across as expensive tools being important.

And to what you say, I will be giving a clinic locally here in the summer on fast sharpening. I'm fully aware that there will be a gaggle of fine makers and accomplished amateurs in the group who don't find a need for what I'm taking about - though they *want* to see hands on what they'll feel.

Good work comes from the standard of the maker - regardless of method. What I admire is folks like the guy you're mentioning who do mostly power tool work, but it doesn't creep in on moving them through things faster and cutting out hand work. That was a huge problem for me early on - and hand tools change what I make and how I make it.

As far as heat treatment- chili and a bic lighter, and then back of the pants rather than the front.

:)
 

D_W

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I've got autism. Are you attacking me because of that ?.

Probably me, too - but haven't been diagnosed (referred for it but never followed through). What relevance is that - as in, why do I think that's meaningful (because it is - this is a question answered by me and not something I'm suggesting you have to answer)?

The answer is, I don't really get it when folks get enamored with someone and then can't separate them from their doings. As in, I admire krenov for following his principles. I don't know that it makes him any more right than anyone else, and it doesn't make me like his designs any better. They're separate things.

If I met him in person (and I've been in this situation before), If he asked me what I preferred or if I liked something, I couldn't lie to him, I'd say "your philosophy resonates with me - I think harder and am more critical and more connected when the work is by hand. I don't favor any of your designs, but I don't think you should be offended by that, either".

I'd be willing to bet that a lot of folks who really paved the way on design with no compromise are also on the spectrum.

One thing that I like to do is badger someone if I send them something - please tell me your negative impressions. I don't need someone to tell me they like the chisel they got or kitchen knife, even if it's 90% of what they think. That doesn't make the next one better - tell me all you can about the 10% and see if you can scrape deep and get a little more.

If someone asks what I think, I only have one answer. It's a bit of a surprise sometimes just how much someone has in mind when you can convince them that it's OK to talk about the things they don't like, and it's OK for some of those things to be something you don't agree with and learn from others.
 

Jacob

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Was wondering what you'd think of that.
Quite like marmite but I kinda like it... well for the most part.

Interesting. The movie doesn't move - just a still photo!
My favourite book is Claudia Kinmonth - "Irish Country Furniture" she's on a vid here;



This is brilliant too I've got the whole 9 minutes not sure of I can show it I might drop him a line.

 
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Craig22

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I've got autism. Are you attacking me because of that ?.

No obviously not, but can you see how saying im picking on a dead furniture designer just because he's dead, rather than i find that individual piece of work to be horrible to my eyes.
And nobody is getting shouty. In forum terms THIS IS GETTING SHOUTY I and others if anything are being judgemental, and as designers and makers thats perfectly normal.

Are you his minder or something ?

I dont need to google D.Savage, im well aware of his work.

I was saying that I found the picture way back in this thread with the highly figured cabinet was shouty. Not you. Read my post again and you will see that.
 

Jacob

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Another Claudia Kinmonth article here:
 
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