|Review by Loren||posted 06-03-2008 06:19 PM||2674 views||2 times favorited||7 comments|
- Don't Know A Cabinetmaker's Notebook - Jame Krenov
- Brand: Don't Know | Category: Books
I read this book when I was just starting out. It is
a spiritual revelation in terms of what it means to
work with wood – and do it well.
It’s not a book of plans and there isn’t enough information
in here to teach you how to build anything if you don’t
have any skills.
This book (and Krenov’s others) are about Feelings. They
are about discovering the wood and discovering a design
process that produces furniture that is finely proportioned
and intimate – with every detail done with careful thought.
He talks about making and using planes, how to choose and
fabricate knife hinges, how to collect one majestic board at
a time and, eventually, when the wood is dry, split it in
half with a bandsaw and discover a bookmatched panel or
pair of doors that are the foundation for most of Krenov’s
He has said (I paraphrase) ,”if I screw up the doors I lose the
whole piece,” so he thinks it through thoroughly and weighs
his choices. Rips can be jointed and glued but a crosscut is
forever. If you cut a board too short you lose the potential…
so if you work in this style you have a strategy to keep your
options open as you go along.
Krenov wrote several books and I read most of them. I get them
mixed up in my mind though because they all have one voice
and cover much of the same territory.
He writes about machines. The bandsaw is his favorite, his most
used – and if you want to make solid wood furniture I concur
with him that a bandsaw is your most critical machine purchase.
When this book was written he lived in Sweden – over 30 years
ago now. He says he started out with just a bandsaw and a
jointer. Today I own one of the same jointers he used – the
little INCA 8” machine.
Today Krenov lives in Fort Bragg, California. He founded a woodworking
school up there. His eyesight has decayed and he doesn’t
make furniture anymore. These days he makes wooden hand
planes by feel.
This book made me fall in love with woodworking. It compelled
me to teach myself the foundations skills. If it were not for
Krenov I don’t know if I would have half the understanding I
do today of hand planes and the beauty of a hand-planed surface.
In the end all my woodworking started here. I give this book
my highest recommendation.