Last week I took some time to build a nice smoothing plane. It turned out well, and I feel that, in time, we will become close friends.
“I began to think of the plane as being the cabinetmaker’s violin; the instrument that sets the tone of the music in an orchestra. For me, now, it is the tool, in the sense that I enjoy planing the wood with a true plane more perhaps than any other aspect of working. Well, I like also to carve with a knife, and I enjoy working with sharp chisels or a nicely shaped spokeshave, but planing is something special – like the music of the violin.
When I think about a plane, I am thinking about the fine points. That is, how well it is made, how much work it will do for you, and how much enjoyment it will give. I make my own planes – of fine wood and fine steel – not out of nostalgia for bygone days, but because I think that if you have the finest planes, if you have succeeded in making yourself some really fine tools, it does prompt you to work more carefully. Such tools spare energy, they save time for you, and I believe that they allow you to work more joyfully to exceed the performances that you have done before.”
– James Krenov, A Cabinetmaker’s notebook