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Summer Beam Books

Making & Mastering Wood Planes (Revised Edition), By David Finck Foreword by James Krenov, Lost Art Press Book

Making & Mastering Wood Planes (Revised Edition), By David Finck Foreword by James Krenov, Lost Art Press Book

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Making & Mastering Wood Planes (Revised Edition)

By David Finck
Foreword by James Krenov

No matter what sort of handplane you use, “Making & Mastering Wood Planes” is perhaps the best guide available to understanding, tuning and using these tools at a high level.

Written by a graduate of the College of the Redwoods (now The Krenov School), “Making & Mastering Wood Planes” is ostensibly about the laminated handplanes that James Krenov made famous in the 20th century. But author David Finck decided to probe far deeper into the topic – so much so that this book is actually an excellent primer on handwork itself.

It begins with a discussion of wood as a material – both for making a plane and for working it with a plane. Then he delves into the basic tools and techniques one needs to begin making a plane and making furniture. And the reader is instructed on how to tune up a metal plane, plus how to grind and sharpen its iron before building a laminated wooden plane.

The building of planes is, of course, covered in immense detail. Even though laminated planes are simpler than traditional wooden planes, there are many fine points to understand and master. Most helpful is the section on troubleshooting a wooden plane and the steps required to get it back in perfect tune. 

Finck then proceeds to discuss how to use planes to dress the edges, faces and ends of boards, plus he addresses a variety of specialty techniques – planing thin stock, shooting ends, planing large surfaces and curved edges.

Finally, Finck covers scraping, both with a cabinet scraper and scraper planes.

“Making & Mastering Wood Planes” is in its fifth printing and has sold thousands of copies worldwide. When the author considered letting it go out of print, we offered to keep it available. We also sought to upgrade the book’s mechanical characteristics. The book’s pages are sewn for durability. The paper is slightly thicker and whiter. We upgraded the binding to a hardback. And we moved production from overseas to the United States.

This book has been in our personal library for almost 20 years – we wore out our first copy. And now we are pleased to offer it to you under the Lost Art Press imprint.

About the Author

It’s mid-July and David Finck has just finished reading his maternal grandmother’s memoir. The youngest of 13 children, she grew up in Czarist Russia and was a pianist and top student at St. Petersburg State Conservatory. She gave recitals to Czar Nicholas II and Czarina Alexandra, hung out in the Winter Palace, met Rasputin and walked hand-in-hand with Grand Duchess Anastasia.

“It’s stunning,” he says.

David’s aunt, a gerontologist, helped write the first-person memoir. It reads like historical fiction, David says. Which is interesting, because after spending a couple hours talking with David, and seeing the circles and ties to generations past, present and future, one could almost say the same about his life, too.

Many know David as author of “Making & Mastering Wood Planes,” a classic in woodworking circles first published by Sterling and now sold under the Lost Art Press imprint. But since David first wrote that book he finds himself in a different place entirely, making violins and violas beloved by musicians. He talks a lot about luck but between his words is a lot of time, talent and skill. It’s a story that begins with his grandparents and now rests with his daughters. It’s about paths chosen and paths neglected, finishing what was left behind and following passions, all interconnecting to form a beautiful tale.

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