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Veritas Wooden Beading Tool and James Krenov Smoothing Plane

Veritas Wooden Beading Tool and James Krenov Smoothing Plane

In this clip, the seventh of the cabinetmaker’s toolchest project,  I begin smoothing the interior of the carcase panels in preparation of finish and glue.

I’m using my James Krenov smoothing plane for this job. He made this plane for me back in 2006 and it’s still one of my most prized possessions. I’m frequently asked about this plane -just when and where I use it. Having a number of choices when it comes to which plane to use where, I tend to keep this one for this exact job- the final smoothing before finish and glue.

I say smoothing but I think polishing may be a more accurate term. The blade has a heavy camber and I’m taking whisper thin shavings.  The feel of ‘wood on wood’ is wonderful and this cherry is finishing beautifully.  I’ll rub a few coats of oil/varnish on the interior panels and get ready for the glue up once complete.

The second detail covered in the clip is scratching beads in the panels. This is a decorative touch and one I enjoy using on just about everything I make. I find a hand scratched bead is an instant sign of hand work. The slight variations and fluctuations are impossible to achieve with a power tool. The bead, when scratched into a surface by hand, leaves a sign for generations to see that quietly states- ‘made by hand‘.  At least that is my intention and hope.

There are a few choices out there as far as beading tools go but this wooden model made by Veritas is still my personal favorite. I noticed they came out with an advanced version a couple of years ago but I still like the size and balance of this earlier model the best. Again, a wooden tool is such a nice feeling in hand and in use.

When you work wood with wooden tools there seems to be a friendliness about it. Krenov often wrote of this feeling, whether stated or written somewhere between the lines.  It’s hard for me to describe but, those of you reading will surely know what I’m talking about if you had the pleasure and the moment was there. Maybe it’s a secret? Maybe it’s one of those fleeting moments that quietly occurs in the solitude of the wood shop. When tool, material and maker find that sweet balance in the work-

The allure of the unplugged woodshop, these are a few of those moments.

Enjoy ~



Here are some links to a few of the products used in this video:


Lee Valley Plane Hammer

Veritas Wooden Beading Tool