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Happy Birthday James Kernov


October 31 marks what would have been the 100th birthday of James Krenov. A master woodworker, author, and teacher, Krenov continues to inspire furniture makers with his regard for both material and craftsmanship. Krenov’s cabinets are recognizable for their long, slender legs and hand-carved elements. His designs were often driven by the grain in a certain piece of wood, particularly those used in the legs and cabinet doors. Krenov also made his own wooden handplanes, continuing to do so by feel when his eyesight failed him. He founded the fine woodworking program at California’s College of the Redwoods and authored the groundbreaking A Cabinetmaker’s Notebook, still considered one of the premier books on the craft. Krenov passed away on September 9, 2009 at the age of 88. Learn more about Krenov, his signature style, and his lasting influence from The Krenov Foundation, www.thekrenovfoundation.org.

Reprinted with permission from

Woodcraft Magazine

Shop Class uses and abuses James Kernov inspired sawhorses around the shop. They are strong, light weight, and they stack together. You can stack your work pieces not only on top, but also on the stretchers.


Shop Class’s advanced class has used the Kernov designed sawhorse as the student project.


Personally, I have found inspiration from studying Kernov’s cabinets, especially how he handled pulls. On most cabinets the pulls appear to be an afterthought. His were a design element or incorporated into the construction.

Rest in peace.

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