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Few writers or teachers can be given credit for influencing an entire generation. That takes someone special, in the right place at the right time. James Krenov made a generation of woodworkers stop and think about their work, their tools and their material. After Krenov’s first book, A Cabinetmaker’s Notebook appeared, we all looked at these things a little differently. James Krenov died Wednesday evening in Fort Bragg, California.

His legacy will live on for several generations of woodworkers, due to his involvement with the Fine Woodworking program at the College of the Redwoods. The program was founded in 1981 specifically to give Krenov a place to teach his philosophy and methods. Hundreds of woodworkers have passed through the school, as will hundreds more in the years to come.

Krenov was just short of his 89th birthday, and funeral services will be private. His family asks that those wishing to make contributions in his donate to The James Krenov Scholarship Fund at the College of the
. The man will be missed, but his influence will carry on.

–Robert. W. Lang

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  • Rob Porcaro


    I did not want this notice of the passing of this man who has meant so much to so many woodworkers to be left without comment, so I pasted below an excerpt from my small tribute to JK.

    "There is a beautiful and profound life that harbors in the wood we love. There is also a special life in the little objects we make. For me, as for so many woodworkers, an important part of that vitality comes from the enduring spiritual contribution of James Krenov. I am very grateful. Farewell JK, long live your spirit."

    Rob P.

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