I am still shaking a little… I was out of the office when a friend of me dropped of a wooden box. My friend is from China and had asked me, not knowing much about woodworking, what you do with itty bitty planes. Apperently he saw a set of little planes in China and thought they were over priced, untill I told him that they were not. Well he gave me this mini plane set… I feel pretty special!
There had to have been some excellence in toolmaking in China’s imperial era. We can judge by the 2000 year old museum furniture—still in perfect condition—that hand craftsmanship was once as close to perfection as it can get. Well, what you have for hand tools today are pictured below. The Mujingfang tool company produces the best hand tools domestically. I do have some Muji planes and chisels that work quite well. Still, nothing here compares to what the Japanese are turn...
When mentioning that Chinese woodworking does not use glue I always get the question how to edge-joint without glue. On a recent trip to Southern China I had the opportunity to see a very nice example on what it looks like. The Perl River Delta (roughly the triangle spanned by Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Macau) is quite pleasant in Winter but extremely hot and humid in Summer. Since electricity is quite expensive people there tend to use the AC orders of magnitude less than in the US. This pu...
So you think your shop is small and maybe your bench isn’t strudy enough? Check out these pics. My wife and oldest daughter recently traveled to China and took these pics for me. These are from a village in south west China near Burma and Tibet. It is a poor but touristy village. They actually stayed with this family for a couple of days. The villagers are ethnic minorities known for their weaving. This guy builds looms for tourists and locals. His wife taught my daughter how they weave...
So what is it, the ultimate handcut joint? The ultimate joint will require precision, flawless execution and many years of training. Many of us Western woodworkers would probably say the dovetail. Two weeks ago I had the chance to see one of the best executed examples of handcut dovetails I have ever encountered. It was in a side-area of the flower room of the Meixi village museum. Meixi was a small village in the Pearl river delta, today it is a suburb of Zhuhai, essentially the Northern ...
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