A web tour to carpenters in China

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Forum topic by mafe posted 07-03-2011 12:39 AM 4529 views 3 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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13188 posts in 4167 days

07-03-2011 12:39 AM

Topic tags/keywords: chinese tools chinese wood working

A web tour to carpenters in China
or simply a surf on wood stuff shared with buddies

Before you start I must warn, there were no meaning behind this, just pre curiosity after reading some books about Japanese wood working and realizing some of its roots in China.
On this link you can see different workers, like the barrel maker and a guy using a frame saw.

Notice the beautiful handles on his tool totes, wonderful plane and the frame saw.

Pushing the plane and frame saws on the wall, this could almost be Scandinavia.

I love this simple workbench.
Funny we never see hammers, it seems the axe is the hammer.

Looks like it…

A little inspiration to the box makers.

The Chinese ink line, notice how simple, I believe that the Japanese say theirs are so ornamented because it comes from China.


Cool tool box, and guide to making a simple work bench.

Wonderful tools, maker of comes.

More tools.

Finally a carpenters tools together.


This image keeps coming up wonder if this could be the starter toolbox for the Chinese worker.

Hope this could be inspiring to others (I can’t be the only curious man on the planet).

Best thoughts,


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

24 replies so far

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4751 days

#1 posted 07-03-2011 12:44 AM

Mad, thanks for the tour.

View pierce85's profile


508 posts in 3640 days

#2 posted 07-03-2011 01:00 AM

Very cool, Mads. Thanks for posting this.

View saddletramp's profile


1180 posts in 3716 days

#3 posted 07-03-2011 01:01 AM

Mads, How could they possibly build anything, I didn’t see even one machine!! ;^))

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5175 days

#4 posted 07-03-2011 01:01 AM

Interesting. I would not mind playing around with a few of those tools…

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 3733 days

#5 posted 07-03-2011 01:42 AM

I thinks this is a great lesson to be learned. With the right skills and the right tools great things can be accomplished. Very few tools are needed, but the skills are enough to occupy several lifetimes…as it should be.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View djwong's profile


176 posts in 4298 days

#6 posted 07-03-2011 01:59 AM

Thanks for posting this. There is so little information commonly available about chinese woodworking.

-- David W. Cupertino, CA

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4193 days

#7 posted 07-03-2011 03:28 AM

thank´s Mads :-)

take care

View SgtSnafu's profile


960 posts in 4349 days

#8 posted 07-03-2011 04:23 AM

This was a very interesting, and informative. I have always admired the Chinese methods, and find them fascinating.

Thank you Mads for the tour…

-- Scotty - aka... SgtSnafu - Randleman NC

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 4992 days

#9 posted 07-03-2011 05:02 AM

Seeing those kits is interesting to me. I don’t think they are starter kits, I think they are complete kits ( well, just my opinion). Here’s why.

I recently shifted my location for some months. Since I could not carry very much and the place I was going to was remote, I brought a few tools with me ( chisels, mallet and a block plane is all I could fit).

When I arrived at the new location, I was interested in completing my toolkit so that I could make some things while I was there but I also had no use of powertools and didn’t want to repurchase all the tools I left behind, so I was looking for the minimum set of tools which could be used for just about any type of hand woodworking.

The kit which the Chinese have put together resembles what ended up in my new toolkit a great deal. I think these may represent the fundamental set of essential tools with which nearly anything can be made.
I believe that many carpenters, like bodgers, would travel to their work and own their own tools, so the fewer tools, the easier it was to travel, not to mention that owning a lot of tools was probably cost prohibitive.

The only thing I added were a few clamps ( however, it is possible that with the other tools a workbench could be made and some sort of clamping system used which didn’t require a pre-made clamp) and a drawknife – but I do see a spokeshave in one of the kits.

The idea of what is the minimum set of tools with which all other tools could be built is a fascinating mind exercise for me, which I’ve had to ponder quite a bit recently. I doubt I am the first to have every thought about this!

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


20802 posts in 4754 days

#10 posted 07-03-2011 06:48 AM

Interesting post Mads. They should know something about WW considering they were doing it 5,000 years ago. Plenty of time to get it figured out ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View devann's profile


2260 posts in 3770 days

#11 posted 07-03-2011 07:11 AM

Very Nice Mads. Thanks for the post, I liked it.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3934 days

#12 posted 07-03-2011 10:36 AM

Very interesting

a great tour Mads


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2080 posts in 3718 days

#13 posted 07-03-2011 10:46 AM

Cool stuff, mads. I saw a hand-carved oriental piece (a fold-out bar with many compartments) last week that amazed me to think how skilled and how much time (and patience) was required to make it.

Like saddletramp said, the lack of machinery is shocking. In the “school” picture (and others with people working), the other lack of seems to be anything recognizable as a project in construction or completion anywhere in sight. Are they making dimensional lumber ? or what ?

Also, fire extinguisher placement does not appear to be to code, either. ;=)

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View Schwieb's profile


1916 posts in 4539 days

#14 posted 07-03-2011 01:44 PM

It has always fascinated me to observe how similar problems of everyday life are solved in different cultures. Sometimes these ways are familiar to us and often they are quite different

Thanks Mads

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3945 days

#15 posted 07-03-2011 01:54 PM

Mads, I appreciate this. I’m going to make it a favorite so I can get back to it.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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