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Forum topic by Steamboat_Willie posted 09-22-2019 09:18 PM 6096 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Steamboat_Willie

38 posts in 3244 days


09-22-2019 09:18 PM

I stumbled upon this interesting hand tools woodworking video but have been unsuccessful in locating a set of plans or detailed drawings or instructions online for building one of these ancient ”Luban Stools”. This certainly looks like an interesting & fun project to put one’s basic hand tools skills to the test. Would anyone by chance have plans for it or have a link to the plans? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9VkboaL0Hs


8 replies so far

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OleGrump

581 posts in 1636 days


#1 posted 09-23-2019 03:50 PM

Willie,

Get a copy of Roy Underhill’s “The Woodwright’s Eclectic Workshop” from the library. In Chapter 4, there is a Danish folding stool which is made essentially the same way. There are enough instructions to allow you to make this kind of stool from Roy’s plans.
Roy got SO excited about the so called “Roubo Bookstand” you know that he couldn’t help making something like this.

-- OleGrump

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MrRon

6219 posts in 4535 days


#2 posted 09-23-2019 09:59 PM

With the thousands of dollars we have tied up in our shops, we still can’t produce anything as fine as “Grandpa” with his primitive tools. Makes me want to shut my shop for good.

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MrRon

6219 posts in 4535 days


#3 posted 09-24-2019 07:37 PM


I stumbled upon this interesting hand tools woodworking video but have been unsuccessful in locating a set of plans or detailed drawings or instructions online for building one of these ancient ”Luban Stools”. This certainly looks like an interesting & fun project to put one s basic hand tools skills to the test. Would anyone by chance have plans for it or have a link to the plans? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9VkboaL0Hs

- Steamboat_Willie


The difference between you (me) and “Grandpa” is he didn’t need a plan. I have watched many oriental woodworkers videos, and never saw anyone using a plan. I doubt any of those craftsmen made plans for others to follow.

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Oisin

3 posts in 299 days


#4 posted 02-12-2021 12:30 PM

Hi,

You can read something of Master Luban here – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lu_Ban

I came across references to his writings – I don’t think they could be called plans – in an article called “Traditional Master Carpenters’ Manuals in Taiwan” https://www.arct.cam.ac.uk/Downloads/ichs/vol-1-657-674-chiou.pdf which suggests that his and other Masters writings are still studied as part of a traditional craftsman’s apprenticeship – at least in Taiwan so presumably also on the mainland and probably extensively reproduced as part of said apprenticeship so the ‘plans’ are internalized and memorized over time.

Hope this helps,

Cheers,

Oisin

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PCDub

328 posts in 1535 days


#5 posted 02-15-2021 06:07 PM

hmmm, sorry but not clicking on links in a new member’s first post…

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Oisin

3 posts in 299 days


#6 posted 02-15-2021 06:45 PM

Hi,

I understand your caution ;-) However, there are a number of easy ways of verifying these and any other links e.g.

You could do a Google search with the info in my links e.g. Wikipedia AND Lu_Ban or Luban AND Traditional Master Carpenters’ Manuals in Taiwan and get to the links independently. Then you can choose to use the links or not, as you prefer.

Alternatively, and depending on your browser (I use Brave) you could probably right click on the links – there should be an option called Inspect or similar – and view the underlying data and make a decision as to whether they are genuine or not.

Incidentally, I’ve watched a number of Grandpa A Mu’s videos and in one (a bamboo rocking chair) he makes a simple sketch/plan before commencing.

Cheers,

Oisin

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Oisin

3 posts in 299 days


#7 posted 02-15-2021 06:52 PM

Hi again,

I copied this from finewoodworking.com site rather than post the link – hopefully it will be of interest… I’ve also seen Luban table plans (same as stool only larger) on Pinterest..

The classic 15th century Lu Ban Jing gives you dimensions of vernacular Chinese furniture including tables. Klaus Ruitenbeek’s translation of the Lu Ban Jing (Ruitenbeek, Klaus. Carpentry and Building in Late Imperial China: A Study of the 15th Century Carpenter’s Manual Lu Ban jing, London: E.J. Brill, 1993) is already a classic (with the appropriate price tag on the used book market).

I am no aware of any dimensional study of the ma ti, I guess that would be something any Chinese carpenter would just know how to do, and thus not worth writing home about (interestingly enough the Lu Ban Jing itself does not give you any information whatsoever on joinery either, and thus might be of relatively little value for contemporary woodworkers, I guess that’s another thing that the folks from the 15th Century Imperial Works assume you would just know. In fact Lu Ban, a scholar turned inventor/carpenter from 500 BC the Patron Saint of the Chinese carpenters, is quoted saying that he only uses measuring tools in order to teach others how to make furniture).

Ecke’s book (Ecke, G. Chinese Domestic Furniture [...], recent reprint by Dover Publications) gives you scalded measured drawings including the drawing of a few ma ti. You could scan these in (and please post your scans here).

All contemporary books related to Chinese furniture that I have seen are geared towards collectors and tend to be sparse on tangible information related to how to actually reproduce the furniture using contemporary methods. Your best bet would probably to take an apprenticeship with a guy in Guangzhou or thereabouts who copies the old masterpieces and works for a company that sells them as such….”

Cheers,

Oisin

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Johnny7

715 posts in 2382 days


#8 posted 02-15-2021 08:16 PM

Hi Oisin—welcome to the site.

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