Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Two Asian Woodworking Videos

The first is a two part series on making a fenced rabbet plane remarkably like the French planes in Roubo.  It is in Chinese, which I don't understand, but I bet one could make this plane without understanding the language.  I also love his work holding.
It turns out he has a channel, and there are several videos with different projects on it.
The second is in Japanese.  I don't understand this language, either.

I have been experimenting with the burnt wood finish inRaney's article in the April issue of Popular Woodworking. I was interested in watching the Japanese do it. I think they use cedar, and they use a tool very much like a pollissoir.


  1. Great videos. I believe the tool is called an uzukuri. I've been experimenting with it sans the charring.
    You can buy them through Japan Woodworker here in the states.

    1. Hi Greg! Thanks for the comment. I was thinking about your experience when I saw this, but I was too lazy to look up the link on your blog. Thanks for that. I think some experimenting with those is in order!

    2. Hey Brian,

      So cool that someone besides me and Schwarz is trying out the blackening. I'm really really fond of it, and there's a whole range of degrees and types of burn you cal an get.

      Just one note - generally the Japanese 'polissoir' tool is a softer bristled brush than the rush or straw Roubo recommended, and it's usually used with a very mild abrasive (powdered charcoal is the abrasive I've seen referenced most often). I'm also fairly sure the same tool is sometimes used in Ursushi work as well.

      Try a lighter burn on some mahogany or non steamed walnut sometime. It's hard to photograph, but it gives a really subtle and stunning effect with the coloring of the underlying wood showing through. Put a decent film finish (I like shellac for this, but a polished wax works as well) and the chatoyance effects can be positively spectacular.

    3. Hi Raney, thanks for the tips. Looking around on the internet for info on this brings up lots of different methods and results. I like it in the fact that getting a truly black finish without paint seems to be evasive, and this one really is black.

      I would like to use it for part of a desk build I am working on, and think it would make parts of that look really cool. I think I have a bit more testing to do before I take my torch to it, though!

  2. I've been following that first fellow. There are english translated versions of his videos on this guy's channel

    He's got some great stuff...making jack planes, rabbet planes, picture frames. Now he's working on a stool.

    1. Hi Paul,

      Thanks for the link. I really like this guy's approach. It seems he is much less into fancy tools than he is in technique, and just getting it done.

      And I love that his only vise is a clamp-to-the-table metalworking vise.

    2. I enjoy the rough and ready aspect of it too. For too long, I was afraid of getting into woodworking because I didn't have machines, a nice bench, or even decent hand tools. If I'd seen this guy, (who's a lot like Paul Sellers) I think I could have gotten started sooner.

  3. Hi Brian,

    The second video is in Korean, so I unfortunately can't help much...

  4. Thanks for sharing the videos with us. It is really fascinating to see how other cultures do it and there are times, they pass their ways to the next generation, too.