Chinese Woodworking: books and resources from around the web


lubanjing chinese carpenters manual

Chinese Woodworking: Stock Preparation

This is a nice overview of materials preparation that was posted in the forums at Fine Woodworking.

“In some way it is lucky that we met Liu Shifu at the end of his career: early in his career a Chinese Shifu will hardly ever allow outsiders to watch them work, not to mention photograph. In fact, Liu Shifu was very interested in the prospect that his life’s work could find a forum in the United States. Stock preparation starts with the equivalent to a broad ax which, with enough practice, get’s you fairly close to the final dimensions of the board.”


Books on Chinese Woodworking with good diagrams

There are a lot of books on Chinese antiques out there, most of which we have on our amazon list already.  And not to boast but I do think this list is about as complete as it gets. However, I find these ones have the most complete details in terms of specific diagrams of joinery and construction.

Chinese Domestic Furniture in Photographs and Measured Drawings (Dover Books on Furniture)

Amazing that this book was written in 1944 and today still remains ones of the most popular books on Chinese woodworking. The detailed drawings are stunning and this one is a no brainer for any connoisseur. I would say this is considered to be one of the classics.

Carpentry and Building in Late Imperial China: A Study of the Fifteenth-Century Carpenter’s Manual Lu Ban Jing

Another classic, this is essentially a partial translation of the Fifteenth-Century Carpenter’s Manual the “Lu Ban Jing.”  A lot of topics covered here – not just construction. The image above is from this book.

Google books has a fairly comprehensive preview of the book here.







Ming Inspiration

Ming Inspiration from The Carpentry Way blog, is a 50 post series of absolutely ridiculously geeky and in-depth explorations of one carpenters journey to complete a Ming inspired table for his customer. Touching on historical background, design, materials, joinery and construction, this sort of detail oriented study is exactly the sort of thing I appreciate. The amount of information here is really amazing and I have not even made it through the entire series yet.

Ming Inspiration:


Chinese Joinery

Some interesting diagrams and images here illustrating various approaches to Chinese Joinery.

Read the Full article:

PDF Backup (for broken links): Chinese Joinery – Sideboard Example 1 and Chinese Joinery 3 – Table Joinery and Chinese Joinery 2 – Chair Joinery


Related Books & Reading

Classical Chinese FurnitureClassical Chinese FurnitureIts symmetry so delights the eye that Classic Chinese furniture-whether genuine Ming dynasty masterpieces or well made reproductions - possesses a tim... Read More >
The History & Mystery of Chinese DrywallThe History & Mystery of Chinese DrywallWe will look at the possibilities of what originally caused the defective drywall, try to determine how much culpability China had in creating the pro... Read More >
Every Grain of Rice: A Taste of Our Chinese Childhood in AmericaEvery Grain of Rice: A Taste of Our Chinese Childhood in AmericaFried Green Tomatoes with Flank Steak. Pan-Fried Prawns in Ketchup Sauce. “Stand Back” Chicken. Turkey Jook. Sticky Rice with Sausage and Taro Roo... Read More >

2 Comment

  1. Rasmus says:

    What are the books refered to in the book section? The pictures doesn’t show up for me.

  2. Fixed! Apologies. Thanks for pointing this out!

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