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Master Japanese Woodworkers on YouTube

YouTube is amazing. There are thousands of creative people sharing and learning from one another online. It’s shocking when you realize that YouTube has only been around for five years. As I find interesting YouTube channels and woodworking videos I will share them here so that others might be inspired on their creative journey as well.

This is a remarkable time to be a craftsman. The opportunities for inspiration and education have never been so accessible.

It’s truly a revolution that people from all over the world are presenting a wide variety of interesting and unique skills, absolutely free for anyone to watch online.

Today’s featured YouTube channel Rakuou001 is from Japan. I have returned to watch this collection of woodworking videos time and time again. The work produced in this small shop is as good as any I have ever seen. I really like the simplicity of their sparse and elegant designs. Watching how they flawlessly execute their traditional Japanese woodworking joinery inspires me to continue to learn and become a more skilled woodworker.

JAPANESE WOODWORKING: Carefully crafted wood components for fine Japanese furniture.

The multiple generations of men and women working in these woodworking videos are obviously highly skilled. They do precision work with hand tools but also use high performance power tools to move the process along. I can only imagine the amount of Japanese woodworking knowledge and information that has been passed down through the generations in this small workshop. Below are three selected videos from their channel. Watch a dozen more videos on Japanese woodworking  on Rauou001’s YouTube page. I have watched all of the videos, some several times, and found them all fascinating. Please let me know what you think of these woodworking videos. And if you discover other interesting woodworking videos, please share a link in the comments below if you like. I’d be interested in seeing what you have found.

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8 Responses to Master Japanese Woodworkers on YouTube

  1. Todd January 5, 2012 at 1:20 am #

    It’s always nice to see work of others around the world to give you an alternate angle on styles and techniques. I really like watching this Italian guy on YouTube I think he’s worthy of a feature on your page. You can check him out here http://www.youtube.com/user/julioyaldonza I really like his stuff on mortise and tenon.


  2. AskWoodMan January 20, 2012 at 4:10 pm #


    I forgot to thank you for the youtube link. Julio Aldonzo looks pretty interesting. I am so busy writing back and forth on YouTube that I forget about the website sometimes. Thanks again.

  3. Andrew Sparks January 25, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    Their attitude to safety equipment seems to be rather relaxed. In the second vid that is a foot in a sock (!!!) right next to the chainsaw roughing off the top edge of the tabletop.
    Didn’t see too much in the way of eye & ear pro either

  4. AskWoodman January 26, 2012 at 12:26 am #

    Hi Andy The guy operating the chainsaw in his stocking feet seems to be shop’s master craftsman. His tool and machine handling skills are really impressive so I would bet he still has his toes. Maybe it was bravado to eschew basic safety for the camera. Who knows? I need to post the Japanese guy hewing a log with a broad ax while standing on top of it barefoot. Unbelievable. But I believe in people’s right to be …..not smart about certain things as long as they are the recipient of the consequences. I wear long sleeved shirts while I work and have had many fearful emails about their dangers. I don’t feel it is, and I encourage them not to wear long sleeved shirts if they are fearful. I actually feel the shirt tail is more likely to be grabbed so I then recommend they wear no shirt at all while working. Then I feel bad because I don’t like telling people how to live. Allan

  5. andy_sparks January 26, 2012 at 3:37 am #

    It is the classic tension between tradition, professional pride and risk management isn’t it.
    How much does feel and skill weigh up against protective gear.
    I am not religious about it but chainsaws are very unforgiving.
    For the rest I have to say I *really* enjoy your site and your thoughtful approach to your craft. Your investment of time and energy in your writing and videos is creating a following of virtual apprentices all over the world.

  6. AskWoodman February 1, 2012 at 10:04 am #

    Sorry for the lateness of this reply, but messages here get lost in the email avalanche. Trying to set up some smart mailboxes to keep things organized. The first lines of your comment are really spot on. Don’t be surprised if you see me use them in the future. When I did a lot of wood turning I put in many hours with a chain saw. Fatigue while using one was the most dangerous thing about using them in my opinion. A momentary lapse where your arms relax with legs and feet right in the way. There is sophisticated protective clothing for chain saw work, but I seldom see people use it. I have not run a chain saw in years, and now even the smell of the 2-cycle engine fumes makes me a little sick to my stomach. Thanks for writing and know you can always write to me at gmail.

  7. Bud February 22, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

    I have wood kitchen cabinets that are several years old. They are in good shape and I was told that they are of good quality. They have a build up of I guess grease and dirt around the handle areas. I would like to clean the entire cabinets up and then apply tung oil or waterlox that i saw on your video. Do you have a better way of doing the job? Also what would be a good product to first clean the cabinets before apply the tung oil or waterlox>

  8. AskWoodman February 22, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

    Hi Bud, Clean the cabinets with warm water and a concentrated dose of Simple Green All Purpose Cleaner. It is a grease cutting and cleaning power house that is not toxic. Then let them dry thoroughly and do an ever so light hand sanding with 320 sandpaper to knock the raised grain off and etch the surface for Waterlox Original Medium Sheen (don’t use their satin). Pure tung oil is what I call a “hippie finish” in that it is just wiping oil that be nothing more than a sticky mess grime attractor that won’t dry and form a protective skin. Waterlox has the drying agents and hardening resins already added. Don’t use rags with lint. If you need to use a rag, use a panty hose. Use a good quality foam brush or a good China bristle brush like a Purdy. Don’t use steel wool or tack clothes because they can contaminate your surface. Clean the surface prior to applying the finish really well with a vacuum and soft brush to remove all little particles that might get trapped in the finish.

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