Woodworking in Vietnam


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Cabinetmaker working on the streets of Hanoi. Workers representing many different professions - haircutting, flower arranging, casket building - also use the streets as their workshops.
In this fairly large shop in Hoi An, a dozen or so craftman work on various parts of a project. All work was done outdoors, as was the case with almost every shop I saw.

Planing panel. This shop in Hoi An was one of the few that I saw that used benches. It struck me that since everyone works squatting or sitting down, the best position for planing wood is sitting on the bench.


Don Ky
A cabinetmaker using the band saw. This band saw and a few old table saws were the only stationary power tools I saw.

This shop turns out dozens of different types of chairs, dressers and coffee tables. Everything is made to a highly stylized Chinese design and covered with carvings and mother of pearl inlay. These are the patterns that they use for tracing the profiles of the parts.

Raising a Panel
A cabinetmaker is planing a raised panel. The wood is clamped down by his right foot and he is planing away from himself. The plane has a dowel going through it so that he can push away and exert pressure with both hands and have his body directly behind the plane, thereby adding force.

Final assembly.

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