As someone who has become known for searching out all kinds of free woodworking plans from the dark recesses of the internet, I have (of course) been asked multiple times if I can find physical plans for Ishitiani Furtniture. But can you find free Ishitani furniture plans online? Can you find ANY Ishitani furniture plans online? This is what I want to tackle in this article, so that I don’t have to answer this question any more 🙂
Internet Based Ishitani Furniture Plans
When you first search online for Ishitani furniture plans, it may seem that these type of woodworking plans are freely available. We got people like your boy ‘Samurai Carpenter’ down below exclaiming they have some about how to make an Ishitani chair, however you will quickly find it is all just a sham. They are simply linking out to Ishitani YouTube videos they don’t own. These people are known as the woodworking plan shills 🙂
And it doesn’t stop at the Samurai Carpenter, there are many more like this. They will tell you they have Ishitani plans, but in fact they do not! They are just trying to bait you into buying whatever scammy looking woodworking project they are selling at that moment. This reminds me of the dark days of the internet. And again, this is the whole reason I write these articles. I want to act as almost a public service for woodworkers, to sort through the crap so they don’t have to 🙂
There is a very good reason why there are no real Ishitani woodworking plans out there on the net, more on that in the next section….
YouTube Based Ishitani Plans
The whole reason that Ishitani plans are hard to find is that the origins of Ishitani furniture are on YouTube. Ishitani Furniture is a YouTube channel that has grown quite a following (over half a million at the time of writing). It is a VLOG style channel showing the daily life of a made to order furniture woodworker in Japan. There is no real narration, cut lists or the like. But the process of each project is shown in great detail in each video. There are no physical plans offered in these videos, and even if they were, they would probably be in Japanese. Below is a recent example of a Shikaku chair made on the channel. This is a twenty-two minute long video showing the whole process this furniture maker went through to make this Japanese chair.
How Can We Learn More About Ishitani Furniture?
The question now is how can we learn more about Ishitani furniture if there are only practical videos with no narration or physical plans. I would say that an experienced woodworker would be able to use these videos as a great inspiration for making similar Japanese style furniture. However, I wouldn’t recommend this approach for a novice just getting into woodworking. Unless you don’t mind getting a less than perfect end result 🙂
Luckily, there are some awesome woodworking forums out there where experienced woodworkers have broken down some of the Ishitani furniture videos and offered their own insight. These discussions can be invaluable for learning more about this type of furniture. HERE is a great one over at Woodwork Forums about a Kigumi table. This is an amazing post showing many screenshots from the original video and talking about how to reproduce.
I am really grateful that others in the woodworking community take the time to break down some of these projects and help more of us understand how we might go about making our own versions.
My final piece of advice is to go to the official Ishitani blog, which can also give insight to those wanting to make this furniture. Although there are not full plans, the blog does have some photos of the projects made with short text descriptions. Although these are in Japanese, the wonders of Google translate allow you to quickly get the text in English. Although not full transcripts of exactly what to do, they do offer some hints for anyone interested in Ishitani furniture.
Hopefully, this article can show you how hard it can be to get good quality woodworking plans for free on the internet. This is why I prefer to save myself some time and buy packs of woodworking plans. Then when I want to make something, I simply need to spend a few minutes fingering through my plans rather than hours scouring the internet 🙂 If you want to check out the woodworking plan pack I currently use, you can click HERE to go to their official website.