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Author Topic: Japanese joinery  (Read 6388 times)

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Offline StorminN

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Japanese joinery
« on: April 18, 2008, 11:19:55 PM »
Hi guys,

I just got back from a trip to Japan... saw some cool stuff over there, including some amazing joinery. I have never looked at the Japanese stuff in detail before, so I was a little surprised to not see any knee braces! We visited some sites in Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara... including what they say is the largest wooden structure in the world, the Todai-Ji Buddhist temple in Nara. For a sense of scale, check out of the size of the people in the doorways in the pic. Some of the buildings we saw are 1,100+ years old... and they are wooden!

Here's some pics, if you guys are interested, I have a few more...

-Norm.














Happiness... is a sharp saw.

Offline bigshow

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Re: Japanese joinery
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2008, 12:39:19 PM »
sure can see where Greene and Greene came from....
I never try anything, I just do it.

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Japanese joinery
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2008, 08:40:37 AM »
Japan is one of those places I would like to live for a while.  That joinery is beautiful. :)
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline ARKANSAWYER

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Re: Japanese joinery
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2008, 07:28:53 PM »

  Yep they have some cool buildings.  No knee braces so the buildings can rock when the ground shakes.  Large over hangs to keep it dry so not much wall rot.  But most important is they have pride in workmanship and are all about detail.  They get off on how fine a shaving they can make with a hand plane.
ARKANSAWYER

Offline StorminN

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Re: Japanese joinery
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2008, 06:18:05 PM »
But most important is they have pride in workmanship and are all about detail.

You got that right, Arky! Lots of attention to detail in Japan... everything is orderly and has its place. Even the dirt work they do on construction sites is amazingly neat... they look like zen gardens... I'll find the pics. It seems they approach building from a different perspective... buildings are built to last.

I saw lots of ceramic tile roofs, some metal roofs. I can't recall seeing any asphalt shingles. I did, however see some roofs on some temples in Nara that were made of built-up layers of bark... I asked and was told it was cypress bark. They look nice, but definitely not nearly as durable.

They have a different sense of time over there... one example: we were walking through a market in Kyoto and stumbled upon a cutlery shop... I recently bought some Japanese water stones here in the US, and I was curious to see what they had in Japan and what the costs were like. We went in and there was a guy honing knives and another couple of guys finishing them, stamping them with Kanji characters. We got to talking to the folks in the shop, and it turns out the guy honing the knife was the 18th generation of his family to make cutlery... the shop itself has been there for over 400 years... neat stuff.

-N.


Happiness... is a sharp saw.

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Japanese joinery
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2008, 09:18:30 PM »
So how old was the sharpening stone?

Oh, Duh...4.6 billion years. ::)
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline StorminN

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Re: Japanese joinery
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2008, 12:10:19 AM »
To tell you the truth, I don't know if he was using a natural stone or a synthetic stone... I didn't ask. Either way, I'm sure they've worn out their fair share of stones. Their King brand stones, like 6000 grit were about $45 US and their natural stones went up to about $400 US, FWIW...

-Norm.
Happiness... is a sharp saw.

Offline ARKANSAWYER

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Re: Japanese joinery
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2008, 02:35:25 PM »

  The best whet stones come from Arkansas down around Hot Springs.  I have several and both of my GrandPa's stones.  One of them is a black stone that belonged to his Pa and it was for the straight razor only.  I have one of the razors as well.

  Back in the 80's I took some photos of buildings in Japan and Korea.  They had to build to last as they had limited sticks and lots of labor.  Some of the temples were something else.  I really like their saws and wished I could get mine sharpened right.  The thing here is no one sharpens hand saws and the last time I took mine in the guy said the problem was it was cutting backward.   :o  I did not let him touch it.  I guess I am going to have to get some files and work it my self.
ARKANSAWYER

Offline Dodgy Loner

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Re: Japanese joinery
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2008, 04:02:46 PM »
I believe Daren sharpens western handsaws for a very reasonable price :).  Was the saw you wanted sharpened western or Japanese?
"There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey." -John Ruskin

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Offline ARKANSAWYER

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Re: Japanese joinery
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2008, 07:39:35 PM »

  It is a Japanese saw and cuts on the pull.  I got another at an auction for cutting round logs.  It is a really cool saw but needs some work.  Someone took a grinder to it from the looks.
ARKANSAWYER

Offline Raphael

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Re: Japanese joinery
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2008, 12:26:21 AM »
You can get the right files for your saws from www.japanwoodworker.com
But I'll warn you the selection of tools toys there can be addictive.  ;)
... he was middle aged,
and the truth hit him like a man with no parachute.
 --Godley & Creme

Stihl 066, MS 362 C-M & 24+ feet of Logosol M7 mill


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