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post #21 of 42 Old 03-28-2019, 11:54 PM
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I was quite capable of cutting 5 micron sections for research purposes, day in and day out, for years.
Never "Pooping" out at 20. How rude. I had far better equipment that that. Power glass strops and all.
How are you at cutting 100nm sections with glass knives that last only 30 minutes?



The Japanese do not want to resaw what might be done in British Columbia.
That's odd because some simple milling would allow for greater void shipments than round wood.


They don't want precision milling to happen here to protect Japanese jobs.
I'm waiting for them to acknowlwedge that for dead stuff, wood moves.
Their sub millimeter measurements will change from day to night.


Fortunately, there's a growing appetite here to restrict raw log exports.
To do the precision milling as needs be, here at home. Won't be the first time.

Japan is not the only market.
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post #22 of 42 Old 03-29-2019, 09:04 AM
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Flatlander, I think it's GREAT you've clicked and noticed there IS a difference!!!!! I'll be short on time today and so will this as I want to address 2 people. Your indepth journey will open a LOT of why things happen with wood projects.

To start with, I've been in the trades (yes multiple and mastered according to definition BUT NOT to my inquisive/high standards) self emp'd for over 35 yrs. What I've ALWAYS said is ....EVERYONE in a trade needs to know the concept AND the material first prior applying to said trade....since here we're talking wood it's even more indepth as wood is like languages with multiple slangs/regional dialecs (excuse my spelling, I don't claim to be good at that) which can create barriers until learned then we realize they all mingle BUT have a seperate meaning/use/reaction/placement. Jay can help you the most for the in depth as he's cultured/based/learned with the bases/basics of WHY!!! YES, learn the why's (why this moves, reacts, endures, destroys) and it actually gets easier . You'll find more passion and love for what you do. READ over different threads and posts on WWT, you'll see in their writings the very few that actually have true deep compassion and knowledge. That's your masters of mastered.

Brian, trade barrier?????? I'm with Jay here....somethings overlooked/missing!!!! I'm finding I have that DEEP sense for correctness, I've been in the trades for over 35 yrs and it's VERY SAD it's getting more difficult to find someone who has a true understanding of their trade. I'm like the Japanese, IF YOU can't do it as I ask (that's a knowledge and correct procedure) than sell me the blank and I'll do it myself TO MY SPECS !!!! THAT'S why many countries/businesses are losing they're work........the other is if you get out of the "production/pattern box" companies can't comprehend and fail to produce.

I have a client that is in a specialty trade that has to have his machinery work done in Germany (I believe) for the consistant precision machinery and understanding of the metals and parts.

Sawing logs....LOL.... prior my sawmill I thought anyone could saw and a "sawyer" knew what he was doing......NOT !!!! I lost what should've been a very beautiful crotchwood in cherry. I carried and explained what/how I needed it sawn, went to pic it up and the pattern was lost...he didn't understand the grainage BUT he understood sawing production!!!!!

Out of time!!!!! Blessings to a beautiful learning journey !!!!
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post #23 of 42 Old 03-29-2019, 07:27 PM
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...I was quite capable of cutting 5 micron sections for research purposes, day in and day out, for years. Never "Pooping" out at 20. How rude...I had far better equipment that that.
Come on Brian...LOL... I think you could easily tell I was speaking of "pooped out 20" with a woodworking plane (in this case Japanese 鉋 Kanna)...not some other fancy tool from the lab...

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... Power glass strops and all. How are you at cutting 100 nm sections with glass knives that last only 30 minutes?
Actually I know full well (*with your background) you could (can) go a lot smaller that 5 with your knowledge and skill sets of wood science...I know, in the labs I've been in, work was done in nm with being rather large in size for many applications...

How "was I" at glass edges...???...My background work in Histology of various kinds was in a "lab support" role only...within the graduate program. The glass edge machine to make the knives was vintage, but I wasn't bad at it. Then again I could knapp and make glass knives...by hand...so was kind of "front loaded" with an arcane skill set to begin with...LOL...

making them, I was decent...using them...I could get by for "rough stuff" by imagine what your standards of consistency must have been probably exceeded my skill sets...???...I could use them well enough free hand to make decent slides...

30 minutes seems normal when speaking of glass edges before they "go bad."

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...The Japanese do not want to resaw what might be done in British Columbia. That's odd because some simple milling would allow for greater void shipments than round wood.
One...its not "simple milling" that's the point...nor is there anything "simple" about the kind of milling that is required...not by any stretch of the imagination when you get to this level of woodworking or the understanding of it...I actually have Japanese colleagues in BC that do their own milling and/or have mills they trust...Its the nature of the craft...and not all logs (many actually) never see a mill at all...

So, the point is, its better to ship the log to Japan for what they need and want to do with the wood...

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...They don't want precision milling to happen here to protect Japanese jobs...
Brian, I think your making statements without understanding the details of the facts in this context...

No...they don't want the milling done in North America...because the mills here (for the most part as I explained before) don't mill to the specification they want...Nor frankly that I want either 90% of the time or more...!!!

The Japanese, and I would point out, others also in the upper end of the woodworking professions don't get their needs met by many of the Sawyers/Mills here in North America. That is why folks like Tim, myself and many other started doing our own milling decades ago...

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...I'm waiting for them to acknowlwedge that for dead stuff, wood moves. Their sub millimeter measurements will change from day to night...
They don't need to "acknowledge" anything Brian......I find that a rather patronizing tone?

I would never take away your "science background" and its in-depth knowledge in regard to "wood science"...

Nevertheless, please don't pretend you know or understand the intricacies, wisdom and acumen of a 大工 (Master Daiku) no matter which woodworking discipline he/she might be working in. If you did, that comment would have never been written.

Their woodcraft erudition in Japan goes back (unbroken) for over 4000 years. There are working families of 大工 (Daiku - Carpenters) that have written and oral application histories (also unbroken) going back over 1000 years within just a single family of Artisan still in practice today...Why they measure to such small increments and wish to have logs milled to very exacting specifications...(or not milled at all but rather hewn - riven) is an understanding better...asked about...then made statements over...

Why a "sub-millimeter" increment of measure is vital to...規矩術 (Kiku-jutsu)...(rough "Western" translation would be "lay out")...has more to do with the context of..."aim small...miss small"...than whether wood moves overnight...That has nothing to do with it for the most part...in most (not all) applications...

If someone even has the most basic understanding of Asian layout modalities (Chinese, Korean, Japanese) or the reasoning behind it, they would then understand fully why a fraction of a millimeter is important...

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...Fortunately, there's a growing appetite here to restrict raw log exports.
To do the precision milling as needs be, here at home. Won't be the first time.
Yes, there is...which hurts "forest owner" and protects certain unions and labor forces members, but does nothing to address the "lack of skill" that is needed, nor the understanding of why "entire logs" are desired...

It also does not address (or stop) larger forestry production companies from Japan purchasing through shell corporations entire forests...a practice I don't condone, yet understand because "silly" protection legislation is passed to try and circumnavigate the purchase/transport of whole logs...Yet this is getting "too political" for my taste, and I will leave it at our understanding and perspectives are different on this topic...

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...Japan is not the only market...
Agreed...but the "free market" should be just that..."FREE!!!"...and not regulated to support (or deny) one over another...but that's again a political perspective I suppose...

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post #24 of 42 Old 03-29-2019, 10:39 PM
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In another life I am involved with patents, a lot of the history is very interesting, particularly Japanese history and their view of new methods.
In Japan during the Edo period, there was a tendency to abhor new things, a "Law for New Items" was proclaimed in the year 6 of the Kyoho Era (1721). The purpose of this law was described as "to ensure that absolutely no new types of products would be manufactured".
I may be mistaken but I feel this gave them time to actually appreciate what was known and to study those old methods and perfect them, which in some ways may have been contrary to the law.
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post #25 of 42 Old 03-29-2019, 11:39 PM
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In another life I am involved with patents, a lot of the history is very interesting, particularly Japanese history and their view of new methods.
In Japan during the Edo period, there was a tendency to abhor new things, a "Law for New Items" was proclaimed in the year 6 of the Kyoho Era (1721). The purpose of this law was described as "to ensure that absolutely no new types of products would be manufactured".
I may be mistaken but I feel this gave them time to actually appreciate what was known and to study those old methods and perfect them, which in some ways may have been contrary to the law.
My Stars...!!!...FrankC... ...You sneaky bugger...??!!!...Your a "nerd"...WOW!!!...

You just nailed it from my perspective (et al) as well...

This is a rather academic "social context" perspective, and not one all perhaps adhere to, but many do, and most of them have a much deeper knowledge and relationship with the Japanese...Well stated Man...!!!

Expanding on that shared perspective is the realities historically that the cultures of Japan archipelago and surrounding area is isolated and has been in many ways for thousands of years naturally. Combine this with an indigenous culture predisposed to "shun" outsiders, and you develop a culture matrix that can not only "self isolate" effectively within its normative culture, but this is then supported by the biome itself geographically...

Japan, is a people and a land of paradox. They move from "free trade" to "isolationists" and back to free trade. The collective "hubris" of the nation pushed them to attach Korean and China both. Successfully occupying these lands on more than one occasion and then in WWII the tried to dominate (rather ruthlessly) again the entire region. After their defeat as a nation in World War II there was, yet again, another collective paradigm shift within the country. This time...anything...that was "old" or "original" to Japan for some time was looked at with disdain by many. This sense of loss drove them to emulate the West, and it hasn't been until "the West" itself and the world collectively started cherishing the gifts of the Japanese that they too began to "self appreciate" what they where rapidly loosing. "Hold outs" (and outsiders like myself...long story) saved many of the "national treasures" both tangible and metaphysical. The spiritual centers too played a huge role in all this, so that today there is a massive shift taking place that makes Japan...once again...a focal point within Asia...

Your observation of this earlier isolation, created a culture of self sufficiency. This aspect of the culture and a cogent, as well as, indefatigable adherence to tradition that allowed for the "acient crafts" to be further refined. When innovation would "sneak in" it was in such manner as to become a part of the original context in such a manner as to "seem" as if it was always that way...
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post #26 of 42 Old 03-29-2019, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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Wow....never in a million years did I think I would start a topic that would blow up like this. Yay me!!! 🤣🤣

That aside, I am pleased to see a thread with so many opinions. I do have to agree with Jay and ask that politically related comments or opinions be left out. As well I would like to keep things civil and professional. I hope this thread continues because I am gaining, what I feel is, valuable insight.

I have always been fascinated by Japanese tea houses and only recently learned about all the different types of joinery that go into their construction.

My grandfather always told me that wood was just as strong and reliable as steel if it was placed in the right position in its respective place. It wasnt until researching this topic that I realized just how true that actually was.

I never really thought about it as a kid, but I dont recall seeing him ever use a single nail or screw in anything he built. I dont remember ever seeing any intricate cuts like in Japanese joinery.
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post #27 of 42 Old 03-30-2019, 03:03 AM
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Wow....never in a million years did I think I would start a topic that would blow up like this. Yay me!!! 🤣🤣

That aside, I am pleased to see a thread with so many opinions. I do have to agree with Jay and ask that politically related comments or opinions be left out. As well I would like to keep things civil and professional. I hope this thread continues because I am gaining, what I feel is, valuable insight.

I have always been fascinated by Japanese tea houses and only recently learned about all the different types of joinery that go into their construction.

My grandfather always told me that wood was just as strong and reliable as steel if it was placed in the right position in its respective place. It wasnt until researching this topic that I realized just how true that actually was.

I never really thought about it as a kid, but I dont recall seeing him ever use a single nail or screw in anything he built. I dont remember ever seeing any intricate cuts like in Japanese joinery.
Hello Flatlander,

Read you loud and clear...Apologies for any "distraction" I contributed to...

I responded to your email...Also, where did you wish to discuss the topic of "castle joints" at?

Any other current questions worth exploring for you...

Regards,

j
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post #28 of 42 Old 03-30-2019, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
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Well, in relation to my original post and my last statement combined, are there other cultures that traditionaly used joinery in the same fashion that the Japanese developed?

I agree with you guys about the level of mastery the Japanese have attained. When they were basically "stuck" building things the same way for so many years, there were no changes being made to how they did things. Only increased proficiency. Time to hone the skills they had without adding anything new.

I guess you can relate that to anything really. Playing the guitar for example. Say you have never touched a guitar. You pick one up and begin to play a song. At first you are lost and cant play it at all. Then you spend 5 years playing only that song. You still may not know how to do much with the guitar, but you can play that one song. Well, you're going to have mastered that song in ways most will not. But you're still limited in your overall ability to play. So I see benefits and draw backs to this.

Now we have the internet and many other ways to experience all of the cultures around the world.

Oh, and I got your email Jay. My apologies for my delay in response. I will reply this afternoon.

Nothing in life that is "worth the effort" is ever easy.

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post #29 of 42 Old 03-30-2019, 11:45 AM
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Well, in relation to my original post and my last statement combined, are there other cultures that traditionaly used joinery in the same fashion that the Japanese developed?
Nova is a television show about science on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) network in the US. One episode was titled, "Secrets of the Forbidden City" where they show how the buildings in Beijing, China were constructed with traditional non-glued joinery to withstand severe earthquakes.

In particular, I remember that they used special joints called dougongs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dougong

On television, they say that you can watch episodes for free over the internet, but I never tried it. I just watch the episodes from over-the-air signals. If you are interested, hopefully you can find it somewhere to watch.
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post #30 of 42 Old 03-30-2019, 07:33 PM
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...I got your email Jay. My apologies for my delay in response. I will reply this afternoon.
No need at all to apologize!!!......My email box is always open for questions and/or discussions...

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... are there other cultures that traditionally used joinery in the same fashion that the Japanese developed?
Short answer...yes. China, Korea, and India, yet you can also find a lot of it in the Middle East, and some of it even in Africa...

I believe that to be a sincere question on your part, yet I can share it is also one of the most broad (and loaded) there is on this topic academically.

Japanese woodworking systems are very unique in context to...how they use them. Nevertheless, many (of course not all) can be found in Europe as well, just not as adeptly employed. While in China and Korea, they are almost all there, and originated there as well...or...???...someplace else...???...Like the Middle East and India slowly evolving over time.

We are now broaching some serious donnish points that not even the academic high-brows agree upon. Just in my short life, I have seen over the last 4 decades the "Eurocentric Nature" often found in academia 50 years ago, getting pushed aside by scholars of other countries.

This in turn begs the question, how does "joinery system" migrate. We know commerce is a primary source, yet so is philosophical, political, and related radix also spreading these systems. The ships themselves are "timber framed" and as such, have to have ship builders that travel. All of this in concert spreads the application knowledge, albeit slowly...

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...I agree with you guys about the level of mastery the Japanese have attained. When they were basically "stuck" building things the same way for so many years, there were no changes being made to how they did things. Only increased proficiency. Time to hone the skills they had without adding anything new.
Not much I can add to that...

It does make me realize just how long this post thread could continue though...!!!???...LOL...

It brings to mind my dear friend and colleague Douglas Brooks who has been studying Japanese wooden boat building for decades, and has just recently published a book on the subject. In our similar discussions to this one, we have both draw the conclusion that there is...more...out of books and lost to time itself, than we have published. Just our collective knowledge base (he and I...who are know-bodies) have more knowledge of means, methods and materials, than we have written down or know to be written down someplace. It is why folks like Douglas, and I have dedicated ourselves (as much as possible) with sharing information and encourage others to keep these traditions alive...as well as!!!...grow them and make them your own...

I work in a large woodworking-timber framing shop that a friend designed and built. It is truly...his frame...as the styles found in it covers everything from Middle Easter boat building characteristics to that of Madagascar, Indian, and the rest of Asia...as well as...his clear influence from the Dutch culture around him and the Dutch Barns he has studied and restored. This lends us insight into the question you asked...where else does this joinery get used...and in turn...how does the knowledge travel?

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...I guess you can relate that to anything really. Playing the guitar for example. Say you have never touched a guitar. You pick one up and begin to play a song. At first you are lost and cant play it at all. Then you spend 5 years playing only that song. You still may not know how to do much with the guitar, but you can play that one song. Well, you're going to have mastered that song in ways most will not. But you're still limited in your overall ability to play. So I see benefits and draw backs to this.
Yes...and so did the Japanese...

There sequestering was not absolute, nor was innovation devoid within the culture. If anything (in my experience) is they tend to not fix the unbroken...which Westerners and Europeans often love to do...Asians collectively, also live with art and craft patiently long enough to understand it better than other cultures seem to...and... have a cultural-spiritual reverence that allows them a level of "deep respect" which in turn facilitates a connection to the craft few outside of Asia have ever really matched...Until now!

I state the last, as the 20 to 30 something's that are getting into the "guild arts and crafts" are doing things at earlier ages and more prolifically than I have ever seen historically accept maybe the Renascence period in Eastern Europe...We have "Masters" of many arts that are well under 50 years old in age. Each year I am astounded by the craft I am seeing in knives, woodworking, ceramics, textiles, timber frames...you name it...ALL!!!!...done by "kids" from my perspective!!! My generation could have only "wished" to have been so creative, innovative and deeply rooted at the same time to the historical foundations of art and craft!!!

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...Now we have the internet and many other ways to experience all of the cultures around the world.
Yes...!!!......and in my view, even with all the ills, evil and silliness that is on the web, it is rapidly becoming the "Library of Alexandra" on steroids!!! To the benefit of all of us that effectively (and respectfully caution) take advantage of it...

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post #31 of 42 Old 03-30-2019, 08:40 PM
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"In my humble opinion, the single best "traditional technique" that we could steal from other cultures to improve our woodworking would be to move to the metric system."
I totally agree. I lived in Europe for awhile. Mostly London, There were some struggles in converting long after it was official.
As for myself I normally use metric even for my metal machining. It's just a lot easier. I don't convert, I think in metric, or Imperial as needed.
In my younger days I spent time in Japan. Even then not much of the wood building was being done in the old ways. Too labor intensive, costly. Take a look at architecture being done in Japan. You won't see much traditional fine carpentry being done.
While I was wandering around Japan I took special interest in the classic, old school, buildings. There are some huge timbers used in some of the very old buildings that would probably be very difficult to find today. Kyoto & Nara have some really neat old buildings. Worth a look see when you get there. While you are in the area go to Hong Kong, my favorite place. Whatever you do travel before you get too old!
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post #32 of 42 Old 03-31-2019, 12:43 AM
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...In my younger days I spent time in Japan. Even then not much of the wood building was being done in the old ways. Too labor intensive, costly. Take a look at architecture being done in Japan. You won't see much traditional fine carpentry being done.
While I was wandering around Japan I took special interest in the classic, old school, buildings. There are some that would probably be very difficult to find today. Kyoto & Nara have some really neat old buildings. Worth a look see when you get there. While you are in the area go to Hong Kong, my favorite place. Whatever you do travel before you get too old!
Hi Larry,

Out of respect (and a direct request by the OP) I won't comment anymore on the "metric system" as it can quickly detract from the core of the topic...my views (et al) have been shared already.

The core topic, per the OP's theme, is Japanese Joinery systems today as they exist, evolves and gets applied in architecture and woodworking in general...

What I can offer in that regard to your current post is a very different perspective on my part toward some of your observations about "traditional work" in Japan that don't seem to mesh with your shared perspective?

I agree that just after WWII it was very much on a downward trend, but not else where in Asian. However, today in Japan, the growing interest (and application) of traditional woodworking methods is growing rapidly...in many (not all) circles. It is anything but rare, and can be found everywhere in the country.

My perspective is from actually doing this kind of work. I specialize in folk architecture, and in this conversation that would mean 民家 Minka...(aka those, "...huge timbers used in some of the very old buildings...") Just like in North America, I would agree this is not the "day to day" way most buildings are constructed for sure... However, it is far from rare or "not being done." Timber frames, even "Asian style timber frames" are all over the place and growing in number every year...

Timber framing both in Japan and here in North America is much more common than most think, and growing in popularity all the time. As to cost, that is an "urban myth" too often spread in conversations like this Larry, by those that don't build this way and really know nothing (of depth or practice) about it. A traditional home, typically by square foot (or square meter ) price is the same and/or no more than 20% at turn key than a "modern" (ick!!!) 2x "stick built" home...on the average...even in many areas of Japan...The country side there is a paradox that could fill an entirely new thread, but those issues, and positives are outside the core topic of this post...

I agree, getting to travel is a big plus when younger...and any that can should. Nevertheless, with technology being what it is, and information exchange being so easy, its not difficult at all to bring the systems of traditional building here. There are "Korean floors" being built in Kentucky, and Japanese timber framing going on all over the place right here in the states...so one doesn't need to travel to learn and/or experience these many systems...
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post #33 of 42 Old 04-01-2019, 06:33 PM
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Yes, there is a lot of interest in traditional joinery. Here and probably many other places. Does that mean that a significant % or construction is using it? I seriously doubt it. As a woodworker I totally enjoy traditional Japanese joinery, also timber frame. But then as an architect I also enjoy concrete sandwich panel construction. Things go into and out of style so a surge in interest in one thing will often result in a lower interest in what was "in" yesterday. Anyone built a geodesic dome lately? What happened to Bucky?
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post #34 of 42 Old 04-01-2019, 07:01 PM
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Yes, there are pockets of resurgence......

But it's more of a geographical one. JMO. It's also increasing in popularity. Here in Michigan, we have Amish builders and others who specialize in building timber frame structures, but in comparison to the huge number of McMansions being built in subdivisions, there's just no numerical comparison.

I don't know how you would put actual numbers on the timber frame starts, but I thought I might go to my township building department and see if they have a feel for them. Out in and around Montana and Colorado and near the Appalachian Mountains, I'm sure you would find much greater numbers.

https://bensonwood.com/timberframe/t...l-timberframe/

https://www.nehomemag.com/timber-frame-homes/

https://timberpeg.com/blog/increasin...iversal-design

One of my favorite shows on cable TV:
https://www.diynetwork.com/shows/bar...lders/episodes

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

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post #35 of 42 Old 04-02-2019, 12:01 AM
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Yes, there is a lot of interest in traditional joinery. Here and probably many other places. Does that mean that a significant % or construction is using it? I seriously doubt it. As a woodworker I totally enjoy traditional Japanese joinery, also timber frame. But then as an architect I also enjoy concrete sandwich panel construction. Things go into and out of style so a surge in interest in one thing will often result in a lower interest in what was "in" yesterday. Anyone built a geodesic dome lately? What happened to Bucky?
I can more than understand an "assumption" about a topic, even from a professional in the field like yourself. I meet architects all the time that have a plethora of false assumption, understanding and backgrounds on the subject, yet are often adamant with clients about what "can and can't be done." Seldom are the correct or accurate. From "having to use OPC concrete for foundation and not stone...all the way to "how massively expensive timber frames are to other systems of building...both again...false statements and assumption.

To be clear, I'm not sharing this from just a perceptive...I do this for a living in and around many (many!!!) others that do as well, both here in the North America, as well as Europe, Asia and else where. The number seem to grow exponentially each year starting back in the late 60's early 70's. Now its just all over the place, if your tuned into it and know anything about it...or (I guess?) more importantly moving in those circles of architecture...Heck...!!!...between Norway and Japan within the next 5 years we are going to have sold timber sky scrapers going up...which is just awesome!!!

Japanese (since it's the focus) is no acceptation. Is it a dominate building form in all areas...???...No, not in all areas, but in other its the only one allowed and in some it even has to be done in the traditional format and context...

As to "dome" and "Bucky" he passed away...I went to several of his lectures before that. The last at Southern Illinois University while I was still in school myself. My mom was just fixated on them for a while...LOL... I have worked on several domes over the decades (I don't care for them at all...great in winds but the roofs always leak...) as for now...Yes, in some area (like Texas) both wood and concrete (yuk!!!) domes are still a big hit and growing each year in popularity...as are...Earthbag Domes which are probably more popular and on global scale. They are growing huge each year thanks to the hard work of many starting with the folks at Calearth (Nader Khalili) who really go the ball rolling big-time with these innovated concept that is proving to work really well (excellent actually!) in certain biome types. Then again, as above it all depends in what architectural circles one moves...to be sure...
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post #36 of 42 Old 04-02-2019, 06:54 PM
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JCW, have you ever installed windows or cabinets in a geo dome? Several dome houses were built around here while it was the in thing. One is still standing. You are going to have to do a lot of convincing for me to believe timber frame or traditional Japanese wood frame is anything other than a very small niche market. I do live in the middle "where the East peters out," so don't get to see all the latest trends until the coasts have had their run at them.
I lived in New Mexico for a short time, in a traditional adobe on the West Mesa near Albuquerque. A very "charming" building, except when it rained, which wasn't all that often so no big deal.
I've been involved in several remodel/repurpose projects involving heavy timber manufacturing buildings well over a hundred years old. They share a lot with timber frame. One of the nice things about them is the timber can be left exposed because it meets fire code. Can't do that in a steel frame.
I know that some pretty big buildings have been proposed for laminated lumber panel systems.
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post #37 of 42 Old 04-02-2019, 08:51 PM
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...JCW, have you ever installed windows or cabinets in a geo dome? Several dome houses were built around here while it was the in thing. One is still standing...
Yes...actually I have, or I should say "helped," but have done more "repairs" over the years either tangible or in support of methods how.

As stated, they have all kinds of issues the way "most" (not all) of them got built. As you say, there are a few left, and the nostalgia of them lingers for sure. However, as Bucky envisioned them they are a "fail" by most regards, including Bucky himself (a portion of the topic of the last lecture I attended.) He did still believe in "round archtiecture," which I do not fully disagree with, and have many vernacular examples that do very much work. Part of the reason the "earthbag" system is so popular. I don't think its applicable everywhere, but do see a place for the modality, though not my style at all in the primary context, Nevertheless, it does nave merit for many locations, and/pr elements of current archtiecture...

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...You are going to have to do a lot of convincing for me to believe timber frame or traditional Japanese wood frame is anything other than a very small niche market. I do live in the middle "where the East peters out," so don't get to see all the latest trends until the coasts have had their run at them...
...Not my place to "convince" anyone of anything... (see quotes at bottom of each post...it speaks to this...)

To be completely fair Larry...for sure...you are in an "architectural desert" of sorts where you are. I understand and respect that fully, so there is no doubt on my part that you would have the perspectives you do. Lincoln NE, has some nice vintage homes in the Victorian styles, but nothing in the way of 1630's and later timber frames of New England. Where we have entire neighbor hoods that are nothing but timber frames and Cities where well more than have are or are surrounded by them. Its the same way in many areas, especially Japan (topic of the post.) They even "import" old barns for condo settings with a theme...(I was part of some of that.)

As stated, in good humor and meaning......it does all depend on the circles one moves..or...chooses to move in...

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...I lived in New Mexico for a short time, in a traditional adobe on the West Mesa near Albuquerque. A very "charming" building, except when it rained, which wasn't all that often so no big deal...
Oh...PLEASE...don't get me side tracked with those...I live in a Pueblo while my mother helped restore portions of it, and have worked/assisted in both Zuni, Hopi and Pueblo communities over the years...

The combination of earth wall and timber roof systems are a truly well fitted vernacular for that biome type!!

I miss the South West, as I grew up (partly) in the Cochise Stronghold of the Dragoons in southern AZ...I still visit when I can...

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...I've been involved in several remodel/repurpose projects involving heavy timber manufacturing buildings well over a hundred years old. They share a lot with timber frame. One of the nice things about them is the timber can be left exposed because it meets fire code. Can't do that in a steel frame.
Indeed they do share a lot...In the industry that is more "post and beam" architecture and not actually timber framing...but the distinction to lay folk is seldom noted by most.

I'm glad you mention the "fire code" portion. That is germane to this topic as many ask how is it that the Japanese can build with so much wood. The reality is that "timber" is more fire resistant (and almost fire proof in some forms) than either concretes or steels. An often overlooked...or...mistaken understanding by many, including quite a few architects over the years...LOL......Timber "chars, it does not typically burn. I have photos of only industrial mills that had 1950's additions and extra floors added that where made of concrete and steel. When this huge complex caught fire the steel failed almost immediately and fell down into the 3 floors of Post and Beam work on the stone foundation. It looked like "noodles" with the steel I-Beam all draped accross the timbers. And, of course, the concrete just exploded and spaulds immediately so it was a complete loss...ACCEPT...for the original foundation and most of the timber and post...over 60% of them had the char knocked off and got reused in the rebuild...That ain't gonna happen with modern methods of most buildings...

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...I know that some pretty big buildings have been proposed for laminated lumber panel systems.
Larry, they are getting HUGE!!!...and not only CLT are being used (not to let a cat out of the bag) but I have my finger on the pulse of several potential projects over 8 stories (perhaps more?) that will be all wood joinery with traditional timber and/or a concert of both systems...Craft is coming back...and coming back STRONG!!!
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post #38 of 42 Old 04-03-2019, 02:07 PM
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Unfortunately for the Japanese, their light frame houses and most other small buildings were very flammable. The bombing of Japan near the end of WW2 resulted in huge areas totally burned out. Far more people were killed in the fires than in the A bombings.
I was lucky enough to establish a friendship with a family that lived near Ashikaga in a very traditional house. Big stone slab in front where you took your shoes off. Wood floors, in the hall & kitchen area that were dipped out from wear. Tatami mats elsewhere. A central tree trunk support that had been stripped of its bark & polished. An offering niche with a Buda & offering of a dish of fruit. (I asked what happened to the fruit? They eat it, it's just there for symbolism.) They even had the high back copper bath tub like you see in old movies. Roof was glazed tile. On the side of the house was a very old addition where the family business operated. 6 very old wooden Jaccard looms, line shaft driven. Momasan ran them, the kids sewed the very shear fabric into various things sold on the Japanese market. But change was coming. They had just built a new steel building next door and were installing new, high speed looms. Like watching history happen. Travel is good.
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post #39 of 42 Old 04-03-2019, 08:17 PM
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...Unfortunately for the Japanese, their light frame houses and most other small buildings were very flammable. The bombing of Japan near the end of WW2 resulted in huge areas totally burned out. Far more people were killed in the fires than in the A bombings...
Very true, and a huge humanitarian loss of civilian life for sure...!!!...

From a collective infrastructure loss architecturally though, it only effected a very narrow and targeted area of no great magnitude in context to the entire countries wealth of significant architecture...

Only 6 primary cities saw great loss from bombing, and the Emperor's palace, in Tokyo of course. Most of this architecture was newer infrastructure and/or in the "imperial class" of building style only within those cities.

The rest of the country, and most of the Minka (民家) still remain today, yet the move to cities since WWII has left the country side rather lonely for the Elders still remaining. There is a resurgence in the last 5 years of many young folk falling back in love with the outdoors and rural living traditions...!!!... We will have to see where it goes?

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...I was lucky enough to establish a friendship with a family that lived near Ashikaga in a very traditional house. Big stone slab in front where you took your shoes off. Wood floors, in the hall & kitchen area that were dipped out from wear. Tatami mats elsewhere. A central tree trunk support that had been stripped of its bark & polished. An offering niche with a Buda & offering of a dish of fruit. (I asked what happened to the fruit? They eat it, it's just there for symbolism.) They even had the high back copper bath tub like you see in old movies. Roof was glazed tile. On the side of the house was a very old addition where the family business operated. 6 very old wooden Jaccard looms, line shaft driven. Momasan ran them, the kids sewed the very shear fabric into various things sold on the Japanese market. But change was coming. They had just built a new steel building next door and were installing new, high speed looms. Like watching history happen. Travel is good. ...
Travel is Good!!!...

Thanks for sharing that insight of your experience there. Its nice to get mental images of the different parts of the building. What you described very much sounds like an very old Minka, but its hard to say for sure? The "central tree trunk" if very large in size (8" or larger) running all the way to the Attic area and/or ridge (Daikokubashira 大黒柱 or Tōshibashira 通し柱) can be found in other forms of architecture there, but is most common (from what I have seen) in the Minka. If the "tree trunk" that formed the post was smaller in size (6" and smaller) and very smooth with, no bark as you described it, with the Buddhist alter in a small alcove off to one side...???...then this is the Tokobashira 床柱 that is one of the focal points of the Toko or Tokonoma (床の間). Tea Ceremony (Chatō no michi 茶湯の道...or... "The way of tea") is often held in this area, along with other traditional celebrations...

The large stone sounds like its part of the Doma (土間)? Did they cook near this area?

The "Jacquard" loom surprised me that they wouldn't be using one of there own style old looms, but sin1700's strong outside influences did start to seep into the "Merchant" Class of society there, and as weavers they most likely where in that level of society...

Thank's again for sharing...
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post #40 of 42 Old 04-04-2019, 06:56 PM
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"The large stone sounds like its part of the Doma (??)? Did they cook near this area?" No, the food prep area was at the back of the house and opened onto a small densely planted courtyard.
The 6 Jacquard looms were very old. The noise they made, well, really noisy. They were almost totally wooden. Each time the loom raised or lowered for the shuttle to be sent back across, it was slapped by a big wooden paddle. Mamasan was kept very busy winding shuttles and replacing them. Neat place, probably now just history. Rural Japan is very different than the cities.
I've still got my receipt from having lunch in the Imperial hotel, Tokyo. Frank L Wright's Mayan influenced period. It's been torn down. Tokyo is one crazy place. Everyone is in high gear. Never, ever tell a cab driver you are in a hurry!
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