Japanese joinery - Page 3 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #41 of 42 Old 04-21-2019, 09:33 PM
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Japanese Castle Joint...NO SUCH THING!!!

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Originally Posted by Flatlander38 View Post
...Do you know of any good reference material on doing this type of joint? I found a few videos showing it, but none that actually explain the layout procedures. I would imagine layout is an essential key to making this fit properly and hold tightly. As always, thanks Jay.
Dear Flatlander38,

I hope you do not mind me bringing this (late reply) to your query here to this post thread...

This was a fantastic question you asked, and I certainly think others may enjoy some of the small insight I have about it...It is an acient and critical joint, as well as being remarkably stable in 6 convergent directions...if not more in some advanced iterations...

First, I have to fully admit...LOL......I was befuddled because I started thinking about your question from the perspective of..."Japanese Castle Joint"...???...I know I'm getting "old" and all that......but I could not ever recall seeing, reading or hearing about any joint like that. How did I miss this? What is it, and why is it called this...???...and from Japan...???...Where at?...So I do admit fully in "Googling" it!!!...AND THEN!!!, I understood and knew (once again) what most likely had taken place...

SO...this "Japanese Castle Joint" (also erroneously also called a "Shiro Joint" or "Castle Joint" by the same author Katz-Moses)...I could not for the life of me remember ever seeing that term or translation anywhere about this joint at all....!!!???...So I had to begin to unravel this confusion just so I could understand it well enough to answer a simple question...

For one, there is no such thing as a "Japanese Castle Joint" as Katz-Moses called it. Nor is it called a "Shiro Joint" which he claimed meant "Castle" (城) but rather the word "White" (白) which is part of the Kanji that makes up my very own name in Japanese...None of this having anything to do with Joinery, and/or Castles...at least in this context...He did, I found much later, correct himself about the "castle" portion being a mistake...I say too late and damage done to those trying to learn...

At that point I knew I had to take the time to write this post...It will speak to what is great about the "internet" (and YouTube)...but!!!...what is also really, REALLY bad about it also...

When we get "talking heads" that undoubtedly have some degree of skill (some with a great deal of skill!) but also have over inflated egos, and/or a drive to be relevant in the virtual world. Thus we..."the viewer"...too often get sucked into the delusion that is more their made up reality, than history or tangible fact. Then we also have these individuals joining...forums, chat rooms, video channels etc...(often controlling or monopolizing them) ...too soon looked at or referenced as "experts" with followings that then bring these "beliefs and perspectives" to others and the domino effect of "bad information" gets rabidly spread. Too soon, "I think" is equated with fact and experience...Too soon "a practice" (often bad) become "good practice" and the way of doing something because its repeated on videos and chatroom thousands of times...

We see it here on this very forum where "I think" perspectives are too often weighed against actual experience and knowledge on a subject. They are not equal at all, nor relevant, and too often distracting from not only good practice within the craft, but also actual accurate information, such as this very case with a very critical piece of joinery history being shared and demonstrated by someone that has only..."looked at pictures"...and then subjugated this "I think" perspective into a self made mythology of actually knowing anything about the joinery at all...

So to the actual question our OP asked of me, is there..."good reference material on doing this type of joint..."

YES...!!!...some of it going back over 4000 years, but nothing in English and certainly not Japanese either!!! Once I saw the image of it I recognized the joinery system immediately and have actually employed it (or better yet, one of the many version of it) in my own designs and applied work...

This joinery, in the recognized form we know it today in...good practice!!!!...started in China (not YouTube...LOL...) and then evolved further in Korea. Its form realy doesn't exist in Japan at all (other than in some very old temples designed and built by Korean Buddhist Monks and related.) There are some forms "like it" but out of context and not germane to this posting...

There is a great deal of written word about them in both these languages, a few of use here in North America and Europe that know the joinery, and even fewer that can design, apply, layout and cut the joinery. The "learning" of these advanced joints is either going to be through "experimentation" and learning from the "tools and materials" application of creating it (not the best way for more advanced joinery)...or...travel to the origin cultures or individuals that know the proper application of it...

The..."ACTUAL"...names of the joint (or joint family):

梁柱箍头榫 (LiŠng zhý gū tůu sǔn)

사개맞춤 (Sagaemajchum)
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post #42 of 42 Old 04-21-2019, 10:19 PM
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It appears flatlander has found his info elsewhere since it's been three weeks since he has posted on the subject. Given different people call things different names I think it would be helpful if he would post images of the joints he has interest in. Many of them it would only take common sense to reproduce.
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