Okay, so it’s not carving, but I did have fun using the chain saw to create the detail work for these beams.
And I have started using an eco-friendly type of small engine gas that cuts down on exhaust emissions by an incredible amount. Running the chain saw now doesn’t stink and create a cloud of fumes. Apparently this gas is standard for small engines in Europe — and I can see why! Time for North America to catch up on this one. Check out: www.aspen.se (Select your country for English language.) Continue reading Beam Detail Done With a Chain Saw
To show something a little different at this year’s Home & Lifestyle Expo in Castlegar, British Columbia, I decided to frame a Japanese style timber pergola. The front of the frame was inspired by Japanese Torii Gates, which mark the entrance to Shinto shrines and indicate that you have entered a holy place where the spirits are more likely to hear your prayers. Continue reading Japanese Pergola
“The Japanese word wa is a single kanji meaning ‘harmony; peace; peaceful.’ In common usage wa means ‘harmony’ as in being in harmony with one’s environment and it means “peaceful” as in being in a peaceful state of mind or feeling at peace.” ~Eri Takase
People keep asking me why would I use hand tools to cut this timber bed? It takes longer, involves more physical endurance, and the amount of precision necessary is astonishing.
My simple answer is the Japanese feeling of wa, or harmony, that I feel while working with hand tools. Continue reading The Wa of Hand Tools
I really enjoyed this bed project, as I was able to take some of the aspects of Japanese timber joinery and adapt them to the smaller scale bed frame. Since training with Dale Brotherton, I’ve fallen in love with Japanese timber architecture, so it was a pleasure to craft a bed with this style as the inspiration.
The wedged through tenon shown here is part of the headboard of the bed. The “posts” of the headboard have tenons at the top that slot all the way through the mortises of the “beams”. Continue reading Japanese Wedged Through Tenon
An exciting day when the bales arrive…. now to stack them under cover!
An advantage to having the roof built on a timber structure before the bales arrive is knowing that the straw will be protected from the weather. This roof was designed to have 3′ overhangs to keep driving rain and snow off the straw bale walls once they are stacked and plastered. Continue reading The Bales Arrive!
I can’t stress enough the importance of sharpening your tools. A sharp tool not only works better, it is safer as well. And when I say sharp, I mean shaving your beard sharp. Continue reading Sharp Tools
Okay, so I said in an earlier blog that my favorite hand tool was a Japanese hand saw. It’s got competition now. After using this axe, I think I have a new favorite. Continue reading Carpenter’s Axe
I thought I would add a blog about my Japanese chisel handles. Everyone asks me if I have pounded the hell out of my chisels, and well, yes I have, but, the handles are not mushroomed because of this. Continue reading Mushroomed Chisel Handle
Because I wanted a true historical hand tool experience on this project, I decided to waste out the material of the mortises with nothing but a couple of chisels and a mallet. Continue reading Old School Mortising
My very best helper! My son Roghan loves to be in the shop with me. He sucks up every little bit of information he can, very eager to help at every chance he gets. Continue reading The (Wood) Sorceror’s Apprentice