If you have an interest in Japanese joinery or joinery in general, then I would like to point you to an article series by John Bullar. Mr. Bullar is writing this article series about Japanese joinery for:
Mr. Bullar begins the series with a look at Japanese tools as well as pointing out that a person can execute these joints with traditional western tools.
Let me say this, there is nothing magical about Japanese tools. They are just tools and are solely dependent upon the skill of the user. Now I’ll admit that their exotic nature is what first drew me to them. The quality of the steel and ergonomics is what really hooked me. The Japanese chisels and saws I absolutely enjoy using. The kanna (plane) however, I’m not that enamored with. More of a short coming on my part than of the tool. Of that I am certain. The joinery portion of the series focuses on the actual joinery regardless of the tools used to create them. Enough of that tangent.
Mr. Bullar then continues the series by introducing categories of joints and showing their construction. Mortise and tenon, corner, right angle and splicing joints have been covered thus far and all are quite applicable to furniture construction. Even if your interest is not in Japanese style furniture, the joints can be adapted to several other styles. At the very least the series will expand your thinking as to ways wood can be joined together.
The joinery examples in the series can be challenging. Working thru and building samples of these joints, however, can help to improve your layout skills and cutting accuracy. Ultimately improving your projects regardless of whether or not you actually use these specific joints.
I’ve quite enjoyed this series and look forward to the next installments. The only quibble I have is that there is little information as to the actual layout of the joints. There is more than enough information to get you started, but I would like to see the process for sizing and proportioning the elements of each joint. Just a small detail that I would like to see added.
This is my first look at Furniture & Cabinetmaking magazine as well and I have found the other topics covered equally informative and enjoyable. This series and the magazine as a whole are well worth a look.
*all photos property of Furniture & Cabinetmaking magazine and used with permission.