For centuries before the invention of screws and fasteners, Japanese craftsmen used complex, interlocking joints to connect pieces of wood for structures and beams, helping to create a uniquely Japanese wood aesthetic that can still be seen in the works of modern masters like Shigeru Ban.
Up until recent times, however, these techniques were often the carefully guarded secrets of family carpentry guilds and unavailable for public knowledge. Even as the joints began to be documented in books and magazines, their 2-dimensional depictions remained difficult to visualize and not found in any one comprehensive source.
That is, until a few years ago, when a young Japanese man working in automobile marketing began compiling all the wood joinery books he could get his hands on and using them to creating his own 3-dimensional, animated illustrations of their contents.
四方枘継ぎ Shihou-hozo-tsugi pic.twitter.com/vEbvfEek98
— The Joinery (@TheJoinery_jp) October 5, 2016
Using the mechanical design software Fusion360 and employing self-taught woodworking skills, he began creating animations of the joinery and posting them to a twitter account.
The account now features 80 posts of various joinery techniques, some self-locking, some best used for turning-corners, some for creating beams. The complex cuts in the wood maximize the amount of surface area shared by the connecting wood elements, helping to create a snug fit held together by friction.
四枚鎌継ぎ Yonmai-kama-tsugi pic.twitter.com/1LApi4GlQu
— The Joinery (@TheJoinery_jp) October 1, 2016
In modern times, the complex cuts necessary to create these joints have simply become too expensive to warrant to their use in standard architecture. But with the rise of CNC milling and 3D-printing fabrication techniques, it is not difficult to imagine a future where these techniques are not only affordable, but also the most reliable.
通し違い枘差し枘鼻栓仕口 Toshi-chigai-hozo-sashi-hanasen-shikuchi pic.twitter.com/1ToumLNXMM
— The Joinery (@TheJoinery_jp) September 30, 2016
隅二方鎌継ぎ Sumi-nihou-kama-tsugi pic.twitter.com/Xc8Vik1W0t
— The Joinery (@TheJoinery_jp) September 17, 2016
貝の口継ぎ Kai-no-kuchi-tsugi pic.twitter.com/dj9N8ZftqS
— The Joinery (@TheJoinery_jp) September 13, 2016
箱車知栓継ぎ Hako-shachisen-tsugi pic.twitter.com/NOhU3ktifp
— The Joinery (@TheJoinery_jp) June 3, 2016
箱相欠き車知栓仕口 Hako-aikaki-shachi-sen-shikuchi pic.twitter.com/FKRVB8uDVt
— The Joinery (@TheJoinery_jp) July 6, 2016
河合継手 Kawai-tsugite pic.twitter.com/WQwxeZ7t4M
— The Joinery (@TheJoinery_jp) May 17, 2016
三方組仕口 Sampo-gumi-shikuchi pic.twitter.com/OdgpaTBvcs
— The Joinery (@TheJoinery_jp) May 3, 2016
捻れ組み継ぎ Nejire-kumi-tsugi pic.twitter.com/nyrJCko6Gb
— The Joinery (@TheJoinery_jp) May 21, 2016