Japanese Hakone marquetry

Of all the weirdness that comes from Japan, this is pretty normal.

Also I have seen a post on FB lately about traditional Japanese wood joints - some are damn fancy. Many are rather ingenious. Almost like a puzzle. I have no doubt they worked really well, but damn the time they would take. See below.

My dad has a “Chinese” puzzle box that you have slide the compartments like 100 times to get it to open up.


Some of the incredibly elaborate joints in traditional Japanese wooden building construction are highly functional. The parts move slightly to damp out vibrations during an earthquake - just one of many design features that have allowed some temples to survive dozens of major earthquakes over centuries.


They know they can just go buy toilet paper, right?


PM me if you need advice or a pep talk. I strongly encourage the building of stuff, as the solution to most problems. And the first time I do something, I set the goals way beyond my abilities, and just claw my way there. When I made my first instrument, I decided to use more interesting wood than is usual, and did lots of fancy mother of pearl inlay on the fretboard. Not that I had any idea how to do fretboard inlay. I came up with the design, then figured out how to do it. I ended up with the banjo that is part of my profile picture. But back to the topic at hand: I have a real love of Japanese tools. The last time I was there, I more than filled a big shopping cart with planes and saws and measuring tools. Sharpening is the key, and is a learning process that should not be rushed. I have the cheaper synthetic water stones, but also at least six types of natural stones.


Thanks! I have a friend here in Vancouver that taught himself to make guitars. His work would now rival any maker I’m aware of in terms of quality. I’m hassling him for advice as we speak. But I’ll be sure to drop you a line should I need some more inspiration and guidance.


Many years ago I got one of those boxes in Hakone but unfortunately it seemed to have been lost during a move.


Careful you don’t attribute cause to effect! :wink:

A lady said to me, about my house, “they sure knew how to build them back then.” But in reality there were 15 mills on the stream and the only one left is now my house. It was really the strength of diversity that did it… pseudo-darwinian selection.

I love the way modern Japanese and American artisans are keeping complex, beautiful joinery alive.

I also like the way BBS now auto-links the BB tag when I post links to Amazon. I don’t see any ads on BB due to my browser configurations, so I feel like I can make a painless contribution this way… although that first link’s to an out of print book.


I don’t know. Maybe because I have always enjoyed doing arts and crafts and still do several that are time consuming and use rudimentary tools, I look at this and and am just delighted. It’s always a joy to watch seemingly simple steps come together to form beautifully crafted and complex finished pieces. But I can also see how it wouldn’t be to everyone’s liking. I’m an american and I don’t understand the appeal of monster truck rallies.

WB, it was indeed just delightful to see. Not only the tools and the result, but also the craftsmanship and calmness. Not one move to many.

And I also would love to see him sharpen his tools.


in the comment you are replying to, I was specifically responding to the thinnest-plane competition video posted by @teknocholer, not the marquetry in the OP which you seem to indicate when you say [quote=“MissMarnie, post:28, topic:88029”]
It’s always a joy to watch seemingly simple steps come together to form beautifully crafted and complex finished pieces

I commented favorably on the marquetry earlier in this thread. all I meant in regard to the plane competition was that it was a peculiar cultural niche; it took me by surprise. it’s sort of interesting, though. I didn’t mean to imply that I disliked it, just that it was out-of-left-field the way monster truck rallies are, also.


His name isn’t Tanegi Zukuri, That’s just what they call the first process he goes through.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.