Watch how to build a Japanese-style free-standing bookshelf with no nails or glue

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/05/13/watch-how-to-build-a-japanese.html

8 Likes

Thanks, saving this for our home in Joshua Tree.

4 Likes

I like these. Japanese joinery is really cool. Dense hard woods are especially suitable for precision woodworking, though they can require more time and effort - and sharp tools, to work with.

Which as a fruit tree is known as Stinking Toe, especially in Jamaica and the Virgin Islands.

7 Likes

Oh man, you have a home in Joshua Tree?

(not jealous at all… okay, totally jealous!)

3 Likes

Pretty cool design. Love woodworking but I am confused. A girl wears a Chinese dress to prom or two white women make flour tortillas in a lunch truck and it is cultural appropriation. Guy straight appropriates a style of cabinetry and it is heralded as awesome. What makes one any different then the other.

2 Likes

The short answer is that cultural appropriation is complicated, and it’s not like there’s a single right answer about it either - there’s a pretty broad spectrum of opinions on it, ranging from ‘oh it’s nothing at all’ to ‘any cross-cultural shifts are unacceptable’.

3 Likes

I’m fine with both of these.

This one, not so much: https://thegrapevine.theroot.com/childish-gambinos-this-is-america-has-been-colonized-1825992478

1 Like

Yeah - on one end of the spectrum you have stuff like that or white people wearing native american headdresses, both of which are in pretty poor taste because of the bigger picture they both evoke.

On the other hand you have folks on Tumblr screaming about how folks learning non-native languages is awful. Engineering techniques I think tend to fall pretty far on the side of ‘perfectly fine to cross boundaries’, because of the nature of the work and all that - they tend to be practical solutions, or even artistic, elegant solutions, but not necessarily spiritual or cultural touchstones that can be disfigured or disrespected in the same way that like, a tea ceremony could. At the end of the day, any joinery is designed to hold wood together and is derived from a place of practicality.

2 Likes

selling hardwood furniture is not that cheap to buy
…and oh it’s very very heavy

1 Like

you could probably show some appreciation with the solid boosters that were made in utah and shipped in sections (solid rocket boosters 150’ long) to the launch site hence the seals which caused the ‘challenger’ accident was a point in engineering

1 Like

That dog looks so woebegone.

dog

It wouldn’t physically work using cheaper wood, or if there was any play at all in the joints, because the structure only has stiffness in two planes. If you made it from pine, even with perfect joints, it would slump sideways and the joints would probably explode like one of those hydraulic press videos from all the torque.

For real-life shelves, you need a third plane of support in the form of a back board, fixing to a wall, or just a diagonal strap (you can see what a difference it makes when you assemble Ikea Ivar shelves, which flop around like a jellyfish until you add one flimsy metal brace and they become magically rigid)

2 Likes

I think ‘hippies’ and ‘starving students’ solved that one using planks and cinder blocks.

1 Like

Japanese joinery indeed uses some awesomely complicated joints, but there is nothing in these shelves that hasn’t been used in European joinery for centuries. Pinned mortise-and-tenon, through tenons with wedges, etc. probably go back to ancient Egypt. Check out a medieval trestle table, for example.

The overall style of the shelves may be Japanese-influenced, but it doesn’t shout Japan to me.

3 Likes

Small bookshelves here can be free standing but big ones get attached to the wall with screws. Because earthquakes…

1 Like

NASA insisted that only “proven technology” be used for the boosters. That meant segmented steel casings joined by O-rings, even though everyone knew that’s an inherently weak design.

We wanted to cast the propellant in molds without any casings, then wind the cores with carbon-carbon and other fibers to produce a lighter, stronger, safer booster - but that would have meant the casings would not be reusable.

1 Like

wondering what richard feynman would say now

He’d probably tell us to start talking about the bookshelves :wink:

2 Likes

Thanks, added to my reading list!

I already read (and enjoyed) all the Ralph Leighton ones, because my nephew is ethnic Tuvan.

1 Like