Some things are hard to find

Long story short, I was looking for a book on Japanese woodworking joints, one that showed dimensions, etc to practice some of my skills when not working on a specific project. Through a couple of different blogs I came across, including one called Labor Limae, that came up with something called Project Mayhem. As part of Project Mayhem (which in this case, it is OK to talk about it with the uninitiated), the author and a few others came up with the idea to try out several different Japanese Joinery techniques as a kind of online skills challenge. Anyways, one of the texts used for this project is called

WOOD JOINTS IN CLASSICAL JAPANESE ARCHITECTURE BY TORASHICHI SUMIYOSHI, GENGO MATSUI

Apparently it’s a pretty difficult book to find, especially the English version. But as it turns out, the book is still being published in Japan and if you can figure out amazon.co.jp, you can order a copy. I decided to give this a try. You can give it a whirl yourself by clicking here. Google Translate comes in handy.

The book itself costs about $20 and the shipping is around $7. What surprised me the most was that I ordered it on Wednesday and two days later it showed up at my house. From Nagoya, Japan. Do they have vacuum tubes now that go around the planet?

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If one looks hard enough, you can find a PDF of the English version but my guess is that it’s still in copyright and as a librarian, blah, blah, blah. But I figure if you buy the actual book, it’s OK to look at the English PDF version online to get the translation summaries of each joint. Otherwise, all the measurements are in mm and from there it’s off to the workshop.

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