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Intro to Japanese Joinery – Live Online

June 20 - June 21 | 10:00 am - 12:00 pm $125 – $150
japanese joinery

japanese joinery


Dylan Iwakuni




Live & On-Line

Japan has a long history of building structures using the abundance of wood found throughout the land.  The wood was cut into unique and complex joints, allowing the wood to join with each other, without the help of metal hardware and in many cases no glue. These joineries have been refined over time and are still used being used to this day.

This is a singular opportunity to learn from a Japanse craftsman, from the comfort of your home or workshop.

Learn along with other woodworkers as you participate in this live video conference class taught by Dylan Iwakuni while you chat with your classmates from around the nation and world in real-time.  There is a lot of interaction, and you’ll get to watch and engage with Dylan as he leads you through the process of cutting these Japanese joints using only handtools.  Dylan will be leading this from his temporary workshop in Germany, as he has not yet been able to return to Japan.

The class is split into manageable sections of approximately two hours online followed by work periods where you will work at your own pace.

During this course, we will go over traditional joinery called Jyuji Mechigai Tsugi in Japanese. This joinery is typically used when replacing the bottom, worn out part of a standing post. Instead of replacing the entire post, only the parts which needs to be replaced is cut out. The techniques learned here can be applied to other, more complex joineries. We will be working entirely with hand tools. Using only hand tools mean no awful noise or excessive dust, and doesn’t require a big workshop or space.

You will learn to:

  • Mark accurate lines and understand the importance of having a reference.
  • Use a Japanese saw to get an accurate cut.
  • Use the chisel to do rough work as well as fine, precise work.
  • Check the straightness and right angles to get a clean fit.

Open from beginners wanting to make their first Japanese joinery to those looking to step up their joinery making skills.



We’ll have a “Tech Check” call a few days before the start of the class for you to verify your connection and get familiar with Zoom if you need to.

You’ll also be invited to join our private Facebook group where you can chat, post questions, and get advice outside of class hours.  Come and join the quarantine team!

Finally, will we record each day, so that you can refer back to it as you work through your assigned tasks and homework.

Class Schedule & Times

The class is broken up into sections over two days. Plan on attending all of them all, just like you would in real-time.

  • Sat June 20th, 10:00am  – 12:00 pm
  • Sun June 21st, 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

All times are shown in EST (GMT -5) Eastern Standard Time

Tools & Materials Needed: 

Laptop with a camera and wifi access
Sashigane (Carpenter’s square).
Sharp pencil to mark the lines.
24mm (1″) chisel (back flat/edge sharp) or a similar size. Chisel
12mm (1/2”) chisel (back flat/edge sharp) or a similar size. (Refer to this video on sharpening a Japanese chisel.)
Hammer for striking the chisel.
Saw for finer work. Around 210mm or 8 inches in length. A Ryoba Saw (double-edged saw) is a good option.
Spray bottle filled with water.
Optional Tools:
Smaller squares or tri squares.
Other chisel sizes.
A paring chisel.
1 clamp

1 piece of wood milled flat and square, approximately 50mm x 50mm x300mm (2″x 2″ x 12″). The ends cut square.
1 piece of wood with at least two sides made flat and 90 degrees. (About 30mm (1″) thick, at least 50mm(2″) wide and 150mm (6″) long). (Jig).

The wood for your joints can be any material as long as it’s easy to work with (avoid ones with knots or cracks on the ends).

There is an option to have just the lumber for the class mailed to you below.

Learn more about the tools here.  Tool Resources

NOTE: You do not necessarily all have to use Japanese tools. Western tool equivalent will work as well.  However, please note my experience with western tools is very limited, meaning I may not be able to answer questions regarding western tools and their uses or techniques.


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