Today is a really good day. Now, it’s snowing outside and I have a bunch of laundry to deal with, but I’m in a very good mood. Why? Well, dammit, why not! Just kidding, I do have my reasons though….

First and foremost, today is January 28th, which means that the Carpentry Way blog is now 1 year old!! Yay! What started out as a suggestion from a friend, a certain Dale Osowski, has managed to lumber and blunder it’s way through a full 365 days. Imagine that! While I have managed to offend a couple of people along the way, to my chagrin, all in all, this blog has been, it seems, gaining a real head of steam. At the 100 post mark last year, I had some 20,000 page views and about 20 Followers. As of today, with this post (#181), there are now over 53,000 page views and the followers list has grown to 53!

I’d really like to thank everyone for your interest in what I have to say and in the many supportive comments I have received over the past year. You can be sure I will continue my efforts in developing this blog further in the coming 12 months.

A second reason relates to my recent progress in French carpentry drawing. I worked a while on the five-legged bench, and then discovered some reasons why Mazerolle drew the three-legged joiner’s bench, trépied établi, with the legs normal to plan and not to the top beams. The reason is a little complicated, but it relates to tenon arrangements in the legs, and what can I say, but the dude was pretty damn clever.

So, I put the five-legged bench drawing aside and commenced working the trépied établi in SketchUp. After the hours and hours of work on the Mazerolle sawhorse, I am now able to process the trépied drawing much faster, and this has led to a deeper understanding of the method – well, I can now focus on the things that are left which I don’t fully understand. It’s hardly the case that I’m not confused from time to time, but the points of stuckness seem to break up a little sooner each time, usually after a night of sleep.

I’m only spending a couple of hours per day on this drawing, and I ‘d like to share the progress thus far. As before, I draw in 2D in plan, then erect the heights right off the plan to develop the piece in 3D.

The first matter was to draw the legs and beam -and let me tell you, getting the position of the beam correct is a freakin’ hassle in SketchUp as it lacks a tangent line to circle function. Anyway, I managed to get through that, and then the first order of business was the good old St. André’s Cross on one side. Here’s how that looks:

One of the trade-offs for orienting the legs normal to plan (which in the drawing above is a hexagon outline on the floor), is that the legs do not meet the beams cleanly, just as I had thought before when tackling the drawing in 2D only. In 3D, the situation is all too obvious:

I can’t say I care for that appearance at all! What is gained by that orientation, is however worth the inconvenience of dealing with the offset. There are a few solutions which come to mind, but I think the one I will go with is to truncate the excess protrusion so it is only slightly proud of the meeting point at the underside of the beam:

Meanwhile, here’s how the same post connects on the other side of that beam:

Hello Monsieur barbe, we meet again!

This is a three-legged bench, and the point of it is to study various possibilities for x-brace arrangements. I have completed two of the three sides now – the side pictured below has each brace with its sides plumb to the floor:

An ‘insider’ view, so the two different brace crossings can be compared:

The joinery for that plumb-oriented brace intersection cannot obviously be a lap joint, so I will be delving into the Japanese carpentry bag of tricks to solve the connection. The French seem to simply nail such connections as far as I can tell.

Speaking of Japanese carpentry, and more specifically Japanese carpentry drawing, I am very pleased to announce that my first essay, Volumes I and II, is now ready for distribution!!!:

Volume I deals with basic mathematics and trigonometry for carpentry drawing: and Volume II concerns the “Fundamentals of Kō-ko-gen“, the Japanese ‘rise-run-hypotenuse’ method for dealing with some types of compound joinery. All told, the two volumes comprising this first essay runs to 131 pages in total, and is listed to sell (I hope) for $32.50. I have chosen to put it on Ebay, as that forms a convenient place for handling the sales, though paypal will take a little off the top ($3.60) from me of course – that’s why I have added $2.50 to the price to offset that charge. Anyone with paypal can readily purchase the Japanese Carpentry Drawing essay there. If you don’t like Ebay, or don’t want to use paypal, then please contact me directly. I will accept postal money orders, and so forth. Direct sales from me will be @ $30.00

Here’s a couple more sneak peaks. This first one is illustrating one of the steps in determining square roots with the framing square:

The Japanese unit circle, with the sub-sections of the triangle labeled:

Drawing the sine:
Here’s a problem that’s got some legs – well, one leg at least:

I put a lot of work into the essay, countless hours, and I’m sure there will be revisions to come – the revisions, by the way, will be provided free of charge to original purchasers. I frankly can’t stand another round of editing right now. I have placed a link at the right of the page to the Ebay advert, and I hope readers will consider adding the essay to their database. Soon to come will be the exam material for these first two volumes – – that can wait until readers are ready however, so I expect I have a few weeks yet before I need to prepare those materials.

A good day – I hope yours is going well too.

9 Replies to “ONE!!”

  1. looking forward to purchasing “TAO-Japanese Carpentry”. the price is “too” reasonable for the content and the amount of work you've put in it. I remember Grable-san telling of Yataiki's advice to him, which was to do good work and charge a fair price (affordable).
    I greatly appreciate your sharing your prolific journey and hope others feel the same


  2. Congratulations are certainly in order Chris. Great work over the last year and this has been my favorite blog since post 1

  3. Chris,
    Happy Birthday!!

    It's very fortunate for us readers that Mr Osowski did suggest that you start this blog – to not have your knowledge shared with the world in some shape or form would be a crime! I have thoroughly enjoyed every post and find myself eagerly anticipating each new installment. Can't wait to see what adventures the Carpentry Way has in store for us in 2010.


    Now, off to follow that Ebay link…

    Warm Regards

    Derek Cox

  4. Well, one and all, thank you so much for you kind wishes and continued encouragement. I will endeavor to keep pluggin' away with this blog, wherever it may be leading and glad to know that people are finding reasons to return.


    (I'll try my best)


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