Daizen university -Sharpening-

  |   Community, Fun

This is module 3 of weekend study we offer to our team, previous module was, wood fiber science and joinery engineering. This weekend was for sharpening , we use chisel every day, hand planer also mandatory to fine tune the wood fit, without properly sharpened edge we are not able to achieve the result. Time spend at the room to start with sharpening, logic, sharpening setup and procedure. We need to have medium (#1000-#1500) and finish (#8,000) or natural finishing stone also something to flatten the stone such as wet sand paper on glass, diamond stone etc, introduced method to flatten the face of stone, procedure of sharpening. Next we move down to floor, look the blade edge through microscope, this develop the eyes to see the edge even with bare eyes. Once people understand why stone need to be flat, more to say blade need to be flat on back of blade, went through the each step of sharpening procedure. This is entry level of sharpening but with this 3 hours of course, now the guys will have some decent edge of the chisel that they will see how much difference it made working on wood joinery.

We are planning to have this class again, anyone is welcome to join.

P9082505 P9082456 P9082492

Read More

Thanks for stopping by

  |   Community, Newsletter

From Daizen News,  April 2013

We would like to thank the people who stopped at our booth at the March BC Log Home, Timber Frame, and Country Living Show held in Abbotsford. Our display this year was to show the limits of how much we can bend timber. We have not yet assigned the use of this very curved display.



Read More

A traditional Japanese frame blessing

  |   Community, Newsletter

From Daizen News November 2011

A frame-blessing ceremony is no longer common, but we had a good opportunity to do one recently in Kamloops. The client requested the ceremony, gathering family and friends together. The purpose of the ceremony is to show the last piece of the frame fitting into the house while the people who will live in the house look on. That last timber assembly included a wetting bush (small pine tree) and a Canadian flag.

Flying in the last roof truss, adorned with a Canadian flag and the traditional wetting bush. The truss end is padded against the lifting strap.

Fitting the final assembly into place.

The client contributed wine and snacks for everyone who gathered to celebrate the fine frame that was built. They greatly admired the work of the designer, the contractor, and we timber framers. In this event I witnessed the client’s thoughtfulness.

I explained the process of creating a frame—trees in coastal BC, cut selectively, delivered to a specialty mill, and carefully kiln dried. Once the wood arrived at our workshop, we planed, sanded, stained, and fabricated the timbers. All were local operations employng local people. I have no doubt that they cared for the work and tried the best they could, each in their own specialty. I shared my pride and appreciation on behalf of all these teams.

I realized something important in this event. The cost of living is so high now, and supporting local businesses (as opposed to using big-box chains) can cause higher immediate costs. Those who allow us to team up with other local businesses who do good work are really supporting our society.

I then blessed the house in the traditional Japanese style. Salt, sake, and rice were prepared for the ceremony. We also created a piece of wood listing all teams and the raising date on its back, and a wish and celebration on the front.

On the red cloth are small bowls of salt, sake, and rice. Leaning vertically above it is the “blessing board.”

I began by spreading salt at each corner: east, south, west, and north. Then, all together, we made two bows, two taps of the wood, and one bow. I explained this as follows: “We are asking this piece of wood to protect anyone who lives under this frame for ten generations to come. While we bow and tap, please put all of your wishes for protection into to this piece of wood. Once the ceremony is completed, this board will stay inside the roof.”

After the bowing and tapping was done, the home’s new owners spread the sake in the same manner as I had done with the salt. The general contractor followed suit with the rice. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the ceremony.

Read More

A chance to learn from B. Allan Mackie

  |   Community, Newsletter

B. Allan Mackie founded a legendary log-building school—the first in the world, the B. Allan Mackie School of Log Building—in 1971, in Prince George, BC. He was almost 50 years old at that time.  Dai was an instructor and then a host of this school for 15 years; he has been the only director of the school other than Allan Mackie.

Allan just celebrated his 87th birthday on October 16th, and plans are in the works for a school “family reunion” in Japan.

Unfortunately, the school is no longer offering courses. For the last five years, Allan and Dai have focused on creating a nine-unit DVD training series, following B. Allan Mackie’s pioneering building philosophy, for those who want to build their own log homes. These are now available online ( The first 60-minute unit, introducing log building, is a free download.

From Daizen News November 2012

At this time, Allan is planning to attend the International Log Builders’ Association’s annual general meeting in Prescott, Arizona.

If you have an interest in log building, you will thoroughly enjoy this look at Mackie’s work, which has graced Canada and countries all over the world.

Read More

Timber framers, log builders at Asilomar

  |   Community, Newsletter

from Daizen News  1 May 2012

In late April, the Timber framers Guild and the International Log Builders Association held a joint conference at the Asilomar conference center, on the Pacific Ocean just south of Monterey, an old YWCA camp designed largely by Arts and Crafts architect Julia Morgan and built with beautiful redwood timber.

There were lots of valuable seminars, too many to list here, but the keynote speaker—John Francis (the Planet Walker)—is well worth following on TED and  YouTube. He stopped using motorized vehicles for 22 years and stopped speaking for 17 years, as a protest statement following an oil spill He now shares his philosophy about the difference one person can make

in this world.

To find out more about Timber Framers Guild, please visit

For more about International Log Builders Association, please visit



Read More

Sharing knowledge at BC Wood

  |   Community

from Daizen News,  1 Nov 2011

The BC Wood Global Buyers Mission, September 8–10 in Whistler, B.C., was a productive conference. It’s an invitation-only networking and tradeshow event for international wood buyers and Canadian manufacturers.

Interested participants at the Daizen booth.

My presentation to architects was focused on why and how timber twists, and how we can control it. In my talk, I also compared glulam to kiln-dried timber, both of which I use. I clarified the optimal size and length of both glulam and kiln-dried wood (based on cost-effectivbeness) to use in timber designs for public buildings.

A twisted timber.

A log that has split.

Shear at upper peg connection after timber has shrunk.

Read More

Fun at the bonsai fundraiser

  |   Community

from Daizen News,  1 Nov 2011

To help in a new fundraising effort for Japan Tsunami Relief, Daizen joined a bonsai day held in the Japanese Bonsai Garden Art, in Surrey. The event was very successful.

Lots of bonsai lovers got together for intensive demonstrations of the growing art.

The Taiko drum performance (complete with dancing dragon) truly touched and energized the audience.

We prepared six benches and eight blocks to donate, and all of them sold.

In our Daizen gate-building relief effort, we have just three gates left for sale. They are displayed at Japanese Bonsai Garden Art, 16164 24th Ave, Surrey, B.C.

Thanks to all volunteers, and to all of you who came.

Read More

Jay Mckimm

  |   Community, Team/people

Jay is free timber framer, his trade name is Blue Water Timber Framing. I got him helped us raising one complex frame and I was very impressed. I am in this business 20 years and I have set up buildings so many. With him, I found that raising are going much faster than my usual pace is. He is so efficient, think a two steps ahead, he is in good shape, he goes up and down so fast and does not afraid of height. I can strongly recommend him for any assemble and I will not hesitate to ask high pay for him, it will be great addition for raising team any time any circumstance.



Read More