Daizen did it again! Cladding Glulam with WRC – grain matched with end grain!

  |   Design, Details, Joinery, Materials, Techniques

So we did it again! Another job where the team of highly skilled hand crafters have shown their expertise. What do you do when you’ll need large size clear WRC but can’t source enough material? The answer is simple: Get some treated glulam and add WRC as a veneer around it. It even works well with the end grain!

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Stair by Daizen

  |   Design, Details, Joinery, Techniques, Uncategorized

Stairs are simply steps that allow us to move to different heights, but they also become a main design feature of the home. Stair design sometimes takes as much time as designing the house structure. Building stairs is not difficult, but to build with safety, furniture grade, it is not like a house structure – it requires a higher skill set and much drier materials. There are different types of stair design – cut out stairs, housed stairs, suspended stairs, spiral stairs, mono stringer stairs etc. Daizen has built over 100 stairs. Here are some examples of how Daizen approaches building one-of-a-kind stairs.

We have extended our services to build stair-focused projects and welcome your inquiries.

Suspended stair


This is a one-of-a-kind stair that is completely custom designed. The centre post is a solid 30″x30″ post, but there is no stair stringer to support the treads. Stair treads (steps) are supported at the centre post where they interconnect? Otherwise, the stair hangs from a railing made out of steel. Our process involved fitting all treads and the landing on a temporary support, then we built the steel railing and hung the treads to complete the project.



To keep the landing at the same thickness as the stair tread, we built a steel frame in a fish bone pattern and laminated the solid wood pieces from the top and bottom.

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Housed stair



Housed stairs are very clean and strong. This type of stair can be assembled prior to installation, which allows for a faster installation process and makes the stair connection to the wall and floor easier to work with. The view from under the landing is also highly visible and we always pay attention to how the stair looks from all sides.


The landing is suspended from specially shaped member from above.

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Steel stringer housed type stair: Wood is easy to shave and adjust but steel isn’t, so all measurement need to be accurate. This is a nice stair design that fits well within a modern style house.


Double stringer housed stair built in Japan.


Cut out stair

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A typical cut out stair looks like this. The length of the spindles can be attached directly to treads. The stringer size must be a focus with this style because there is a big chunk of wood to be cut out.

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Cut out stair during construction: Note that the landing is suspended. A lot of thinking and experimentation went into building this stair.

Spiral stair


Inside spiral stair is not always useable, but fits well when using a round log as a centre post.


Suspended spline shape stair: A uniform radius spiral stair is difficult to build, but when the radius is not uniform, it requires an actual scale template be built first. Railings were “three-dimensionaly” bent. The core was replaced with structural plywood with a through-bolt attached that is holding the end of the treads.



Stair on a regular type of frame: Once the walls are up, we build the stringer to the wall on site and make a template for all tread/steps. We pre-manufacture these in our shop so they may be installed, simply, on site.

Mono stringer stair


Mono stringer stairs with steel seem to be a favorite style of many people. Key to building this stair is consideration for adjustment because the steel receiver will not be in a perfect position.


Stuck up stair


This stair system is designed and engineered to have a 1,000 lbs point load in the middle of the stair. The core of each step is made out of glulam (GLB) and cladded with walnut. We allocated a gap between the GLB and walnut to allow for some movement and filled it with an expanded form. The walnut did not come any wider than 10″ so we grain-matched the board to look like solid wood. This project is ongoing and a completed photo will be posted later.

Stair 3

Onsite built stair. This project required more work on the curved railing. The grip profile is carved from solid wood.

It seems like most of our stair design specifications fit a 10″ run and 7.5″ rise and we make fine adjustments in this range. To make an open staircase, the maximum opening around the stair and railing by building code is 4”. This leads us to use 3.5″ thick stair treads, with the spindle space in the railing at 5″ apart. Our stair stock materials are in 4×12 select grade, dried to 12% minimum.

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Jack rafter housing Kazu special

  |   Design, Details, Joinery, Techniques

Our lead builder Kazu came up with this jack rafter housing that ensure the tight fit that contains step housing to hip/valley rafter. With this details, as hip/valley shrink, fit gets tighter, and we make the housing width a hair smaller but it will bite into the corner to fit it tight. Extra depth on house ensure the bottom of stepped rafter to fit tight, wedge to control space is important, then washer head timber screw will close the gap on bottom to make the best fit!

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Screw laminated beam

  |   Design, Details, Joinery, Techniques, Uncategorized

When the beam require extra strength running long span, stacking the two beam together would not simply increase the strength. In this project, we are putting keys in between the timber so it looks like the key is taking the shear on two beams but it is just decorative, real structural function is in fully threaded screw that is in a timber not visual.



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Timber Cladding like a pro!

  |   Design, Details, Joinery, Techniques

Timber Cladding (Structural)

Sometimes there is no room for braces in your timber frame, especially when you want a clear opening without interruptions. One solution can be an engineered, heavy-duty steel frame, which is clad with grain matched timber. Professionally executed by our skilled craftsmen, you won’t be able to see the difference compared to solid wood. At Daizen, we pay particular attention to the fibre orientation to ensure a consistent appearance in wood characteristics and texture. Learn more about how Daizen incorporates innovation into its work.

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An Air-Tight Joint

  |   Joinery, Materials, Newsletter

From Daizen News, September 2012

We see two different types of timber frame. One is a frame covered with Structural Insulated Panels (SIP) for high energy efficiency: a highly insulated, air-tight house system.

The other has an infill wall system where the frame is visible both inside and outside. In the infill wall frame, we use full-size tenons so the air cannot penetrate, but we also started using a gasket that is slotted into the joinery and then fills at the frame raising. The HannoWerk seal from Germany is a closed cell seal that expands to block any air or water that might run into the space.

Since we use a seal, the tenon does not need to be full size. We couldn’t achieve this effect with a bead of caulking because timber can shrink and, if a gap occurs, the caulk doesn’t have the ability to expand. Here you can see a groove just to the left of the tenon, where the seal will sit.

The seal in its groove. The groove is necessary so that the seal is seated and is not crushed as it expands.

The groove, with seal, is outside of the joinery. Most likely, the seal will be hidden by a framed infill wall.

Seal arrives to us compressed in a roll that will expand to almost 10 times its original size, to ensure that the gap is sealed.

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House inspection and repair

  |   Design, Joinery

We got call from lady who own 30 years old famous design Cedar home. She said house is shifting so I went down to inspected. There are few design failure, roof beam were exposed but not serious damage from weather are affected yet. Main issue was that Purlin (roof beam) were spliced in middle that has no compression beam to prevent beam to push towards in middle, also beam were sitting on post with few nails only. Timber were used in green boxed heart so it twisted as much as the beam wanted. Steel plate were added sometime later after its build that is bended.  At same time tension rod was place in between the roof beam but it was wrong, it needed compression beam or rod.

We will be placing middle compression beam and push back a roof a bid.

This example shows how important to get the structure engineer and understand how wood react down the road.


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Chase Joyce Dunn Theater, dome cover added

  |   Announcement, Joinery, Set up / assemble

There are many request from musician that they wanted to cover the ring to protect from rain for performance. This was against my design point of view but I also understood their reason so we made dome that will make minimum sound reflect and installed. Main focus for manufacturing was how to be water proof, we made groove in any fitting can be water leak concern and placed Hanno tape, then placed 5 layer of RV repair paint on top that match the color of roof single.

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Drift wood deck

  |   Design, Fun, Joinery, Set up / assemble, Team/people, Work experience

Willms family and me were at Valdes island last long weekend. This time, Kyle and I build intermediate deck between water edge to cabin. Idea is using available material which is drift wood.

Main member of this structure is post and double tie beam and floor joist beam on top. First, we went out and hunt some materials. Find that the size and shape are desirable. Drift wood is heavy because it wet and rocks are sloped and slippery so it is a bid hard work to gather all materials to the spot.

Drilling to rock was very easy. We cut up re-bar and epoxied into rock and wood. Structure are in rotation mode from the bottom of the post, post is in compression and fitting it in perpendicularity is the key so no shear strength applied to the pin. Beam connection to the rock is where the most force is getting and it is tension force. So made the pin location as far as it could from the end of the beam.

No tape measure or scribe, all cut by feeling and leveled by eye. Front face floor joist beam were placed with curved beam which makes three post angle in round shape as well. Find the most flat face and place up, other beams were straight but place the but and top of the logs to make the face of three logs to be as even as possible.  Front beam had a few high spot, middle beam were slightly higher than front and back so used straight board to guide all the way to shave the middle beam to achieve the flat. It worked out well.

We did not had enough decking materials so it is just placed on top so we could sit down and had beer!


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