Japan Tsunami Relief

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After this sad disaster happen, I got many calls from my friend all worried for our family. All the people I know in Japan is safe but that does not mean good.

It took me about one week to get up do something, now we have many people got together launching the campaign. I made up the campaign so create funds by not asking just donation. Instead, we came up with the product that is great to have in someones house at same time create the significant fund.

Launching effort is all 100% donation, Karl Willms came up with gate design, very quickly and great design as usual, John Boys jumped in cut up timbers with no time, Kevin Mattson entered all gate in CAD model also added one more gate design, now we have first set of gate is assembled and the rest will follow right after today. While this activity is going, Alfred and Kathy from World of Wood are cutting up and donating the timbers for another bunch of sets of gate, 5 cubic of logs were donated and deliver to Alfred by Robin Hood at Likely community forest.  Behind this, Neil at Pulse group came up with logo, Susan Witter is doing text for the web site and Jordan Klassen is preparing the web site to launch, Jim Funk is going to prepare the sign.

Next weekend, April 9th and 10th, many Japanese builder and gardener will be joining from lower mainland as well as local, start to produce the gate, hopefully, we can complete 30 sets of stairs. The volunteer builders are Toshi Oiwa and Kan from Big Rock Log homes, Tom Tongu at Toko Garden design, Kiyo Hagiwara and Eijiro Hara from Daizen, Yuki Ogata, probably much more will come after they here about this activity.

Our first public campaign will be at Kamloops Home Show in April 15-17. We still have some details to set such as price to sell, how to deliver, how to set up, administration and so on but train has been left now it is just matter of steering it right.

Thank you very very much for all contributors, big hugs on behalf of all Japanese people. Web site should be ready soon with all related information for this campaign at  www.myhelpjapan.com Up till then, please contact Dai at dai@nulldaizen.com for any further information.

Gate design by Karl Willms

Gate rendering


First gate assembled (Kevin Mattson design)

Logo by Pulse group


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Contemporary timber frame

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This is Karl Willms design timber frame. Build with high grade select structural D.Fir, tight grain and kiln with RF technology. Frame is build in very steeped site, footing were poured on 20 some different height level, must been very tough even moving materials around this site.

When we arrived, floor was all done and ready, thanks for all hard work for the contractor.

We already installed deck frame in advance and this main frame took 2 days to put together. Lots of help and all good help, very fun also satisfied project.

I was very pleased myself for the result and client and contractor are also very pleased, so it is the best project of the year for us.

Frame design are simple though, it had some challenge on joinery design to maintain the strength also make the assemble procedure possible. Even I had study of this procedure in advance well, it still took a bid of modification of the joinery at the raising site. Glass will be fit in between timber so groove for inserting glass stops are in place. I will follow this detail as installation makes progress. Stan is pre applied in our shop just incase if the weather turned into very cold so crew can not access to the site it means it will leave it open till next Spring but I think they will be able to put roof before that happens.

I had my crew Eiji with me on this assemble and he is the one looks after some finishing touch in our shop so this was great experience for him to spend time together with us to tune up his work at the production. I am sure he will make great progress on next frame.

Thanks for Terry Hall who is timber frame manager for the project, designer Karl and Kyle Willms, contractor James and Andrew Boak and Mike Besanger who is the owner of the project!

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Valdes island light house from then

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Tree house was little on going project when I visit light house on Valdes. This was my second visit on island after frame set up.

All hard work experience moving from boat to location seems disappear and only memory comes back from visit. Jim and Karl did great job finishing the exterior and I can feel how much fun they had doing so. Winter are cold and short day light but great opportunity to enjoy the sun rise and sun set. Island cottage life seems very relaxing moment, I hope I can give this opportunity to my wife and kids life.


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Tree house project

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We spend four days weekend on Valdes island and we had to have something to do, so we decided to build tree house.

We could plan noting until we gets to island and find the potential tree to build tree house. After we got on island, we started thinking about building it on three trees that will make stable platform also was a bid easy to access. But, we found arbutus tree that near the ocean and kind of high place to locate tree house, so we decide to challenge on this one.

I made very quick structure idea in my head and we discussed about it. Every one left decision to me, and Kyle showed me his collection of drift wood so we said, lets put one and think next step after one is up.

First one is to bolt beam horizontally to falk, this was nothing but heard to lift. No scaffold to stand on, one hand to hold the piece. Drift wood is well preservative so good materials to use but very heavy. My hand start to shake while holding in place so we had to use brain not just muscle.  Using rope to lift, rope to tight in location secury but I think we were working on edge all the time. Just tried not to make stupid decision and move.

Second day, we put three pieces in place. Only three pieces but satisfaction after the task was pretty significant. V-shape tip beam that neck sit on fist beam, connection was pre-cut on ground but putting that in location without support was not easy.  We managed this by locating beam on ballance point, hold one end with rope from under, start to push piece our bid and bid.

Tree were amazingly stable but still moves, and this little movement makes a fear for me to tip toward out side to reach the connection. I don’t know how we did it, but V-shaped beam with knee support got up. Once all connection secured, I was not confident to stand on tip yet. It was even scared to see Kyle jumping to test the structure. I thought about connection over and over, what can fail this structure? All my answer was positive, it will support but still no guts to tried out.

Then we put some platform board on top, and start to reach to tip as I needed, more I do, start to losen my fear and trust the structure.

Then we went to hunt for more material that give us t

he imagination where we can go next. We found one curved piece and I had idea where to put it right away. I had to put this in place even we were not ready to proceed so I can start to think about next process. That is all we could do in three days, looking forward to go back to play with this again.

Having no plan, cutting without lay out or scale of tape is just like we made little fort when we were kid, we forgot about our task, duty or any thing that pressing our life during this activity and we went back to childhood.

On a way back, ocean were so calm almost reward from our challenge work, dolphin alsojoint nature congratulate our venture!.

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