Work experience

Timber cubic pod

  |   Design, Fun, Set up / assemble, Work experience

12×12 cubic pod I started about one year ago is now completed and my kids are moved in.

Ideas in behind this is that I can complete all interior feature include electric wiring and move and attach to the new house I will be building. Three pod in raw now but I am not sure how I can pass the building inspection. Not enough thinking.

Build high ceiling and place kind of loft will gain good amount of floor space. For kids, this would be bed. I also placed large storage compartment which is connected from both bed space that is using as play space. Lego’s and puzzles are all spread out but out of my sight so they can do whatever they want to do without me telling them to clean up.

Large sized windows were bay out and use the space as nook, electric floor heating in place with cork floor on top. Folding sliding door really opens up space so tightly 12×12 pod does not feel so closed up.

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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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Connection test at engineer work shop organize by Canadian Wood Council and Wood Works BC.

  |   Announcement, Fun, Work experience

Dec 2010, Daizen Joinery and Nicola Log Works demonstrated the connection test at engineer work shop.

We tested about 10 different connections, mortise and tenon, SFS WT screw, epoxy anchor, T-bolt, Sherpa, GRK screws and so on.

Mortise and tenon, it failed at beam side, it sheared off. Peg holes were 2 inch from the face, this was a bid surprise for me, I assumed it will brake the tip of tenon. Need to test more.

SFS WT screw were definitely functioning well, money saving screws. Method of test was, we braked half lap first, this braked at 4,000 lbs. Then we placed two SFS WT screw at the shear location and tested again. Test was stopped at 10,000 lbs, it did not failed, instead other side of connection failed. One screw, least add 3,000 lbs strength in connection.

Epoxy anchor, concrete epoxy fail too quick, but cold cure epoxy were so strong, it brake the weld that holding the wide web and test stopped at 12,000 lbs.

I have uploaded Sherpa test video on youtube

Tons of information from this test but not enough time to organized to share, please contact me at for any further test result.


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Buildex show booth

  |   Announcement, Design, Work experience

February 23rd and 24th, we were at the Buildex show. We got honorables best booth at the show.

Roof truss were all recycled western red cedar, it was lighter than D.Fir, could of set up all by hand. entire show, my body was so soar from the set up.

We met many peoples at the show, thanks every one who stopped at our booth.

Our next show is in Abbotsford Log and Timber show, March 13th and 14th.

P1040432 Buildex show booth Production P1040458

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Stain on timber

  |   Work experience

Even we knew it is best to apply stain in our shop, we kept doing it as minimum because it holds up our main production. This time, timing fits well so we have applied stain in our shop.

Product is Broda Protector is what we used this time. This is the product mixed in Vancouver and water born but not totally water based.

Two coat with clear UV top coat, total three coat total, two days drying time for each coat so total of 6 days required to stain all.

We are giving serious consideration to test and use Boem product which is made in Switzerland and testing is at Forenteck This product has 10 year warranty which I have never seen in stain product.

Advantage on applying stain in our shop is

  • Apply in controlled environment before any other hand put on timber.
  • Apply on 6 side including inside mortise and any joinery.

We are also going to test some fire retardant product from Japan with new stain and get ready for next year line of production.

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Jig (Knife plate)

  |   Set up / assemble, Work experience

Making jig is almost becoming hobby. It is not wood working.

Good reference book for the jig by ILBA call “Big Boys Jig book” This is series of the jigs developed by member of International Log Builders Association and organized by John Boys. Super helpful book for jig lover. You need to become member to have this, please contact

Here what I am sharing today is the knife plate jig modified from log building one. Adapted clamping system also sliding mechanism. Only tools I have seen available to do this job is from Muffel and it cost almost $8,000. My hand made one is about $400 all together.

Parson may able to cut slot by hand very accurate if the cut require only width of chainsaw blade but if it require slightly thicker, it is not possible to do by free hand. Our jig makes our hidden knife plate cut very reliable.

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Non cracked timber (Kirf cut)

  |   Work experience

Timber will check because of drying ratio is different from across the growth of rings (radial)  or along the growth of ring (tangential). If timber contains the heart of tree, it call boxed hear, if not it call Free Of Heart Center (FOHC). Depends on this grain ratio but boxed heat timber will check guaranteed and we try to use FOHC as much as we can.

Because of the budget is limited, we often use air dry timber, moisture content below 19%. These are mostly locate the interior BC, many of trees killed by fire, dead stand for while so it is dry. But these logs are not big, depends on log source, we have to use boxed heart timber.

Boxed heart timber, usually will check toward nearest face of the timber from the center.  99% this will be side of the beam. When timber check, it will check along the wood grain. All the tree has twist, it is just matter of how much. Timber grade system allow more than what we expect even in structural grade, so we have our own grade to apply for the frame. However, when timber check, check follow the grain, timber will twist as much as grain is twisted. This is the reason why you see some of the beam twisted.

To prevent this, we apply kirf cut. This is the cut from the face of timber being covered, it need to cut all the way to heart of the timber. More the timber is green, all the check will focus on this one cut and will not show any other check on side. But air dried timber, often check is already proceeded, so some of the check can not be eliminated but it will not twist.

Here is one picture that shows our inventory. This timber had been dried for 6 month now, starting moisture was 20% now it is 13%. Dimension has been reduced but you can see how much this cut has been opened up. If we plane to square and use this timber as structural member now, it will be stable.

Timber will check and that is in engineering consideration already so this kirf cut should not sacrifice the strength of the beam. Actually, it will increase the strength as the beam because the side check will be in nutral axis which is the strength of the beam what relying on.

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Is the guys too small or material too big?

  |   Work experience

We are hand cutting gluelam project. Nothing complicated, very simple but communication process with engineer for this project was tripple or even more compare to our regular complex work. Why? I am not sure but I may made engineer upset by my email. Hi every one, watch your mouth, do not say what you want to say, especially to engineer.  No, he is good guy, I am sure he did piss off to start with but after, he was reasonable.

Why you want to use this big gluelam to start with though? Heavy load to support but it has a lot to do with luck of using timber in a past or some relative had bad experience. If we specified timber grade carefully thes member could be timber. Perhaps, we could do something interest to turn timber into bridge truss?

May be this was best option….

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Kirf cut in boxed heart timber

  |   Work experience

I would not use any green material to build frame unless there are good reason to.

But the price of KD material and green materials are double the cost and sometime I have to find a way to build frame with lower budget.

Fortunately, we have good forest surrounding and we can source reasonably dry dead standing material. Limitation of these materials are sizes of logs that we will not able to get FOHC on bigger and longer materials.

So we applied kirf on timbers to focus all check in top to prevent it to check on side. Timber with boxed heart, it will tend to check where ever close face of timber to center so most likely, it will check on side.

We had one project that had time in between so we applied kirf right after we received this dead standing material, put bigger dannage under also side to air can go through to dry timber while waiting. We had about 10 days to leave this timber in our shop and this is the result.

  • M/C was average 18% when we received material and it came down to 16% at the time we start to plane.
  • Kirf need to be apply before plane so kirf on top can open.
  • We have seen the kirf opens average 1/4 inch so it is working.
  • We have planed 4 side after so timber is square with open kirf on top of beam, no side check.
  • We will be checking this timber next while to see if the system works.



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Light looks very original but cheap!

  |   Design, Work experience

This is the light that we bought from IKEA and made into kind of sign where people enter to the restaurant. Light is very cheap only 40 dollars and rock are from my house. Made logo in Illustrator and traced well because the light behind. Waxed paper were not easy to penetrate the ink but it gave the effect that made more interesting. I definitely will do this again.


My daughter Mizuki always admire my work, she gave me such a good time in my life. Kiyo is new crew that reach his hand to where I need, thanks Kiyo!

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