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

Curve from two timber laminated

  |   Uncategorized

Curve shape cut out from solid timber always challenge since it require large section of timber. It is not only hard to locate the fiber, timber will have significant check on surface since it contains so much difference in fiber tension depends on part of section in timber.

This can be solved by having two smaller timber laminated, much easier to find good fiber and also grain match. Seems like this approach can be develop further more by specifying timber grain in detail and how we re-saw to match grain!

Read More

What it takes to dry WRC timber?

  |   Uncategorized
Drying WRC in larger section than 4″ has been extremely challenge and we have
not found any services we could utilize to dry this wood. So we have decided
to purchase own and it took time to research and set to technology works
for us.
Drying wood can be done in a few different way but when it comes to leaving
wood essence in a wood, keeping maximum strength of wood fiber, it has to do
with temperature it uses, lower is better, we think it has to be below 70 degree Celsius
at the highest and we run under 60 degree Celsius.
Loading WRC, 13,000 bdft in one charge.

Loading WRC, 13,000 bdft in one charge.












Kiln contgrol pic

On time monitoring the M/C in a kiln, total of 10 sensor is in actual wood and sensor runs system. Each drying process is driven by result base, once wood hit to programmed M/C, it kicks into next process. This is very unique that most system runs by time. monitoring the M/C in a kiln, total of 10 sensor is in actual wood and sensor runs system.  Each drying process is driven by result base, once wood hit to programmed M/C, it kicks into next process. This is very unique that most system runs by time.





Green shows M/C coming down from 90%, red indicate temperature not going over 60 degree Celsius and blue is pressure in a chamber dropped to 10% of natural environment. Water will boil at 50 degree Celsius in this chamber.

This piece shows 12% at the core, WRC even shows different result along the length, and we are still R&D to overcome this to be dry more evenly.

This piece shows 12% at the core, WRC even shows different result along the length, and we are still R&D to overcome this to be dry more evenly.

This shows some timber still have wet spot, even wet spot exist along the timber some area are dry and some are wet, we will nail down the cause through the research!

This shows some timber still have wet spot, even wet spot exist along the timber some area are
dry and some are wet, we will nail down the cause through the research!

 Best method I can think of is to shave with hand planer, wood fiber that has damaged by heat will not create thin shaving, and our wood does.

Best method I can think of is to shave with hand planer, wood fiber that has damaged by heat
will not create thin shaving, and our wood does.

Shaving with fiber continuous for healthy drying.

Shaving with fiber continuous for healthy drying.

 Ends are nice and shine after sanding, because it is dry also kept the natural oil that wood has!

Ends are nice and shine after sanding, because it is dry also kept the natural oil that wood has!

Waterlox stain is applied on picture above.

Waterlox stain is applied on picture above.

Read More

It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it what makes the difference!

  |   Uncategorized

Kiln-drying boxed heart timber in large sizes to 15% moisture content in the core? It’s possible when you use the right technique.

Large timber sizes usually only come in boxed heart. Here at Daizen we use a “stress-relief-cut” on a non-exposed side of the timber to release the tension, that can get created during the drying process, trough this cut. This clean cut that goes all the way to the heart of the beam will eventually open up during drying and prevents the exposed beam sides from large checking.

An important benefit of the technique is that the change in the timber dimension happens already during the drying process. After the finish planing the timber size stays unchanged.

The picture below shows a 16” x 16” boxed heart post. The originally 1/4 inch cut opened up to nearly 1”, released all the tension here. The other sides ended up with no or only minor checking. The cut is getting covered by a joining stick-frame wall member.

The second picture shows a 9” x 20” beam with an 10” relief cut into the heart before it goes into the kiln. The cut will be later on top of the plate, non visible.

boxed heart 16'' x 16'' with relief cut after drying

boxed heart 16” x 16” with relief cut after drying

boxed heart 9'' x 20'' with relief cut before drying

boxed heart 9” x 20” with relief cut before drying

Read More

Cedar finish par excellence

  |   Uncategorized

Take a look at some excellent cedar products we are creating with finest craftsmanship at Daizen Joinery.

Core dried Western Red Cedar rafter tails, combined with a superb oil finish creates this shiny, long lasting look in furniture quality. So prod of my guys in the shop!

20160520_192510657_iOS20160521_001335000_iOSWRC rafter tails

and before finish:

WRC before finishWRC before finish

How do we archive this quality? Well, it all starts with a clean shop and careful material handling……

Read More

Stair by Daizen

  |   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.

P3190394 P3190412


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.

Brad Taylor Res - 087

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

Brad Plowe-032

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.

glasswing 005

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.

Read More

Hand plane competition (Kezuroukai USA)

  |   Uncategorized


“Kezurou-kai” is Japanese group with 15,000 members. Translation of this name to English means “Shaving – group” demonstrate the traditional Japanese hand tools, techniques and traditional method of building such as post and beam and stucco wall finish to the public. As people know, Japanese blade are made out of melting carbon steel to soft steel so it is hard and sharp at the carbon edge but flexible so shape can be adjusted, all done by hand except the pounding to strengthen the steel has some machine hammer on duty.  This include swords, knifes, chisels and planer blades. Why does this matter? It only matters for people does real fine work and people push the limits, craftsman and artist entire world, when they meet these fine Japanese tools that are made with skills, they fall in love because it does bring the work to the next level.

Hand planing is great example. Hand planer mainly used for two different application shaping the wood or finishing the surface, in joinery work it makes flat surface and shave the wood to line, shaving to pencil line but to outer edge of line or center of line depends on character of joinery, this is the scale of 1/32 inch as pencil line and joinery size to be control by 1/64 inch. For finishing if wood is planed properly, it gives mirror finish that would shed water which means stain would not penetrate in, this is the finish applied for the temples and still many Japanese style house build today. No stain!


saran wrap measures 9 micron at house

What happen if those professionals competing how thin it can be planed? This competition is about pushing limit, rules are plane shavings to be full width and full length and measure 3 points and take the thickest point not the thinnest point. Measuring instruments are micrometer. Micrometer measure the thickness in micron. 1 Micron is 1/1000 of millimeter or 0.00004 inch.  20lbs paper is a bit over 100 micron, saran wrap may be the one of thinnest material we touch often which is about 7-9 micron I measured at my house.

Long story short, winners at the Japanese competitions are around 4 micron, record I heard are 1 or 2 micron but not official. This is totally crazy, it does not change the dimension of wood, it takes 250 times of this shaving to lose 1mm in a wood.

First try at our shop 4 weeks prior to competition, with same way we have been sharpening, wood surface were nice and shining after plane, I did not had micrometer so I asked Kazu “What you think this shaving thickness is?”, He is the only one has attend the event in Japan but never competed and he told me “My guess would be around 40 micron” . I had no clue what that means but I thought it should be better than that, so order the micrometer and a few sharpening stone from Japan.

From this date, we had 4 weeks to competition and we hooked into this, plane the wood after work every day, we occupied the bathroom at the house every single night (Bath room has different use for Japanese wood worker, it is sharpening room), too embarrassed to even mention how long each night were to spend on this. My wife try not to spoke about, only my son Taro comes in bath room once every night and he say to me “One day off, puts three days back, right?” I said to my son “You know it, that is why I even took this to our year end camping last weekend!”

Kiyo got thinnest 5 micron

Kiyo got thinnest 5 micron

Story would not end, and for the people want to take off here, here is the result. 25-27 people enter into competition, we are only Canadian crossed border to join the event, thinnest shaving was 5 micron but it was not full width and length. Qualified shavings I thought were a few 7-9 micron and a few 10-16 micron. Kiyo was the one got 5 micron, Kazu had 10 micron full width, full length, consistent, Eijiro got good 16 micron, we all had our best at the competition so Daizen team did very well. I unfortunately got late to the competition, spend too much time on socializing…. It would been around 10-12 micron, will revenge next year!


Kazu, first try, 20 micron, he got 10 micron after this try

Kazu, first try, 20 micron, he got 10 micron after this try

Here continue the story.

zoomed with x20 micro scope, I have been using this microscope for about 20 years

zoomed with x20 microscope, I have been using this microscope for about 20 years and edge looks good, it is very sharp. This is showing finish with 8,000 grid, shows nice and smooth to the edge















This is picture with X100. Picture is not taken same blade but same principal, back side of planer blade finish with 8,000 grid. This shows the edge is not reached with sharpening and some large scratch. From this, I figure water at my house contains calcium that effecting this scare, since I saw this, I use only pure water prior to 8,000 grid. So it looks great in X20 but not in X100 which gave me some ideas how I can improve.

Chesel and planer blade sharpening, what matters most is the back side of the blade. How to sharpen this flat matters. In planing, if the back is sharpened properly, there are guy says he gets 10 micron with 1,000 grid sharpening at front edge. This is true. Chesel and planer both has hollow back which is to make the flat sharpening easier and more perfectly. This hollow is made prior the forge so it is not something would work same such as gliding the back hollow. For the planer, focus is to leave the sharpening surface minimum, if you keep sharpening the back, it makes flat wider and wider, instead, we pound the soft steel at front to push the blade so keep the flat surface minimum.

Water at my house, contains calcium, if I boil water in kettle for tea, it is visually notice, I see some white settlement, this definitely cause the sharpening so I made sure to clean the blade and stone and only use the filtered water prior to finish.

I used to use only 800 grid then prior to finish. This was enough to maintain very sharp edge for chisel and normal work but to go for 10 micron and less, I needed to stone, I purchased, #1,000, #2,000 and natural finishing stone (equilibrant to #8,000) and eliminate using #800.

Sharpening is moving from one grid to others, coarser to finer. At each stage, it create burbe at the edge and how much it creates is the measurement to move into next grid. Though rough grid such as #800 seems like damage the edge too rough it makes the edge week.

Difference between natural #8,000 grid and natural stone is that natural stone create aggregate that become finer and finer as kept sharpening but more the less, placing this in between the blade and stone, it works like compound that maintain the flat of the stone better. These are really hard to understand that you need to put time into this to feel.

So, 4 hours of sharpening every night was to explore, set the theory, and gain more skills of sharpening. Actual sharpening, maintaining edge from not damaged blade is about 30 min max.


One week prior to competition, my best was 16 micron. All hope was to wait the set of new stone that ordered but have not came in. New set of stone contains #8,000 diamond stone I meant to use only for the back side of planer blade so it reach to the edge with flat and also finish so none of other wrapping is needed.
















Driving to Santa Clara was 20 hours drive.


Planing wood at KOA campsite California 30 min after parked.

Event was Saturday so we left Kamloops after the work, Thursday 4PM. 4 of us got into my motorhome and started driving, felt like teens that something exciting ahead waiting for us. Long way ahead so I thought I would not talk about planer blade, base maintenance and so on, but conversation started right after we left and carried all the way to California. Friday 3PM we got close so we camped. All 4 of us brought sharpening set out, try out planing and got back to sharpening. My set of stone came in Wed afternoon and I did not had chance to try yet, so we tried at camp site. Got into dark so we moved to toilet facility at camp site and continue sharpened. Good that it was end of October, not many people at camp site, but a few people around did not even come close us to ask what we were doing, we all had sharp knife on hand and kept sharpening, it must been look so wired.


Lucky that bathroom at campsite had 4 sets of sink and nice and bright.



There were lots of great moments but I got right in a activity this time and had not taken any pictures.

Hand planing is very fun and shows how humans are capable that I don’t think machine can compete at the moment. It has lots to it, I only introduced one side of sharpening, how to maintain stone flat, method of sharpening, difference in stone, kind of blade, maintaining the wood base, fine adjustment of base, etc etc.

I am planning to do sharpening workshop at BCLTBI AGM that coming in Feb 19th at Chase Quaaout Lodge, anyone welcome to join.

Read More

Jack rafter housing Kazu special

  |   Uncategorized

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!

PC072823 PC072812 PC072815 PC072816 PC072817

Read More

Daizen university -Sharpening-

  |   Uncategorized

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

Screw laminated beam

  |   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.



PC042845 PC042818 PC042833

Read More