Less is more

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from Daizen News, 1 December 2011

Have you noticed? In the spirit of going deep rather than wide, we’ve

changed our newsletter to monthly rather than every two weeks. Less email for

you to read . . . more call for us to be thoughtful.

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Sharing knowledge at BC Wood

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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.

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Fun at the bonsai fundraiser

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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.

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Epoxy anchor tests: cold cure

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from Daizen News,  1 Nov 2011

Epoxy is a very reliable substance that bonds wood, steel, and stone. The epoxy itself must be precisely formulated for the specific materials it will bond. In our continued testing, we have found some epoxies that pass the test of a bond between wood and steel, and some that fail.

Here, at a Wood Works! BC conference in December, 2010, the steel rod broke (at 12) before the epoxy or the wood did.

Our testing apparatus.

Recently, we’ve been testing and using an epoxy fastening system from Japan that bonds wood, steel, and stone together. The other benefit of this system is its epoxy delivery method: it allows us to place all structural members and inject the epoxy afterwards. It injects from the middle of the rod, flows out from the end, and fills out from all the injection holes so we know the entire space is filled with epoxy, ensuring that the connection is properly done.

Above, square hole in the very bottom of the post, with the injection gun in place. The nose is within the wood, not visible.

Once the epoxy is applied, the only visible sign is a small square hole in the post bottom. We can leave as is or we can plug it with wood.

The Japanese diagram below explains how the epoxy is filled inside the timber by using red colored epoxy and two different types of rod. The rod comes in various lengths, and application is not limited just to a post connection.

If you’re interested in wood, there are some upcoming Wood Works! BC luncheon conferences in November and December.

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Bending timbers

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from Daizen News, 15 October 2011

Some clients desire the look of bent timber. To achieve this, we decide first whether the timber is structural or not.

The strength of structural timber depends at a very basic level on the fibre connections in the wood itself. If the fibres are severed by a cut-out curve, the wood can no longer act as a structural member.

Our approach to a structural curve is to start with solid timber sliced into the optimal thickness. The exact thickness depends on the radius of the curve. We then bend the timber (using a vise like the one below) and achieve the desired final thickness by laminating the slices.

For curves, we use Free of Heart Center (FOHC) timbers. The laminations are very hard to spot, since we slice from the same grain. We test this by asking our colleagues to find the individual slices in the final laminated wood. Over 95% of the people we show our solid bent lamination to think it is a natural bend. This bent timber retains the integrity of the wood’s fiber connection. Further, since the wood is sliced longitudinally, it is in fact more stable than solid timber, which can twist and warp. Note the twist in the straight timber below, where the curved timber has no twist.

Remembering this distinction in approach should help in design. If timber is non-structural, a cutout from wide timber should be free of heart center for best appearance. If the timber is to be structural, it will likely require slicing, bending, and relaminating.

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Multi-purpose windows

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from Daizen News, 15 Oct 2011

The jobs of a window are to (1) bring light in, (2) expose a view, or (3) exchange air. A classic picture window accomplishes the first two, usually becoming a focal point in a room as well; all other opening windows (such as hinged casement,  horizontal sliding, or double-hung sash) exchange air.  They may also bring light in or allow a view, but windows that open rarely accomplish all three goals equally well.

Certainly a uniquely-shaped window can be best at adding light and showing off a view. Integrating an opening mechanism is a challenge for an odd-shaped window, such as the circle in this example. My first thought was to place an electric fan in window frame that works both ways (air in and air out), but the air pressure differential is sufficient on its own to exchange the air.

I prefer a low-tech, non-mechanized solution where possible, so I simply placed ventilation holes in the window frame to fulfill the important third function of exchanging air.

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House inspection and repair

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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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Whistler round to square house update

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While we were at BC wood AGM, BC wood made tour and two out of four were the frame we provided. Round natural log and square timber are for sure good combination for any resort set up and makes one of kind building. This project is build by Craig Ross who is contractor in Whistler, great job in design modification and finishes, we provided timber structure and stairs. Kalwall by the stair tower is insulated and bring very warm light in to the building.

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