Animated GIFs Show Off the Brilliance of Traditional Japanese Joinery

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Traditional Japanese joinery is beautifully complex, with wood pieces fitting together as if in a game of Tetris. The precision and unfamiliarity of these fastener-free joints can seem intimidating to a carpenter who’s not acquainted with the craft, and for good reason: the details of how they work were kept as closely guarded secrets by family carpentry guilds for centuries.

But now, a Japanese man who’s an automobile marketer by trade and an avid collector of wood joinery books has made the process of crafting Japanese joints like shihou-hozo-tsugi, yonmai-kama-tsugi and others more transparent with a series of animated GIFs.

Unlike 2D drawings, the GIFs let us see exactly how the parts come together. Dozens of these GIFS are collected in a Twitter account called The Joinery, showing everything from simple slotted pieces and dovetails to joints that are more like puzzles. Give them a follow to catch more animations as they appear.

 

 

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