Fabula Lignarius

Her First Masakari

As you may have noticed there has been little going on my blog. I have remained quite busy in the background but don’t find the time to keep up with my carpentry adventures here on the blog. Don’t worry I am sure I will get back to it soon enough, I have been working on some wonderful projects and there are more coming up.

My family has expanded from two to three people. Becoming a father is without a doubt the best thing that has ever happened to me. It puts your whole life in a different perspective..



The masakari was a gift made by a close friend and fellow craftsmen. Check out his amazing urushi work here in instagram.

Black Forest Zendo joinery

First I had to get a head start on all the layout making sure everyone in the shop is occupied and doesn’t run out of work. This means I spend the weekend working. I don’t mind really since I always enjoy marking fine lines on freshly dimensioned wood.


I hope the pictures below give an impression of what we are making.

swordtip splice

tan joinery

sword tip 2

tan joinery 2

Defects like pitch pockets are inlayed.


Door parts.

diamond stile

door grating

I could write endlessly about the project and explain everything in detail but after a ten hour day I prefer to make myself a good diner and have enough rest instead of spending long hours behind a screen. Eventually the final result will tell the whole tale. In the end there is not much to say about it anyway, we just cut pieces of wood into smaller pieces of wood and figure out a way of connecting them together assuring structural integrity and a pleasing aesthetic.

Up ahead is more joinery, some carving work and then the ceiling.


Black Forest Zendo

Several years ago we were asked wether we could design and build a traditional Japanese zendo interior. This is a Japanese meditation hall, traditionally a part of a temple complex, a building where sitting meditation is practiced. Here are some pictures that may give you an idea what such an interior looks like. In the Soto Zen sect sitting meditation or zazen as it is called, is the sole means of realizing enlightenment.


Below a picture of the Sōji-ji zendo.


We are doing this work for the Dharma Sangha a Buddhist centre in the Black Forest of southern Germany.

This project took a while to take shape but finally all the pieces have fallen into place and we are about to commence the work.

It doesn’t happen too often that you get the chance to construct such a building. It is one of these rare ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunities. I have worked for this community before (client wouldn’t really be the appropriate word) and developed a good relationship with them. It is very satisfying to work for a group of people who both understand and appreciate the work we do. You can imagine that I have been looking forward to this project. The last two weeks I spend with Len Brackett working out the design details. I look forward to get away from the drawing board and finally start cutting some wood.

In the mean time my colleagues have been making tansu that will sit on top of the tan platforms. Note the coped rails. We used fine and straight grained Port Orford Cedar for these face frames.


The wood we are using on this project is some of the best we have in stock. The Sugar Pine we will use for the eating board of the tan platforms was milled more then 30 years ago. and has been sitting around waiting for the ‘right’ project. The time has come..


Large Port Orford Cedar posts

The availability of all this fine lumber is something European carpenters like myself can only dream of. Trees just don’t grow this way in that part of the world. Using the appropriate timber is crucial for this kind of work to ensure an authentic feel and look.

Sugar Pine eating boards

Most of the Port Orford Cedar posts have a sewari (stress relief kerf) cut into them to ensure clean faces without cracks.

Port Orford Cedar posts

Tomorrow I start laying out all the components. Stay tuned for more pictures soon.






Tiny Structure 3

P1040064 copy

Tatemai (raising) is rewarding.

P1040013 copy

P1040049 copy


P1040050 copy


P1040055 copy

P1040057 copy



P1040118 copy

P1040119 copy

P1040062 copy

I wonder how this joint will hold up over time since the oak log is likely to warp without a sewari. Time will tell.

Tiny Structure 2

About a year ago I was doing this..


Many oddly shaped holes were made and sometimes patchwork is necessary.


The surface-polisher comes out.


All the ingredients are pickled and plastic wrapped for preservation. Shelf-life is estimated to about 160 years.


Last Season

A compelling journey might be a good way to describe the last couple of months. I was fortunate to be involved in several projects that both challenged and inspired me. Along the way I traveled to the New World, Blighty and Asia and enjoyed the company of some dedicated craftsmen.

Returning home a short while ago I am still trying to digest my experiences. The picture below taken in Guizhou, China illustrates well how I feel.


For now I am just enjoying some tea while figuring out what the rest of the year will bring. At the time I prioritized the work at hand above writing blog posts but I look forward to share some of last summers events with you here soon.