Kane Tsugi Joint - Three Way Pinned Corner Mitre




Introduction: Kane Tsugi Joint - Three Way Pinned Corner Mitre

About: Happy in wood shavings YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/c/WOmadeOD Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/WOmadeOD

This is quite a strong three way corner mitre joint, which, if you follow the instructions and photo's should be within the capability of a modest woodworker with sharp tools. The video should give you an idea of whether you are up to the challenge.

Step 1: Initial Preperation

Prepare all three joining components to the same square dimensions (equal width and thickness, with all sides at 90° to each other)

Scribe a line on the two sides of each component that will be on the inside of the corner. The line should be the same distance from the end as the thickness and width

Join the outside ends of these lines, to the outside corner of each component with a knife line. A mitre square (45°) should help with this

Create knife walls on the waste side of these knife lines.

Step 2: Layout Method, and Component 1

I find it easiest to layout an 8x8 grid on the ends of each component, and transfer lines down the sides to the knife lines. Then it is easy to shade in the regions that need removal, before any sawing or chopping begins

Component 1 - Follow the shading in the last four photo's above

Step 3: Cutting Component 1

Saw on the waste side of the regions to be removed, as far as possible, without cutting past the knife lines

Where shading is removed as parts are cut off, re-establish it with marking gauge, rule, etc.

After completing all the removal possible with the saw, switch to a sharp chisel and chop or pare away the rest of the material, leaving the mitred outside corner and the two long tenons, shown in the last photo

Step 4: Cutting Component 2

Layout as per the first photo'

Chop the mortise right through, testing the fit with the corresponding tenon of component 1

Saw away as much waste as possible, and clean up to the lines with a sharp chisel

Step 5: Test Fit 1 to 2

Adjust as necessary for components 1 and 2 to fit together

This will require cutting one of component 1's tenons to just miss the tenon of component 2, as shown

Step 6: Cutting Component 3

Layout to accept components 1 & 2

Chop the mortise, to take component 2's tenon, right through, testing the fit with the corresponding tenon of component 2

Chop the mortise, to take component 1's tenon, through to connect with the previous mortise, testing the fit with the corresponding tenon of component 1

Saw away as much waste as possible, and clean up to the lines with a sharp chisel

Step 7: Test Fit 1 to 3, 2 to 3, Then All Three

Test fit and adjust component three to both other components, individually, and then all three together, adjusting where necessary.

Step 8: Job Done!

You're ready for glue up!

Pat yourself on the back and take a well earned rest.

Thanks for reading my instructable,




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    43 Discussions

    This is wonderful ! So much is possible...

    1 reply

    That is one GORGEOUS joint!!! And your skills are that of a craftsman. Love the Japanese Back Saws! Where might one use that type of joint?

    Thank you for the instructable. Even if someone would never have a use for that joint, you should attempt it to hone your own skills.

    3 replies

    Anywhere, really, in any frame construction, from tables and bed frames to the large-scale carpentry of temples and homes built or reconstructed using traditional methods and materials (and often traditional tools, although these days hand-held power tools are often used alongside hand tools in Japan).

    And on the contrary (referring to that implied view that such joints may possibly serve no practical purpose and someone may never have a use for that joint), one would have many practical uses for that and the many more complex and elaborate, but very stable and sturdy Japanese joints and joinery techniques in fact. Aesthetics and finely honed skills and expertise doesn't come at the expense of practicality and usefulness, but in fact it elevates it to a higher level, albeit at the cost of years of study and practise.

    Most of the traditional Japanese joinery techniques and their catalogued joints have been invented and they evolved over hundreds of years for the traditional / historical building trade that had an interest in doing away with the need for inferior or hard-to-source metal fasteners in historical times, yet creating even stronger joints and frames and longer-lasting, stronger buildings (traditional wooden frame homes, teahouses, shrines, temples, etc.), even more resistant to everything from inclement weather, heavy rain, and wide swings of temperature from summer to winter, to the frequent tremors and earthquakes of Japan -- as well as a point of quiet pride and expertise and respect for everything from one's tools and the quality woods used, trees carefully selected to the end result, be it a temple or a simple shoji panel.

    As a result, some of the longest-lived wooden buildings and structures are found in Japan, unsurprisingly.

    And most traditional trades in Japan required many years of intensive learning and apprenticeship (7 years here, for instance, but the bare minimum used to be 5 years and up to 10 or more, with modern requirements of 3 years now considered acceptable, using some handheld power tools and more direct and efficient training methods compared to the traditional 'stealing' of your craft and knowledge from your master). Joinery / carpentry is no different in that regard.

    On a side note, in case someone wonders why the author of this 'Indestructable' uses softwood rather than hardwoods such as maple, the woods used generally in Japanese traditional carpentry involve mostly very straight- but close-grained softwoods, very tall and straight Japanese varieties of cypress, pine, cedar, and to some extent hardwoods such as cherry and Japanese elm, etc. Woods known in English under the names of Japanese red pine, Japanese red cypress, Japanese red cedar, zelkova, paulownia, etc. some of which grow up to a straight 50, 70 metres and more, or about 150 to 200 feet, to use rounded numbers.

    (As a side note to the side note above, an easy reference for the US reader -- and to help NASA with any future conversion difficulties :p-- one US yard is just short of an International Standards metre, and there are 3 feet to a yard, one foot is just shy of 30.5 centimetres, which is just shy of 1/3 of one metre or 33.333... cm, so you can rough-estimate metres dividing feet by 3 in your head, or for a closer estimate by 3.3, and vice versa, multiplying by 3 or 3.3 the metres in your head in order to get a quick measurement estimate in feet).

    Thank you for this wealth of information. Very instructive !

    Thank you!

    Iceheat has given a good answer already. I would add fine furniture, since it shows off the craftsman's skills. Items like open display stands, etc.

    I think I will cheat and do it on the CNC router

    Thanks! I tried to make one a few years ago and just couldn't get it right. Your write-up and photos are really well done and easy to follow. Will have to try this come winter when I have time in the shop.

    1 reply

    Cheers Allen. Took a while to figure it out myself - no doubt if I spoke Japanese I might find a more efficient method!
    You might like to check out the SketchUp model I've got for free download on my website: http://www.womadeod.co.uk/p/blog-page_9.html


    1 year ago

    That is a very nice mitered joint. Bravo sir bravo.

    1 reply

    That is super cool! What a beautiful joint as well. Thank you for posting it!

    1 reply

    Very nice job complimenti bravissimo