Kominka

A forum for DIY, cars, pets and all things related to home life
User avatar
Zasso Nouka
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 2581
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:37 am
Location: Chiba Prefecture
Has thanked: 1804 times
Been thanked: 1174 times

Re: Kominka

Post by Zasso Nouka » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:34 am

Some great mortise and tenon joints on your fence there Brett and the kakishibu/sumi finish looks awesome.

User avatar
BrettRas
Posts: 129
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:30 am
Location: Ojika Island, Nagasaki
Has thanked: 59 times
Been thanked: 169 times

Re: Kominka

Post by BrettRas » Wed May 23, 2018 7:42 pm

Long time no post.

I've been busy shifting gears into more serious kominka restoration/workshops. Started a new project late last year with two others to fix up kominka to allow for housing/livelihood for both current residents and those looking to move here. Currently there are many more folks looking for housing here than there are livable spaces. Also of course trying to encourage a sustainable, hand-made type lifestyle and the skills and knowledge that go with that.

If you are interested the website is http://www.okibi.jp but most frequent updates will be seen at http://www.facebook.com/teshigotookibi and http://instagram.com/kurashi_to_teshigoto_okibi
ec6a64_081cab3d34784ccda071c2a7dd21184e~mv2.jpg
ec6a64_081cab3d34784ccda071c2a7dd21184e~mv2.jpg (62.06 KiB) Viewed 222 times
Brett Rasmussen

http://www.okibi.jp

User avatar
Zasso Nouka
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 2581
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:37 am
Location: Chiba Prefecture
Has thanked: 1804 times
Been thanked: 1174 times

Re: Kominka

Post by Zasso Nouka » Thu May 24, 2018 6:04 am

Great to have you back Brett,

Sounds like you have found an interesting and worthy project to use your restoration skills on and what better way to help develop your local community. I've always admired the work you do so shall be following you on Instagram, sadly I don't do Facebook (for a variety of reasons) but will look forward to seeing what you get up to on Instagram.

Nice to see you back

User avatar
BrettRas
Posts: 129
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:30 am
Location: Ojika Island, Nagasaki
Has thanked: 59 times
Been thanked: 169 times

Re: Kominka

Post by BrettRas » Fri Jun 21, 2019 5:48 am

A year or so later and the project is complete!

Have a look at our slideshow of the progression. The last couple of minutes show before/after comparisons so you get a good idea of the dramatic change.

The homestay is now being run by my friends and the website is www.yanoyanoie.com

Brett Rasmussen

http://www.okibi.jp

User avatar
Zasso Nouka
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 2581
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:37 am
Location: Chiba Prefecture
Has thanked: 1804 times
Been thanked: 1174 times

Re: Kominka

Post by Zasso Nouka » Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:43 am

Wow man, what an amazing transformation, your carpentry skills are even more impressive now than previously and they were pretty good then.

A couple of questions if you don't mind. What is the purpose of the twine binding on the bamboo frame for the earth walls ? Is it to hold the framework together or aid in helping the earth plaster to adhere to the bamboo ?

Where did you get the solar water heater from ? It's always good to have a couple of options and currently I only know of the MMC Solar heater.

Honestly man, a seriously nice job and the house looks lovely now.

User avatar
BrettRas
Posts: 129
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:30 am
Location: Ojika Island, Nagasaki
Has thanked: 59 times
Been thanked: 169 times

Re: Kominka

Post by BrettRas » Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:02 am

Thanks Zasso,

I can't take credit for the excellent joinery on the main structural beams that got replaced. That fine work was done by my friends from Okayama (Somacousha).

The bamboo frame in Japanese walls is not woven like in wattle and daub, but tied with the straw rope. So, the rope holds the bamboo lattice together, as well as providing extra purchase for the earth. I wrap it around the nuki as well to give more grip for the earth on the wood surface there. That technique doesn't seem to be used all over Japan though, and there are several other ways to bridge the nuki.

The solar water heater is from MMC. There are a few other direct water pressure options out there these days, but the MMC seems to be the cheapest and simplest.

Edit: Maybe the video slideshow on the previous post isn't working? You should be able to view it on our blog post here: https://www.okibi.jp/post/yasaopen
Brett Rasmussen

http://www.okibi.jp

Tora
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:53 am
Has thanked: 37 times
Been thanked: 77 times

Re: Kominka

Post by Tora » Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:03 am

Brett,

Nice work all around!!! If possible I’d really like to see it next time I’m in the area. It looks like you use a lot of the techniques/materials we’re (still...) working on here and I admire your diligence in sticking to the traditional ways (or so it appears).

As far as my limited ‘tsuchikabe’ repairs go, the straw rope seems to be used the same here- to tie everything thing together and to provide grip to larger wooden structural members. Or so it was when my house was built. Haven’t found any craftsmen to confirm this by but a carpenter friend said he’d seen people using that plastic string/rope stuff, that people use to bind their newspapers on collection day, to tie everything together before throwing the arakabe on. I couldn’t find a thinner straw rope (until after I’d finished) to bind the bamboo so I used juro (? Shuro?) from the local home center and it worked fine (so far....).

I tried weaving the bamboo on one wall and it created this wavy-gravy effect that followed the contours of the woven bamboo lathe across the wall. It matched the overall feel of that wall so I was ok with it but I’m guessing it would take a whole lot more mud to make it ‘flat’ by Japanese standards - that’s for sure.

User avatar
BrettRas
Posts: 129
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:30 am
Location: Ojika Island, Nagasaki
Has thanked: 59 times
Been thanked: 169 times

Re: Kominka

Post by BrettRas » Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:47 am

I've seen the plastic rope being used to tie the lattice together too. Makes me want to cry. That stuff should be banned completely. It breaks down so quickly and you end up with the microplastic floating away into the environment. I've probably inhaled a decent amount of it while cleaning up old houses and it just puffs into dust when you touch it.
Terrible material to be putting in a wall with otherwise totally natural and environmentally friendly materials, not to mention the fact that it loses its strength so easily and quickly.

Glad to hear you are keeping at it, the more you work with it the better you get at it!
Brett Rasmussen

http://www.okibi.jp

User avatar
Zasso Nouka
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 2581
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:37 am
Location: Chiba Prefecture
Has thanked: 1804 times
Been thanked: 1174 times

Re: Kominka

Post by Zasso Nouka » Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:42 am

BrettRas wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:02 am
The bamboo frame in Japanese walls is not woven like in wattle and daub, but tied with the straw rope. So, the rope holds the bamboo lattice together, as well as providing extra purchase for the earth. I wrap it around the nuki as well to give more grip for the earth on the wood surface there. That technique doesn't seem to be used all over Japan though, and there are several other ways to bridge the nuki.
Thanks Brett,

I didn't realise the frame was not woven, is there a specific reason for that or it's just how it's done ?
BrettRas wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:02 am
Edit: Maybe the video slideshow on the previous post isn't working? You should be able to view it on our blog post here: https://www.okibi.jp/post/yasaopen
I can see it fine

Ibaraki llama
Posts: 113
Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:40 am
Location: Ibaraki
Has thanked: 150 times
Been thanked: 177 times

Re: Kominka

Post by Ibaraki llama » Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:16 pm

Thanks Brett,

Enjoyed the slide show.

I was reading your blog and you mentioned using the fermented persimmon and pine soot on the exterior wood - what is the difference between using this versus leaving it as is and not painting at all, or using another product? Is there added protection or is it mainly an aesthetic thing?