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Re: [SCA-JML] Nails?

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  • Ii Saburou
    ... I was not attempting such a thing, and I apologize if that was my tone. I was simply surprised in the use of bolts and wondering as to their use. ...
    Message 1 of 10 , Jul 29 6:23 PM
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      On Sun, 29 Jul 2001, Barbara Nostrand wrote:

      > Ii Dono!
      >
      > While you can find bolts in some structures, you should not grasp
      > this as a way to justify widespread use of nails as in modern
      > balloon construction.

      I was not attempting such a thing, and I apologize if that was my tone. I
      was simply surprised in the use of bolts and wondering as to their use.

      > Does this mean that you should abandon the bolt, the nail, and
      > the carpentry screw? Absolutely not. It just means that you
      > should cover them up. You can of course worry about limiting your
      > use of them if you intend to enter your house in an A&S competition
      > or something like that. If, however, your intentions are primarily
      > utilitarian, you can cheat to your heart's content. They do that
      > all the time in modern Japanese construction.

      Actually I was hoping to use sashimono construction as it seems easier to
      put together than screwing many things together. Granted, initial
      construction will be greater.

      > I think that you will find that bolts will work best where you
      > join posts and beams together. You may wish to make bolt covers
      > similar to screw on hubcaps possibly by attaching a matching
      > nut to a metal ash tray or some similar raw matterial for making
      > your decorative bolt covers.

      I'm not sure if I would make something large enough to have the bolts like
      this. I'm not sure how the corners would work, and that is where I would
      see them being placed. I'm not sure how to get a bolt in each side to
      balance out the structure, or if it would be necessary. Also, there may
      be some bolts in the ridge structure. I need to do more research, first,
      however.

      -Ii
    • bun-ami
      Baron Edward, I am sorry, but I have to disagree with you on some of this. ... Ysua Nakahara in his contruction of temples says that metal nails were typically
      Message 2 of 10 , Jul 30 10:33 AM
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        Baron Edward,

        I am sorry, but I have to disagree with you on some of this.

        >> On Sun, 29 Jul 2001, Anthony J. Bryant wrote:
        >>
        >> > You're right with the bolts bit, if I understand the functionality. These
        >> > things are put over otherwise unsightly bolts to make the thing a bit more
        >> > ornamental and less utilitarian. If you look in some rooms, they're on the
        >> > lintels at each point a pillar/post goes up into it.
        >>
        >> So, when did the use of such bolts come about? Are they relatively
        >> recent (Kamakura? Muromachi?) or have they been used since Heian times?
        >> I think the pictures I've seen of them date from the Heian era, but I'm
        >> not entirely sure (95%).
        >>
        >
        >That, I couldn't tell you. They were in use for a LONG time, though. I'd
        >suggest trying to find photos of larger temple buildings and shrines and
        >looking for them, and then dating the buildings. I've never been so motivated
        >to do that.
        >
        >Definitely they were in use in Heian Japan... reconstructions of the Rokujo
        >palace have the decorative nail heads, implying to me that that was the method
        >in common domestic architecture at least in the 11th century.
        >
        >> So, were sashimono techniques used for the majority of the building, with
        >> bolts where they were needed the most?
        >
        >That's always how I've understood it. The main load bearing part was made
        >solid, then joinery was used to put everything else together...
        >

        Ysua Nakahara in his contruction of temples says that metal nails were typically not used, they used hardwood or bamboo nails. The structures were held together with hardwood or bamboo dowels and pegs. Western style nails were not used or manufactured until 1898.
        The bolts were also not used, the whole reason for not securing everything was that the wood jointery was made with a little slack to allow for moving and shifting during an earthquake, bolting these sections together would defete this purpose (buildings would be to ridge and collapse during an earthquake).
        The only incident of metal used like nails I can find were the square iron pegs sunk into chiseled holes in the cross beam to support the upper rafters.

        In Japanese style woodworking the endgrain is deemed unsightly or ugly. Attempts to cover the endgrain include not having through mortise and tenon joints and covering the endgrain. Gegyo, or carved wooded ornamental pieces are attached to the ridge pole endgrains, and rokuyo or ornamental metal (bronze) pieces attached to the endgrains of the rafters and such, or the endgrain butt is carved and painted.
        The rokuyo most likely did have metal tacks to hold them in place. I would assume that these metal endgrain covers were the metal pieces the untouchables collected.

        Bun-ami
      • Anthony J. Bryant
        ... Feel free! ... How can metal nails have been *typically* not used, and then also not manufactured until 1898? Isn t that a contradiction? And metal
        Message 3 of 10 , Jul 30 11:50 AM
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          bun-ami wrote:

          > Baron Edward,
          >
          > I am sorry, but I have to disagree with you on some of this.
          >

          Feel free! <G>

          >
          >
          > Ysua Nakahara in his contruction of temples says that metal nails were typically not used, they used hardwood or bamboo nails. The structures were held together with hardwood or bamboo dowels and pegs. Western style nails were not used or manufactured until 1898.

          How can metal nails have been *typically* not used, and then also not manufactured until 1898? Isn't that a contradiction? And metal nails were definitely being used in the 1400s, at least, witness the report of the kawaramono being allowed to keep the nails and clamps they could find in the ruins of a burned out shrine. For the record, the burning was in the 1400s, the shrine was a good few centuries (at
          least) older.

          >
          > The bolts were also not used, the whole reason for not securing everything was that the wood jointery was made with a little slack to allow for moving and shifting during an earthquake, bolting these sections together would defete this purpose (buildings would be to ridge and collapse during an earthquake).
          > The only incident of metal used like nails I can find were the square iron pegs sunk into chiseled holes in the cross beam to support the upper rafters.

          I didn't know they were square, but would those be the ones covered by the decorative metal fittings (kugikakushi)? If so, those are exactly what I was talking about.

          I'm not talking about general nail construction, I know joinery and pegging is the traditional method. What I am saying is that from the Heian period they were using decorative nail covers to hide the heads of whatever they were using to bolt the lintels on the support pillars. The question seems to be whether we can call them bolts or "square iron pegs." <G>

          >
          >
          > In Japanese style woodworking the endgrain is deemed unsightly or ugly.

          Pity... some of my prettiest pipes are bird's eye briar. <G>

          > Attempts to cover the endgrain include not having through mortise and tenon joints and covering the endgrain. Gegyo, or carved wooded ornamental pieces are attached to the ridge pole endgrains, and rokuyo or ornamental metal (bronze) pieces attached to the endgrains of the rafters and such, or the endgrain butt is carved and painted.

          That would have been hard to do with all those old styles of shrine architecture with long, exposed rafters showing their ends sticking way out beyond the roof.

          Do you know if this was a *later* aesthetic, and if so, when it came into play? It doesn't seem to fit with the earliest architectural structures which, while using some elements of complex joinery, seemed unconcerned about what part of the wood was out. I really wonder if that's not a very late development, like that whole "wabi/sabi" thing that permeated tea in the latter part of the 1500s.

          >
          > The rokuyo most likely did have metal tacks to hold them in place. I would assume that these metal endgrain covers were the metal pieces the untouchables collected.

          Possible. Hm.

          Interesting post!


          Effingham
        • Ii Saburou
          ... Perhaps it was a difference between western nails and whatever metal fittings the Japanese did have prior to that? BTW, the nightengale floors of Nijo
          Message 4 of 10 , Jul 30 7:49 PM
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            On Mon, 30 Jul 2001, Anthony J. Bryant wrote:

            > bun-ami wrote: > Ysua Nakahara in his contruction of temples says that
            > metal nails were typically not used, they used hardwood or bamboo
            > nails. The structures were held together with hardwood or bamboo
            > dowels and pegs. Western style nails were not used or manufactured
            > until 1898.
            >
            > How can metal nails have been *typically* not used, and then also not
            > manufactured until 1898? Isn't that a contradiction? And metal nails

            Perhaps it was a difference between 'western' nails and whatever metal
            fittings the Japanese did have prior to that?

            BTW, the nightengale floors of Nijo palace are evidence of nails being
            used well before 1898. Castle construction also tended to use a lot of
            metal pieces, and I know I have seen nails in at least a few cases.

            > > The bolts were also not used, the whole reason for not securing
            > > everything was that the wood jointery was made with a little slack to
            > > allow for moving and shifting during an earthquake, bolting these
            > > sections together would defete this purpose (buildings would be to
            > > ridge and collapse during an earthquake). The only incident of metal
            > > used like nails I can find were the square iron pegs sunk into
            > > chiseled holes in the cross beam to support the upper rafters.

            I don't see how bolting them together defeats the purpose. There is still
            an axis to the bolts that the structure can move on. The slack can be
            there with the bolt in place as well; whether that bolt is wood or metal.

            Also, would they necessarily have been iron bolts? I can't really imagine
            using other metals, but it could be.

            I have read of the elaborate rafters being used as a method of
            transferring the kinetic energy of the quake into friction as the joinery
            moves against each other, thus dissipating the energy.

            > > Attempts to cover the endgrain include not having through mortise
            > and tenon joints and covering the endgrain. Gegyo, or carved wooded
            > ornamental pieces are attached to the ridge pole endgrains, and rokuyo
            > or ornamental metal (bronze) pieces attached to the endgrains of the
            > rafters and such, or the endgrain butt is carved and painted.
            >
            > That would have been hard to do with all those old styles of shrine
            > architecture with long, exposed rafters showing their ends sticking
            > way out beyond the roof.
            >
            > Do you know if this was a *later* aesthetic, and if so, when it came
            > into play? It doesn't seem to fit with the earliest architectural
            > structures which, while using some elements of complex joinery, seemed
            > unconcerned about what part of the wood was out. I really wonder if
            > that's not a very late development, like that whole "wabi/sabi" thing
            > that permeated tea in the latter part of the 1500s.

            Looking through pictures I took I found many examples where the cross-cut
            shows, even if it didn't have to:

            Toudaiji temple:
            http://modzer0.cs.uaf.edu/~logan/pictures/todaijimon2bg.JPG
            http://modzer0.cs.uaf.edu/~logan/pictures/todaiji4bg.JPG

            Jinja in Aichi-ken, Seto-shi, Shinano-chou:
            http://modzer0.cs.uaf.edu/~logan/pictures/shinanojinja1bg.JPG

            Nijo Palace:
            http://modzer0.cs.uaf.edu/~logan/pictures/nijo5bg.JPG
            http://modzer0.cs.uaf.edu/~logan/pictures/nijo1bg.JPG
            http://modzer0.cs.uaf.edu/~logan/pictures/nijo12bg.JPG
            http://modzer0.cs.uaf.edu/~logan/pictures/nijo4bg.JPG ('bolt' covers at
            the cross joints--hard to see)

            Kinkakuji: (covers and exposed endgrain)
            http://modzer0.cs.uaf.edu/~logan/pictures/kinkakuji2bg.JPG

            Nagoya Castle (from the one remaining original building--the southeast
            tower, IIRC--straight out from the front of the main citadel and to the
            right):
            http://modzer0.cs.uaf.edu/~logan/pictures/honkaku3bg.JPG (lines of nails
            in the roofing? If not nails, are they knots in the wood? They seem to
            small and organized, but that's a possibility)


            Something of note in the pictures above: most of the end sections are
            painted, often white. I wonder if this is a means of covering up the
            cross-grain?

            I only saw one clear example of a metal fitting used to cover the end of a
            beam.

            Could this aversion to the cross-grain be a part of the tradition of
            smaller sashimono creations? Perhaps it is something to be avoided in
            chests of drawers and so on, but not in architecture, per se.

            Also, I don't know to what extent these are reconstructions and how close
            to the original they might be.

            Still, I wouldn't say that nails were prevalent in these structures, with
            a question as to whether or not the bolts in the wood are iron or some
            other material. Not shown are several examples where the joints are not
            immediately apparent and one would have to estimate their actual nature.

            Very interesting and I really would like to learn more.

            -Ii
          • Barbara Nostrand
            Noble Cousins! Greetings from Solveig! Actually a bolted structure can easily be more flexible than a nailed structure. This has to do with the geometry of
            Message 5 of 10 , Jul 30 9:05 PM
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              Noble Cousins!

              Greetings from Solveig! Actually a bolted structure can easily
              be more flexible than a nailed structure. This has to do with
              the geometry of rigid structures.

              >Also, would they necessarily have been iron bolts? I can't really
              >imagine using other metals, but it could be.

              Try bronze. There is a lot of bronze in traditional Japanese stuff.

              Your Humble Servant
              Solveig Throndardottir
              Amateur Scholar

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