Timber Framing with Japanese Joinery

A comprehensive, step-by-step guide teaching you how to master Japanese joinery.

Complete with detailed plans and instructional joint cutting illustrations; this book will give you the skill set needed to build your own cabin.

Included with Book

The Book

Center line layout, hand tools & maintenance, joinery, purchasing wood, and much more!

Illustrated Joint Cutting Instructions

A comprehensive set of 10 joints in the form of 3d images, measurements, and instructions for cutting.

Complete set of 3D Cabin Plans

A complete set of detailed blueprints for building your own 12' x 24' cabin

Table of Contents


Timber Framing Vs. Stick Framing, Featured Timber Frame Building Style, Roof Style

Chapter 1

Timber Frame Members, Frame Part Measurements, Foundation, Ground Sill, Posts, Plates & Beams, Rafters

Chapter 2

Purchasing Wood, Drying Wood, Recommended Tools & Accessories, Hand Tools, Power Tools, Maintenance & Care

Chapter 3

Line Rule, Creating a Story Pole

Chapter 4

Preparing a Member for Joinery, About Sill, Preparing the Short Sill, Preparing the Long Sill, Preparing the Floor Joists, Preparing the Posts, Preparing the Traverse Beams, Preparing the Plates, Preparing the Purlins, Preparing the Ridge Beam, About Nuki, Preparing the Nuki


Dictionary of Timber Frame Terms

Sustainable Forestry

About Author


25 page set of detailed 3D blueprints!


"A tree is our most intimate
contact with nature"

George Nakashima

The Joinery

Ari Otoshi

Ari otoshi

Ari Otoshi

Watari ago

Ari Otoshi

Koshikake Kama Tsugi

Ari Otoshi

Sage Kama

Ari Otoshi

Sumidome Hozo Sashi

Ari Otoshi

Kanawa Tsugi

Ari Otoshi

Sage Kama

Ari Otoshi


Ari Otoshi

Watari Ago (nuki)

About the Author

About the Author

Hey! I'm Cameron Macfarlane, woodworker, timber framer, software developer and author.

After woodworking for several years, and reading a few books about Japanese Joinery I decided that I wanted to build my own home in the Japanese style. Around the time I started putting together my (rough) plans in SketchUp I heard about a Japanese timber framing class here in Oregon. I enrolled, and was able to gain much of the information I was missing from reading books and watching YouTube videos. Since, I have read even more books, watched more YouTube videos, taken more classes, and learned enough information about Japanese Joinery to put together a solid book.

While the book is finished, I am still cutting my own frame, and will be (hopefully) setting it up in the next year or two. All proceeds from the sale of my book will go towards building my own timber frame.

You can follow my joint cutting journey on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/macfarlanewoodworker/

I haven't had much time for making videos, but plan to start making more soon. Here is my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCglR5VIdztoEzUzjUrwh29g

Frequently Asked Questions

Are these plans up to code?

These plans attempt to come as close to accordance as possible to general building codes. Each local government has a unique set of rules and regulations, that may restrict or allow the construction of the cabin described in these plans. Check with your local building planning bureau to find out. A stamp of approval from a structural engineer may be required. To find a structural engineer to work with you and your area, the Timber Framers Guild is a great resource. https://tfguild.org/find-an-engineer

I’m just a beginner with no wood working experience, is it possible for me to build this cabin?

Yes, absolutely. These plans were designed for you. Each and every joint in this book can be broken down into simple steps, and are a matter of marking lines, sawing and chiseling away material. Worst case you may mistakenly make an incorrect measurement or cut, and need to redo a member, however as time progresses you will quickly grow to become a master.

Recommended Tools


Makita 7104L 10.5 Amp Chain Mortiser


Gyokucho Razorsaw Model No. 655 Ryoba Saw 270mm with Replaceable Blade

Makita 5104 14 Amp 10-1/4-Inch Circular Saw


Makita XPK02Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 3-1/4" Planer

Makita 1806B 6-3/4" Planer

Makita KP312 12-1/4" Planer

Hand Planes

Suika Smoothing Plane

Tsunesaburo azumashuseki hand hammer blue 2 steel 65mm

Marking Tools

TAJIMA PERFECT Sumitsubo Ink Marking Tool light PS-LIGHTMK-B

Shinwa Square / Inch & Centimeter

Kikuhamon Ipponzao Kebiki (Marking Gauge), Oak

Beginners Sharpening Stones

SHAPTON Ha No Kuromaku Ceramic Whetstone (E-set) Medium Grit (#1000) + Fine Grit (#5000) + Fine Grit (#8000)

SHAPTON Ha No Kuromaku Ceramic Whetstone (F-set) Medium Grit (#1000) + Fine Grit (#5000) + Fine Grit (#8000) + Ultra Fine Grit (#12000) by Shapton

Premium Sharpening Stones

NANIWA Hibiki Hard Vitrified IT-0130 Grit-1000

NANIWA Hibiki Hard Vitrified IT-0150 Grit-3000

NANIWA Hibiki Hard Vitrified IT-0170 Grit-6000

NANIWA Hibiki Hard Vitrified IT-0180 Grit-8000

Have A Different Question?

No problem! Send me an email