With the New Year just around the corner I thought I'd announce some of the developments with the essay series I have had available for a couple of years now, entitled The Art of Japanese Carpentry Drawing. So far, this series runs to three volumes and 450 pages of material. Volume I and II, which come as a set, dealt with mathematics for carpentry and took some initial steps down the compound joinery path with a look at hoppers, or funnel-form boxes. Volume III, some 280 pages long, looks at Japanese splicing joinery in some detail - in more detail, I suspect, than anything else written and illustrated on that topic. Look for more volumes to come on the subject of joinery.
These volumes have very much been a work in progress, evolving and improving as time passes. The ultimate goal is the publishing of a hard-backed multi-volume set on Japanese carpentry drawing and woodworking. That set will likely be quite expensive, and is many years away. In the meantime, I am choosing not to hole up in a cave to write the magnum opus, and instead am making the material available in a volume by volume fashion, as .pdf files. These files can be printed as the buyer may prefer- a page here and there to take into the workshop, or the whole works as a bookshelf reference.
As I have been selling these volumes, I have gained insights into improving the volumes by constructive feedback that some readers have kindly offered. Any revisions of the material I have been sending out gratis to original purchasers. Volume I and II are currently in their 5th revision, while Volume III has yet to be revised at all. That's the beauty of the .pdf format - it cuts the selling cost significantly and allows for the material to be easily revised and improved at no additional expense.
In the past 6 months I have been running an Online Carpentry Drawing Study Group. We have just finished the second project, and through that process of mailings to group members - 21 mailings so far and counting - I have produced additional material for the TAJCD series. This additional material, combined with further thoughts I have had about the configuration of those essays, has led me to conclude that it is time for something greater than a mere revision - a revamping is in order. In fact, besides adding hundreds of pages of new material, I am actually re-illustrating a significant portion of the essays to improve clarity and streamline the appearance. It's a whole lotta work, let me tell you.
Volume III will remain unchanged. Volume I and II are no longer going to be sold as a set, but will be available as separate volumes, each of which is being significantly enlarged. Volume I/II together tallied 145 pages, while the revamped Volume I alone is past 120 pages at this stage of the process....
Here's a sneak peak of the new cover page for TAJCD Volume I: Carpentry Mathematics:
The revamped Volume II adds a raft of new material on mortise and tenoned hoppers and other joinery options for these forms, taking it to around 140~150 pages.
The new volumes are priced at $20 for Volume I (@100 pages) and $25 for Volume II (140 pages). As this revamping is far more extensive than a simple revision, I will not be sending the new volumes on to past purchasers at no charge - but in recognition of this past support, I will cut the price in half for original purchasers of Volume I/II sets, so $22.50 would obtain the revamped Volumes I and II for those folks. Volume III stays the same, price-wise, at $40.
The revamped Volume I and II will be available for purchase January 15th or so.
In addition a new Volume IV is coming out, a detailed look at compound splayed post geometry and construction. This Volume is slated to be available in late February, expected to run more than 140 pages, and is to sell for $30. Here's a sneak peak at the cover:
Information on mortise and tenon joinery for splayed post structures is virtually unavailable in the English language, and what is out there, from what I have seen, is rather limited in scope and misses out on most of the finer points. I'm anticipating that this volume IV will break new ground in explaining in detail the geometrical and layout issues in undertaking such carpentry work.
Once the new volume is complete and available for purchase, I'll post up a notice here on the blog, along with a few more peaks at the contents. I'm aiming to meet a February 15th deadline - wish me luck!
These revamped essays along with the new Volume IV should bring the total amount of material close to 700 pages.
I also will be offering a discount for those who wish to purchase all four volumes as a set - $100 instead of $115. As before, those who complete the Volume I and II material can opt to take an exam ($5.00), and completion of that exam, and a small project, is the access pass to joining the Online Study Group. I'm hoping to really get this group up to full steam this year and look forward to seeing what projects we can sink our teeth into. Next up for the group is the first of many roof model studies.
Thanks to one an all for your interest in visiting the Carpentry Way over 2011, and I greatly wish all the best to readers for 2012, both in their professional and personal endeavors. I look forward to seeing you next time!