Samurai Carpenter | August 12, 2017

YouTube // Decks & Porches, Woodworking

The Secret To A Japanese Scarf Joint: A Great Template


In case you were getting tired of Glulams and LVLs


It is safe to say that most of us will not build a beam like the one in this video. It is also safe to say that most of us will need to make a template sometime soon. So, this video treat is a slick little way to get some template advice: 1/8 inch mahogany door skin. 


Why door skin makes great templates:

  • It's cheap
  • It's rigid
  • You can cut it with a knife
  • You can fine-tune it with a block plane


The process for cutting the template for this joint:

  • Rip the template stock to the same width as the beam.
  • Snap a center line along the template.
  • Lay out the joint and cut it from the single template to yield two mating template pieces.
  • Snap a center line on the beam
  • Index the line on the beam to the center lines on the template
  • Scribe. Cut. Install.

ICYMI, Samurai also has a nice detail for the ends of deck boards.


—The Samurai Carpenter is a timber framer and furniture maker in Victoria, BC. See more on his YouTube channel



Love this stuff, keep it coming. A life of craft at this level is a life worth living. 

You are coming into your own now, more confidence, Tools make the man, but the man makes the work.  Any tool will not do.  Great video.  Too bad Belushi can't join you on the set. We can build anything.  Start now.  

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