The Secret To A Japanese Scarf Joint: A Great Template

August 12, 2017

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 woodworking 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 centerline along the template.
  • Layout the joint and cut it from the single template to yield two mating template pieces.
  • Snap a centerline 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