The Incredible Woodworking Technique To “Repair With Dismantlement” In The Conservation Of Buildings
The fundamental characteristic of Japanese architecture is the wooden post and beam structure. This type of structure uses a system of joinery in which the structural members meet at right angles and are joined by means of mortise and tenon connections using wooden wedges and pegs to secure the joints. Where long members are required, spliced connections with wedges and pegs are used to join shorter lengths of wood together. Metal fasteners such as nails and cramps are sometimes used, but only for relatively small members which have no primary structural role.
One of the main characteristics of this structure is that it is a structure which is “reversible”, in that it can be disassembled and reassembled without damage to the members. Because of this structural characteristic, it is possible to adopt the technique of “repair with dismantlement” which is common in the conservation of buildings in Japan.
The basic system of the frame structure composed of posts and beams is known as a “rigid frame structure”, constructed to resist the bending moment at each joint, but in effect the overall system acts as a flexible structure which allows a certain degree of flexure and sway in response to lateral external forces. This is a very practical type of system in an earthquake prone country such as Japan.

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