Japanese Joinery - Project A


This course is led by a traditionally trained Japanese craftsman & provides beginners with a hands-on introduction to Japanese joinery. The course will cover basic Japanese techniques on how to use hand tools & the vital process of hand sharpening your tools.

In this course, Japanese Joinery - Project A, you will make a box using traditional Japanese woodworking methods. Instead of using nails & adhesive, you will learn how to connect timber panels by using a timber framing system.

This course is a little less advanced that Japanese Joinery - Project B, but either course can be taken first.

Course content

  • Understanding plans
  • Preparing the materials with a hand plane
  • Cutting the mortises and dovetail grooves in the side panels with a saw and chisels
  • Form the dovetails at the sides of the bottom panel
  • Make a handle and attach it to the lid
  • Smooth the surface of the materials with a hand plane
  • Assembling
  • The instructor will demonstrate hand sharpening

Ideal for

Those who want to enjoy higher level of DIY.
Those who want to learn Japanese box making skills.
Those who want to discover the great ancient wisdom of Japanese Joinery.

More information


Developing a higher level of woodworking skills
Acquisition of proper hand tool skills
Being able to interpret wood grain
Discovering the potential to create beautiful art with your hands


Having some experiences of hand tools is advantageous.
Basic timber framing knowledge such as mortise and tenon, and dovetail.
Attitude that emphasizes quality rather than speed.

Materials supplied

Price includes timber for Japanese joinery project.
All relevant course materials are included.

Materials to bring

  • Chisels in different sizes
  • Hand plane
  • Double-edged Hand saw
  • Marking knife
  • Marking gauge
  • Try square
  • Hammer 350-450g
  • Pencil
  • Sharpener
  • Eraser


Participants will be awarded an RMIT Statement of Participation.

Additional notes



Hisao Zen

Hisao Zen runs Zen's Studio, a Melbourne based business specialising in fine woodworking. Hisa has honed his training and skills through stringent and disciplined projects that have included building and restoration of historic Buddhist temples and landmark shrines. In more contemporary environments Hisa has further extended his field of craftsmanship to domestic and commercial building and interior design upgrades and refinement.

Printable course flyer

Available course dates

Monday 22 July 2019

  • Code S320208
  • Start date 22.07.19
  • End date 09.09.19
  • Hours 24
  • Campus
  • Fee $835.00
Enrol now
Session  Start  End Hours
Mon 22.07.19 06:00pm 09:00pm 3.00
Mon 29.07.19 06:00pm 09:00pm 3.00
Mon 05.08.19 06:00pm 09:00pm 3.00
Mon 12.08.19 06:00pm 09:00pm 3.00
Mon 19.08.19 06:00pm 09:00pm 3.00
Mon 26.08.19 06:00pm 09:00pm 3.00
Mon 02.09.19 06:00pm 09:00pm 3.00
Mon 09.09.19 06:00pm 09:00pm 3.00

Monday 07 October 2019

  • Code S320208
  • Start date 07.10.19
  • End date 02.12.19
  • Hours 24
  • Campus Carlton
  • Fee $835.00
Enrol now
Session  Start  End Hours
Mon 07.10.19 06:00pm 09:00pm 3.00
Mon 14.10.19 06:00pm 09:00pm 3.00
Mon 21.10.19 06:00pm 09:00pm 3.00
Mon 28.10.19 06:00pm 09:00pm 3.00
Mon 11.11.19 06:00pm 09:00pm 3.00
Mon 18.11.19 06:00pm 09:00pm 3.00
Mon 25.11.19 06:00pm 09:00pm 3.00
Mon 02.12.19 06:00pm 09:00pm 3.00

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