About Us

Contact Info





Shop Talk



Gate for the Merritt Horticulture Garden, by Jay van Arsdale and students.

Daiku: Japanese carpenter.

Dojo: Hall for training, practicing.

News & Upcoming Events
 -Refer to the News section for recent site updates.
 -SPRING 2014 Workshops at Jay's Shop:
  • Tools and Techniques: Kanna - Learn to get more out of your hand planes with thorough preparation, conditioning, and useful techniques of planemaking.

    We will discuss woods for new dai material and its procurement. We will make a 110 degree scraper plane used to condition the sole of the kanna, then we will make new DAI (the wood body of the plane) at higher angles more suitable for working high figure grains, and exotic hardwoods. You will need your plane and scraper, some regular sharpening stones, chisels and saws.

    • Dates: Feb 22, Mar 8, 15, 22
    • Time: Saturday 1pm-5pm
    • Fee: $285
  • Setting Up Shop: Saw Horses - The basic work station can be a pair of saw horses and a plank to work on.

    We will look at different styles for different uses and the variety of joinery that can be used in their construction. The materials for your saw horses will be discussed and determined in the workshop. You will need your regular sharpening stones, chisels and saws.

    • Dates: Feb 23, Mar 2, 9, 16, 23
    • Time: Sunday 9am-2pm
    • Fee: $285
Contact Jay van Arsdale at 510-635-7182, jayvanarsdale<at>aol.com

Gallery: Kanna, Nomi, Nokogiri, Sumitsubo, Other Japanese Hand Tools

Gate and Fence Project at the Merritt Lake Garden Center

2007 Inomoto Dai Making Seminar at the Shizutani School

Japanese Gate For the Merritt Horticulture Garden

Machiai Workshop at Timber Framers Guild 2007 Western Conference

Red Cedar Fence For the Japanese Garden

Daiku Dojo Participates in Nikkei Matsuri

Making a Dai (Japanese Wooden Plane Body)

California Daiku Make a Quiet Scene

Herman's Visit to the College of the Redwoods

Wood Joinery

Toolboxes and Tool Storage

Building Workbenches

Kezurou-Kai, Planing Contest

Gate Construction

Laney Exhibit

Joint of the Season

We are a group of California Daiku inspired by the Japanese daiku and Japanese-style woodworking. The precise date of origin for Daiku Dojo is hard to trace. Maybe at some sake-drinking night an inspired member will fabricate the full glorious details of our history. Lacking that, we have a few records in the archive, along with a collection of shop talk, to show to the general public. In its current form, Daiku Dojo is lead by Jay van Arsdale sensei, master Japanese-style woodworker/teacher and consists of a number of his students and some other enthusiasts. You can find out more about the members in about us, or about Jay's woodworking classes in the classes page.

Daiku Dojo promotes Japanese woodworking projects. In a larger sense it means using hand tools, especially Japanese hand tools, more than is common in contemporary woodworking. For with hand tools we get more joy and pride in our work, by building not just wooden pieces but also precious connections - connections to ourselves, to past traditions and craftsmanship, to the community at large, and hopefully to the future generations. You can look into the latest news for our upcoming events and projects. There's also the links page where a number of websites that's relevant to us are listed. If you find something here exciting and want to get more information for yourself or for someone else, you can contact us. We welcome you to get involved and grow with us.