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Solid wood which doesn't warp by being assembled in shape waves

The town of Tsukechi-cho, Gifu is renowned for its history of woodworking, not least because of the abundance of the renowned Kiso-hinoki cypress tree there. One particular woodworking plant here has developed a processing technique that allows wood to be cut into wave patterns without the wood warping as it does using older techniques.

112 design
Jan 31,2015 Deadline
  • 募集開始 Dec 01,2014
  • 募集終了 Jan 31,2015
  • 結果発表 Jan 12,2016

The backdrop to the invention, Gifu Tono district

The Tono district spreads out across Southeast Gifu. High quality woods grow here, characterized by the narrow growth-rings on their trunks, trees like the Tono hinoki and Nagara-sugi ceder. The woodwork industry was so historically so prosperous here that the sacred wood for the removal of the shrine of Ise-jingu Grand Shrine has been dedicated from this district.

Such a woodworking of the Tono district faces challenges from a very severe environment, and competition from imports of cheap lumber. Moreover, the trees grown here require careful forestry management in order to mature into high-quality timber.

With such a sense of impending crisis, Mr Uchigi, who runs the Uchigi woodworking plant corporation there, had been made trial-and-error efforts to produce woodwork products making the most of the local wood.

From trial and error to accidental invention

In the course of working to produce unique and well-designed woodwork products, Mr Uchigi bound together wood boards cut into wave shapes and leant it against the wall. After a few days, he noticed that the raw wood, normally prone to warping, had not done so.

Force of nature? The strength of live wood, and its weakness.

Natural woods possess a warmth and unique character that cannot be replicated in other materials.

Another key practical advantage of unprocessed wood is its ability to moderate humidity. Such woods are often described as alive even after being cut and processed; absorbing water from the air on humid days, and releasing it when conditions are drier, the wood is said to ‘breath,’ and keeps humidity stable. By regulating humidity, natural wood both helps keep the room comfortable, and also helps prevent the build-up of static electricity that occurs in winter.

Despite these qualities, planks of solid wood often warp or crack in the drying process, described by Japanese woodworkers as "tree rampage". This affectionate expression belies a serious drawback of to the production of what is a highly sought after material.

Overcoming Tree Rampage

"Usually, solid wood left in large planks warps. I wondered why this didn’t."

Mr Uchiki consulted a local university professor, and he told him that by cutting in wave-pattern, the fibers of the wood were cut and warping prevented. Repeating the process several times to ensure the methods’ reliability, Mr Uchiki finally sought a patent.

Talking about his discovery, Mr. Kiuchi said as follows;
"In the global markets, even if we make something, it will be imitated immediately with imported timber." We must pursue something we can only be made in Japan in the future. I would like to use the technique that can be done only here in Gifu as a woodworking locality."

Examples of Production-ready products

In the Uchiki woodworking shop, some original products have already been developed and sold. Several of these are shown below:

Company Profile: Naiki carpentry

Year Established: 1955
President & CEO: Moriro Naiki
Location: Nakatsugawa city, Gifu
Number of employees: Seven
Business: Woodwork painting, production, and sale, OEM production
Your product design must be:
• Designed to use at least some of the unique features of this material
• A homeware or general goods which should be able to be lifted by one hand (e.g. Interior, Kitchenware, Stationery/Desk, Bathroom, Domestic, Gardening/Outdoor, Pet related etc.)
• Non-electrical.

• 50,000 yen if your design progresses to a product development stage.
• Sales royalty payment of 3% at a maximum.
There is no limit to the number of possible designs which can go to a development or production stage.

*How to submit your design*
• Submissions must be made via this website as image files (JPG, PNG or GIF).
• Submissions can be in the form of a descriptive proposal, product plan, illustration, graphic image, photo of a trial product or a combination of the above (maximum 6 files).

The winning design:
• Receives many “Want It!” clicks and positive feedback from our web users
• Is able to be made as per the existing manufacturing parameters described above
• Is not overly complex and can be manufactured and sold at a competitive/realistic price.

*Please refer to terms and conditions as stated on our website.


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  • Taisei
    スパムとして報告する Taisei デザインしたあとに気づいたのですが、ヘッドフォンは概要にある「電気を使わないもの」にそぐわないものでしょうか?
    スパムとして報告する TRINUS 内木木工所様へ生産をお願いすることを念頭に「電気の使わない小物」ということでデザインを募集しておりますため、ヘッドフォンを製品化することは正直なところ少し難しいかと思います。
    スパムとして報告する Taisei 返信ありがとうございます。了解しました、ヘッドフォンの投稿は控えさせていただきます。
  • kurumi
    スパムとして報告する kurumi 基本的に厚さは1cmから2cmの合板デザインせよって感じですよね!厚さ制限みたいなことあるのかと!
    スパムとして報告する TRINUS ありがとうございます。板の厚さは5mm~40mmまでは対応可能だそうです。
  • mioke
    スパムとして報告する mioke ウェーブの大きさは自由に設定できますか?また、板厚の最小値と最大値をご教示いただきたいです。
    スパムとして報告する TRINUS 確認しております、遅くなっており申し訳ありません。
    スパムとして報告する TRINUS 4種類のウェーブがわかりやすい情報とは、本ページに掲載の上から5番目の画像のことのようです。ご確認ください。

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