Fujimock – Redefining material sourcing and processing

FabLab Kamuakura have very interesting project about forests, material processing and design running. Fujimock is about defining new methods and workflows for harvesting local Japanese timber and how to design meaningful products with this raw material. In Japan more and more imported timber is being used over local timber. This is due to many factors, most importantly high domestic labour costs and cheap international transportation.

I was lucky to able to join one of the events, organized in collaboration with a sustainability and forest management organization behind mount Fuji. The participants spent a whole day in the forest learning about the ecosystem, forest management and how chop a tree Japanese style. For many of the participants it was their first time in a forest, let alone touching a saw, so you can safely say it was an entertaining experience.

The timber chopped will be stored for three months and then processed in a second series of workshops this winter. So Fujimock is about teaching forestry insights, wood harvesting and precessing as well as how to design for and process timber with the FabLab tools. Very inspiring and super relevant for all global FabLabs in the vicinity of forests. Souring sustainable and local materials is an important agenda for the FabLab network. Next to the sustainability aspect there lies tremendous value in connecting FabLab tinkerers with the origin of the material they play with. One great part of FabLab is creating meaningful stories between people and products. And knowing the origin and processing of the wooden magic you got in your hands can bring these connections to a new level.


Youka Watanabe (FabLab Kamakura manager) explains

Learning about the ecosystem

Crazy plants

Lumberjack chainsaw masters (with Swedish chainsaws)

A beautiful traditional ritual to pay respect to the tree about to be cut. A rope is tied around the tree and an ax is placed at its base.

Like a pro

Manual tools only for workshop participants

Team effort

Attempting to show how to cut trees Scandinavian style

Nice rope technique

Making planks

We killed a tree, we liked it

Logs to be dried and used for design workshops

Bye woods

Bye Mount Fuji

Design and surface mapping to match the growth ring pattern. Note the ruler for correct scale

Half a log in the CNC milling machine

Surfacing a pattern playing with light and dark growth rings

Hold down

3D roughing finished

3D milling test



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