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There's a total of 401 pieces in this lamp, which made it a fun and extremely challenging project. For those who may not know, kumiko is an ancient Japanese technique of assembly strips of wood in geometric patterns without the use of metal fasteners. The grid and infill pieces in this project are 1/2" x 1/8" strips of basswood and you'll need kumiko jigs to cut them to their appropriate angles. Both the jigs and the strips are linked bellow in the 'Tools I used section'.

TotalBoat was kind enough to help out with this project and provide you with a coupon code. Use "JTWOODW10" at check out and receive 10% off all TotalBoat products at and also at

To help clarify things, for this Instructable, I will refer to the kumiko section as three separate parts. The main grid (consisting of all vertical and horizontal strips), the angled grid (the strips running diagonally in the main grid), the infill (the small strips cut to make the intricate patterns within both grids).

Tools I used:

These are the tools I used for this project, however, similar results can be achieved with similar tools.
Kumiko jigs -

Sawstop table saw -

Chisels -

Japanese handsaw -

Hot glue gun:

Dental syringe -

Router -

Drill press -

Random orbit sander -


Kumiko strips -

TotalBoat epoxy -

Black diamond pigments -

Sheathing tape -

Lamp cord -

Light bulb -

Step 1: The Main Grid

The main grid is made with three different sized strips. (4 - 17 1/4") (6 - 6 1/4") (6 - 1 3/4") For kuimko, it is very important to be extremely accurate when cutting all your pieces. To make sure all of these are the same length, I tape them together, trim one side of the strips so they're even, and cut the other side to length. I used a table saw with a crosscut sled to achieve this (and many other steps in this project) but it can also be done with a bandsaw or hand saw and the same thing applies for cutting the half laps.

There are a ton of half laps to cut in this project and this is where we start building the pattern we're looking for. All the dimensions I used for this panel are illustrated in the next step. In order to make cutting the half laps easier and to their respective angles, I made this sled for my table saw. The back fence is 90 degrees to the blade and the angled fence is 30 degrees from that fence. The grooves in the sled are 1/2" apart and where meant to put a small piece in to register the previous half laps to but the spacing is off for this panel so I measured the spacing of the half laps for each strip and used a stop block for repeatable cuts.

Once all the half laps are cut, the grid can be assembled.

At the time of writing this, I don't have plans for the sled used in this step. When they are available I will link them in the intro.
This is just beautiful! I love how you've used the epoxy :)
mijo_sq4 months ago
Really great looking lamps! Can these be done with a CNC instead of hand cutting?
JT Woodworks (author)  mijo_sq4 months ago
It absolutely can be cut with a CNC. However, this is a traditional form of Japanese woodworking and I wanted to do it the traditional way. It's far more rewarding and it leaves sharp corners rather than round corners that the CNC would leave.
JavierL904 months ago
Such skilled craftsmanship!! Very beautiful use of kumiko
JT Woodworks (author)  JavierL904 months ago
Thank you!! I really appreciate that!