〒036-8131 青森県弘前市千年4-3-17

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About RINGOりんごの木のお話

「りんごの木のお話」

二十年前、知人より大量に切られたりんごの木を「何かに使えないか?」と頂いたのが始まりです。家具什器仕事の閑散期を利用して取り組み始めました。しかし、毎年たくさん廃棄されるのにこれまで誰も木工品の材料に利用しないのには訳がありました。

“About RINGO”

It all started 20 years ago, when we were asked to use cut-off apple trees for something. Then we have started working on it during an off season for furniture and fixture, however, there was a certain reason why no one had ever used them for woodwork despite the fact so many apple trees had been cut off every year.


①りんごを収穫しやすいように縦に大きく伸ばさないため、一般の木材として使われる スギ・ひば・マツのように長モノが取れません。これは小物しか作れないということです。
Since farmers do not grow apple trees in a vertical direction for easier harvesting, that makes no long piece like Japanese cedars, Hiba, and pine trees which are good for general woodwork. This means we can make only small items with apple trees.

②普通、私たちは材木屋さんなどから乾燥された定尺に製材されたものを仕入れて加工します。ですがりんごの場合、自分たちで農園から収穫し、製材・乾燥までしなくてはいけません。そしてその中から無難に使える部分は5割がやっとです。タダほど高いものは無いとよく言いますがこういうことです。
We traditionally purchase dried lumber that has been cut to specific length and width from a lumber dealer and then process them into a product, while we need to work on apple trees all by ourselves at every stage such as harvesting the wood from a farm, sawing, and drying. After all those effort, we find out only half of them at the most is available to be processed in the end. It is just like the proverb “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”.

③ひねくれたドンコロ(小さい丸太)の状態で、製材所では切ってくれません。自分たちでチェーンソー、バンドソー等で硬いりんごの木を切るわけですから、とても注意が必要です。リスクを伴い生産効率も悪く、せめてりんごのいい匂いでもすれば価値が上がるのですが特徴も無く無臭です。
こんな状態ですので私たちは製材・乾燥・加工・塗装すべての工程を自社で行うこととしました。製材のための小さな専用のランニングソー・人工乾燥機・箸削り機など身近にあるものを利用した自家製の機械・治具がいろいろできました。みんなで知恵を出し合えばできるものです。たいした設備投資もせず行っています。日本人のすばらしさはここにあると思っています。
Sawmills never accept such a difficult small log called Donkoro. We need to be very careful about cutting a solid apple log with a chain saw or a band saw all by ourselves, which involves risk and decreases production efficiency. If it smells of apple at least, it would increase in value of it, though, it has no smell and nothing special about.
Thus, we have decided to work on all those processes such as sawing, drying finishing, and painting all by ourselves. We created a variety of handmade machines and jigs utilizing tools around us including small running saws for sawing use only, dryers, chopstick-shaving machines. Putting ideas all together makes anything possible without much investment in factory and equipment. This is how brilliant Japanese people are.

曽祖父の代から木工屋の家系で、特にりんご産業と共に今がある木工屋です。曽祖父が、「りんご梯子」というりんご農家のための脚立タイプの梯子を開発しました。青森のひばで建具の製作技術を生かした構造になっています。今でも和徳町の本家の「木村木工所」で生産販売しています。昔は信州や北海道へもたくさん納品していたそうです。そして今またりんごの恩恵を私たちは受け初めています。
We have been woodworking since the age of my great-grandfather, and would not be still woodworking today especially without apple industry. My great-grandfather had developed a stepstool-like ladder called an Apple Ladder made of Aomori Hiba for apple farms, which has structure come up from fixture-manufacturing knowhow. We still sell and manufacture them at Kimura Woodcraft Factory in Watokumachi, Aomori. We heard that many of the Apple Ladders used to be delivered to the areas of Shinshu and Hokkaido as well in the past. We have again started to receive much benefit from apples now.