First Light VI

Block Party, continued….

Once the stock was straight, square and to dimension, I set up my sawhorse in the yard and got my Makita Groover (Mizo Kiri Ban) out. This machine throws chips out in a hurry, so I figured using in in the kitchen wasn’t such a good idea. The slotting took but a few seconds:

Here’s how the block stock looked after the grooves were roughed out:

Then I set up my Jessem Router table and used a 0.625″ core box bit, in a series of graduated passes, to produce semi-elliptical coves along the grain of the stock:

Next it was time to slice and dice the blocks into individual units, which i did with the handsaw:

A close up:

Then I cleaned up the end grain cuts using a chisel:

As a final step, I’ll give the end grain of these blocks a swipe with the plane, but that can wait until later.

Then it was back to the router table to complete the cut out of the coves on the makitō:

Another generic name for pillow blocks is masu (斗). This character derives from a pictograph of a ladle or dipper:

Perhaps due to the similarity of the bearing block to an implement that cups or holds something, this character, 斗, and term ‘masu‘ is a special Japanese carpentry word – you won’t find ‘斗’ defined in a regular dictionary defined as anything other than a lable or unit of measurement (about 18 liters). It is a term used for various kinds of pillow blocks (and there are many types and styles).

Here’s a close up of a couple of the blocks, prior to work on their stub tenons and mortises:

Next I processed the two stub tenon, or mechi, which straddle the mortise. I managed to obtain accurate dimensional results:

Then on to the 0.375″ mortises, which I began by drilling out at 0.3125″:

Cute little blocks all in a row:

And a close up view:

Then a little work with a chisel to define the mortise walls:

Top view:

And from the base:

I left the mortises a little short of fully cleaned out ,as I haven’t made up the floating tenon stock yet, and I like to pare the mortises to fit after that stock is made.

So that completed the work on the pillow blocks. Here they are temporarily installed on the bottom tier of hijiki:

Next on the agenda will be the upper tier of support arms. These were a late revision to my original scheme as I drew it, and I’ll explain the wherefore and why about that change in the next post in this thread. On to post 7

Anything to add?

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