First Light VIII

Continuing on now with the fabrication of the upper set of crossbeams for my Japanese-influenced garden lantern. If you are coming to this blog for the first time, or haven’t visited in a while, please see the archive in the side bar on this page for a list of previous installments in this thread, from “First Light ~ First Light VII”.

The first set of diagonal ‘X’ beams were put together, and my attention had turned to the shorter pair of beams, which were taller in section and would partially lap the diagonal set. For this I would use a housed and cogged double oblique lap. After the lap was established, I next used a kebiki to knife the sidelines of the cog housing:

Then, presto! the 0.125″ cog shoulders were cut out:

Hah – sometimes I wish the cut out were as easy as ‘presto, one, two, three‘, but no such luck. I’ve been amazed at how many hours can run by as the work progresses. It’s a highly enjoyable process regardless.

I next set out to chop the housed half laps at the ends of the shorter beams. The yet-to-be made sill, or do-dai, for the lantern housing will interlock with these joints:

Chop, chop, chop:

Pieces complete through half-lap cut out, though the half laps for the dodai connections haven’t been taken down to final depth yet:

Next I used the router to process a trench, 0.125″ deep, in the portions of the cogged laps at the diagonal ‘X’ beam crossing point:

Then, taking the sidelines of the plowed trench as a guide, I separated the pieces, marked out the housings from the trench shoulders, and processed the cut outs on the faces of the diagonals at the crossing point:

Reassembled, the joint now looked like this at one side:

However, my cut out was not complete yet, as the housing needed to be widened on the side faces of the diagonal ‘X’:

Again reassembled, the joint looked like this:

In this photo you can see the lower short beam being slid into position, which was for the purpose of marking out (scribing) some step-downs on the ends of the ‘noses’.

Then I took it all apart again, and began cutting out the little step-downs:

Those cuts complete, the joint looked like this:

Now I could slide the lower beam into place on the diagonals:

With the lower piece pressed fully into place, the trio was looking comfortable together:

Then it was time for the upper cross piece:

Once the top pieces was seated, the intersection joinery of the second tier beam was essentially complete:

There was still a fair amount of work to come on these four pieces yet though! Stay tuned – on to post 9.

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