First Light XXXIX

Getting close to completion now. Today I will detail the fabrication of the final lattice frame for the lantern housing – this being the removable frame, there are some differences between it and the three other frames. For one thing, this frame is thinner than the fixed frames, as I had to place backing strips along he inside of the flanking posts and the underside of the keta. These strips provide a backstop for the removable lattice grille, and keep light from bleeding out along the edges of the opening.

First I set out to hack out some strips suitable for these slender frames:

Two pieces cut (I had the other two on hand) with the waste piece in the middle:

The next step is the usual hand jointing and planing, forming the top and bottom into parallelogram sections, then shooting the ends to their double and single bevels, and finally processing a half-width tongue on the underside of the bottom piece :

The half-tongue on the bottom piece will engage in the dado already cut in the top surface of the lantern housing sill.

These pieces to form the removable lattice frame, given their slenderness and the fact they will experience some handling over the years, needed a little more substantial joint at the corners than the frames which are not removable. Any joint I would use in this case would be glued, so after considering a few options, including dovetails, I chose to simply double up the bridle joint, two tongues on one side and three on the other – each tongue is 0.125″ thick:

This picture shows the view from the underside of the frame, and the half tongue on the bottom piece is clear to see. The small void in the center of the joint is the result of slotting the inside face for fitting the kumiko into position. I plan to plug each of these gaps with a small patch after cut out tasks are complete and it is time for glue-up.

Now for the wooden mechanism which will secure the frames in place and allow for easy removal. This is accomplished by a pair of sliding keys, an idea I gleaned from studying Ming Chinese furniture. I need a hard wood to make the keys out of, and I wanted the keys to be fairly unobtrusive, visually-speaking, so I grabbed my scrap of Goncalo Alves, thinking it the most appropriate choice for such a task:

Out comes the router – first the front side of the keys are processed with a rebate to a precise depth (0.130″):

Then I routed out the underside so as to leave the fat part of the key about 0.05″ fat:

A couple of chops with a chisel and the piece was free:

I separated the two keys from the blank using a 210 mm. nokogiri, then set to work shooting the keys to dimension, using my Colt .45 – uh, I mean Mosaku 54mm:

I was pleased to hit my target dimensions for the pieces – in this case, the length ( the least critical dimension, to tell the truth):

So, in relatively short order, I had the two keys largely complete:

Then I could start in on the mortises, which allow the keys to slide and also house the keys. First the slots:

Once the slots were done, I cleaned them up square with a small chisel, then routed and trimmed out the housings:

Here’s a key offered up to the slot and housing:

A view of both keys now fully fitted up to their respective vertical frame pieces:

All that remained was to cut the slots on the inside of the flanking posts to receive the ends of the keys. I’ll show the completion of that stage in the 40th post.

Hope to see you next time then – thanks for dropping by.

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