Screen Play (14)

This is the 14th time now I’ve elected to post on just one topic: a Japanese free-standing screen, or tsuitate as they are termed.

Today I focussed my attention on the main frame cross-tie. This piece straddles the two foot-pieces, or ashi, that I largely completed in the previous post, receives the haunched tenons from the frame legs, and locates the lower frame rail using sliding dovetail keys.

First order of business was to shape the underside of the tie with an uplift on the lower surface. This serves a few purposes:

1) visually lightens the piece

2) redresses the slight optical effect of a straight line, which in this case could lead to a slightly drooped appearance (the foreshortening effect)

3) mirrors and accentuates the flickering flame (katō) motif in the upper frame.

Here’s a close in view of the uplift zone:

As you can see, I’ve also added a chamfer, however at this stage it does not run continuously along the piece nor is it full width yet. Just taking a nibble is all….

Next I temporarily-assembled the upper frame pieces so as to see where the tenon spacing was at – here, I have placed the frame assembly upon my two sawhorses:

The reference lines are still in place on these sticks, so I next placed the 1.5 meter Shinwa rule on top to take a measurement:

Here’s the number:

Hmm, 1393mm is what I read. The reference lines for plumb that I am measuring are not set at a particular spacing on each stick, but rather are simply in a useful position where they are running full-length. Thus I had no expectation or plan to get a particular number here.

Then I placed the ruler down near the base of the legs:

And compared the measurement:

Again, I read 1393mm. What is there, and echo in here? This exact correlation is somewhat miraculous, but I’ll go with that – no further adjustment is needed as the miters where the frame pieces join are bang-on. Weird. I then double-checked by taking a couple of diagonal measures, which also matched. Well, okay, then, I’ll move on.

I laid out the mortises on the upper face:

Along with the housings on the side and lower face:

Out came the router for the first set of cuts:

Then it was time for paring:

As you can see I’ve got a fresh bottle of Camelia oil on the go.

Pare complete:

Step one in processing these joints is also complete:

Next up, the chainsaw, and, in a fit of pique, I rip asunder all the pieces (it’s called making an artistic statement)…

Naw, I didn’t do that- next I got busy drilling out the mortise for the tenon:

The jigsaw helped me complete that step lickety-split:

Again time for the router as I brought the sidewalls of the mortise to the dimension:

More pictures to come, but that’s all for today. Thanks for visiting the Carpentry Way.

–> Go to post 15

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