Ming Inspiration (14)

I was planning another post in the ‘X Marks the Spot‘ series for today, but plans change with a big snowstorm rolling into town. I suspect I may be housebound tomorrow, so I will have plenty of time to put together the next post in that series. For today, I decided to do another post in this series on the design and construction of a dining table based largely on a Ming Dynasty antecedent.

Still working on that center rail. The next step was to process the sloped abutment of the tusk tenon, for which I made up a jig:


Once the jig was sorted out, I then worked the rail vertically, which necessitated a temporary platform be built so I could work on the cutting:


That’s a teak plank milled in 1965 (with an interesting story behind it) serving as the platform. I have a couple of those planks, about 18″ wide and perfect. Scared to cut into them frankly!

Here’s a random shot of the central rib on top of that precious teak plank, which helps show the amount of material that was removed from the bottom of the rail:


With the milling complete, the tusk tenon now takes shape:


Then I trimmed out the waste with a saw and pared the surface down to the tenon cheek:


Then I could complete work on the tenon itself, taking it to finish dimension of 3/8″:


The tusk tenon complete:


Now on to the sword tip miter on top of the ‘T’ form portion on the top of the stick. A little saw work to start – I find bubinga easier to saw than, say, wenge:


I used the rip teeth for both cuts:


Then I trimmed the miter to the line:


Now the end of the stick is complete, save for a little tenon chamfering:


Yet more work remained on the central rail- the housings for the battens needed to be trimmed out. I made another jig and routed to dimension:


I leave final clean up and trimming of the mortises for when I fit the five pairs of battens to the central rail, much in the way ribs attach to a spine in form, but with rod joints – sao-tsugi – connecting the pieces.

Wow! That one piece had a lot of work in it! I feel like I have spent half my life with that one stick. Next time, I move on to other parts of the table – probably the batten joinery can be processed in relatively short order. Thanks for dropping by and tuning in. –> on to post 15

Leave a Reply