Mizuya (10)

Many hours of drawing work since the last post, however the reader likely won’t note too many obvious visual changes from the previous iteration. I have revised the shelving in the main compartment, added shelves to the lower compartment, and have done a lot of detailing with joinery. It is not terribly straightforward to configure everything when the conditions that I have set are for the piece to be robustly constructed, use no glue, and be demountable without reliance upon metal fasteners. I do like the challenge, and it does come with a fair amount of head-scratching. This project reminds me of the demountable doctor’s desk I built 7 or 8 years ago. That project was a bit of a saga, hopefully this one will have a smoother journey.

Here are some views:

Two shelves, will probably be of solid 3/4″ material with tenoned and mitered breadboard ends, though I may do frame and panel shelves as an alternative:

Two shelves for the bottom compartment as well:

All the shelves will be height adjustable, the bottom one’s though only be one or two positions up and down.

Here’s a view with all the doors and drawers removed:

I have started working my way through the design component by component, sorting out the joinery layer by layer and case by case. After three days of drawing, this is how far along that process is – not far!:

The framing around the drawers with the insert runners is some of the most complex in the piece – all so that it might be repaired easily down the line.

A view from below – I’m making a fair amount of use of wedged through-tenons:

Detail of the twin tenoned connection, with mitered tongue, which is seen where the drawer rails meet the post:

The tenons go through, and will be wedged and trimmed flush.

Oh, and in other news…the jeweler has produced a prototype of the hinged door pull:

It’s still raw copper and hasn’t received any patination yet. The pentagon portion of the mark has been dropped. not sure how I like it yet.

All for today – have a great weekend!  On to post 11

12 Replies to “Mizuya (10)”

  1. Hi Chris,
    I wouldn't have thought of wedged through tennons as particularly “demountable”. Is this the joint where the mortise is flared and the tennon split with a wedge?
    Harlan Barnhart

  2. Harlan,

    you're right – wedged through tenons are less demountable. However, if the wedges are put in unglued, then the wedges can be excavated if necessary later on, and the connection separated. A better term for those is 'repairable'. I'm thinking about the long term.

    I am making certain portions of the piece readily demountable, like the back panels, fixed with sliding tabs, while other parts cannot be so readily demounted, but can be repaired – the joints separated with some work. If I go further towards full demountablity, then the aesthetics tends to get cluttered even more with the joint mechanisms, which I'm striving to keep on the down-low as much as I can. So, it's a compromise. I hope the choices I've made so far in that direction have made sense.


  3. Hello,

    Yes, I remember you had the ambition to do it, (hardware), yourself from scratch. This seems like the perfect opportunity. Save the trip to the jeweler for something where the fine-ness and detail will be more prominent and appreciated.


    Don Wagstaff

  4. Hi Don,

    good to hear from you – long time – and thanks for your comment. I am exploring some ideas for making my own hardware, and am keeping a wrap on proceedings until I have something figured out. The jeweler who made the above piece has now sold a couple of those to another woodworker, so I'm a little bummed that I won't have pieces available that are exclusive to this cabinet. I've also been in contact with metalsmith Ford Hallam and will be discussing design matters with him in the next while.


  5. Hi Chris,

    Catching up with some of your posts…

    You worked with the jeweler on a pull design, and he sold what had developed to another person? If that is the case, it seems a rather odd situation.

  6. Hey Dennis,

    good to hear from you. Yes, that's what happened with that jeweler. After she developed that piece you see above, without mention to me, she showed it to some furniture maker for his opinion. That maker liked what she had made and ordered some made in silver. She seemed happy to do that.

    I won't be working with that jeweler for any further pieces of tansu hardware.


  7. Davej,

    thanks for your comment. I am in contact with Ford Hallam, though as the design for this piece has yet to fully gel, that aspect remains on the back-burner for the time being.


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