Gateway (21)

Work on the kiosk continues. One of the interesting aspects to this project, I find, is that of trying to replicate the aesthetics of the previous gate, and part of that aesthetic involves the connections between parts. The old gate was fastened together primarily with threaded rod and somewhat simple (in my view at least) joinery. I won’t be building the new gate with the metal fasteners or the crude connections, wanting to bring things up a notch (heh!) – however I will be seeking to duplicate the clean connection look that you get with the hidden metal fasteners. As a result, I have to keep the pegging and other overt mechanisms somewhat on the down-low – by which I mean, concealed, hidden, discrete.

In fact, I will be using few conventional pegs at all on this project.

Case in point is the junction between the kiosk’s crossbeam and the repair posts. While it would be quick and expedient to fasten the post to the beam using a housing and some timber screws, I have decided to use my own variant on a joint the Japanese call hiki-dokko. Forms of this joint are going to be used in many places on this project.

These are the housings on the splice-on post sections to carry the crossbeam:

The housing is stepped, as you can see.

The mortise carries through to the inside of the scarf and there is opened up a little to form a pocket:

A closer look:

It took most of the day to complete the fabrication, and in the end it was time to see if this will all come together. Here are some of the main parts:

I made the draw-bar out of a Burmese Teak offcut. It slides in first:

Then the crosspiece fits to the post:

Once the post and crossbeam are together, the draw-bar, a variant type of yatoi-sen, is tapped in:

The sloped head of the yatoi-sen is recessed into the scarf to accommodate some shrinkage, should it occur:

On the business end, it will connect the crossbeam using a pair of tapered locking pins, or shachi-sen:

A gap is necessary at the end of the yatoi-sen to accommodate the tensioning process when the shachi-sen are driven in.

Both posts now assembled to the cross-tie:

This method of joining the parts takes the joinery mechanism and hides it by placement on the underside of the crossbeam.

It took a bit of wrangling, but a while later the post-assembly was united with the kiosk:

One side closer in:

The other:

As the shachi-sen are not installed yet, much less fabricated, the joint is not fully drawn up yet. There is enough friction between the pieces to keep everything together just fine though. I have to disassemble these connections later on when the metal shoes are complete and can be fitted.

With the help of a couple of concerned citizens, I moved the kiosk to another part of the shop and stood it upright:

Another view:

Right, onto the main gate fabrication.

First task was to start cutting the nose pieces for the main crossbeam, or kabuki:

The cuts were completed down to the mark with a handsaw.

With a little powerlifting action, the large Hitachi bandsaw was brought into play and the waste portions were removed cleanly:

After cutting I discovered that these sticks were slightly damp on the inside, so they did not get fully dried right down to the core. That was after 6 months of dehumidification, so I’m thinking that a year of dehumidification might have been best for these chunkier bits. But a year of drying time, well, that I didn’t have anyhow, so it was the best that could be done. It would have been good too if the sawlogs in question hadn’t been sitting on the ground in Oregon for so long….

There are things you can control, and things you can’t.

All for today – thanks for coming by. On to post 22.

12 Replies to “Gateway (21)”

  1. Mitchell,

    I guess your previous comment never made it, so no worries. Yes, the cross piece is all of 35″ off of the ground, so to see the teak parts you would have to hunker down pretty low and look up. Not likely to happen very often.


  2. Hi Jack,

    yes, well, one solution is to cut the tenons oversize, mortises undersize, and let them shrink down a bit for as long as possible before fitting up. The timber can hopefully lose some moisture and come to a reasonable dimension, but this of course adds time to the project.

    It turns out that my conclusion that the parts were moist inside however was in error, as you'll see in the next post.


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