Gateway (33)

Post 33 in an ongoing series describing the design and construction of a kabukimon, a type of Japanese gate. This is a project for the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

This morning was consumed by a phone interview for an online woodworking magazine. I got to the shop just after noon and started in on cleaning up the work from yesterday on the kabuki. The clean up of the infill strips in the sewari soon progressed to the point where I just kept going and cleaned the entire surface off, along with the tenons, as you can see in this clip:

Normally I would want to plane in a more comfortable position, raise the beam up onto some sawhorses and whatnot, but I decided for the amount of work to do on the one face that it would be okay just left in place. I had already worked on the far end surface of the beam prior to starting the video, hence I am pulling the plane off the surface before the very end.

I then flipped the beam back to its normal orientation (as it will be placed in the structure) and starting in on the work upon the upper stress relief kerf. There was a raised strip on the surface which had been left behind by a nick in the blade of the running planer, quickly sliced off with a chisel:

The aluminum box section later serves as a guide for my router, fitted with 1/4″ spiral carbide bit.

Once the kerf had been cleaned up by router, I masked off:

Going for Brazil’s national colors today I guess.  I had been using 3M’s blue painter’s masking tape, but I have decided it is shite – I shake my tiny fist at it — and have moved on to another product:

This stuff is much, much better. It unrolls in one piece, doesn’t tear wood grain up randomly when removed, and tends to come off in one piece as well. The 3M blue stuff seems to have become a lot worse lately – not sure why, but can guess at some possible reasons. They’ve branded themselves well to the color blue, but I now associate that color of tape to a shoddy product. Your mileage may of course vary. Hopefully I haven’t offended any die-hard 3M fans out there.

A little while later the infill strips for top surface and tenons were glued in place:

This filled area is the top surface of the beam and will be covered with copper. Ordinarily, the kerf would not need to be filled, however on the original gate they had left it unfilled and the copper had detached at sometime. The kerf was then open to the sky and this allowed a lot of moisture in, of course, which rotted out the top of the gate. I decided to fill it as part of being thorough in my approach to this project.

A closer look:

There’s a small portion of kerf which will not be filled in, just sealed.

Of course, with the shop continuing to be below freezing point, I popped the electric blanket on there to assist in the glue cure:

The remainder of the afternoon involved making several paring blocks for the mortising coming up on the main posts for the splayed stretchers:

The accuracy of the blocks does not likely match the numbers written, however it helps me keep clear on which block is to be used for each paring task. You can see in the above photo one of the mortises in question with a few ‘extra layout lines – I have relocated it slightly. A narrow escape in fact from a layout error, discovered last night while reviewing drawing details.

That’s a wrap for today’s post- hope to see you next time. Comments always welcome. Post 34 follows.

5 thoughts on “Gateway (33)

  1. Agreed, the 3M tape is garbage. I have some blue tape which I can't remember off hand what brand – but it is good, so I'm assuming not 3M. Bought a couple rolls of green 3M for binding, and it was awful. Thought I was gettin the good stuff! Bummer.

  2. Owen,

    good to know it just wasn't my bad luck, and I'll be sure to steer clear of the 3M green as well. That Frog tape is excellent. Thanks for your comment.


  3. Juryaan,

    not sure why you would be having trouble with that video – clicked on it again this morning and it worked fine for me. Ah- now I see. Somehow it was set as 'Private' instead of public. Okay, fixed that now. Sorry!


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