Gateway (34)

Post 34 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.


If you tried clicking on the video yesterday and nothing happened, it was because I had inadvertently left the video set as ‘private’ on YouTube. That has been corrected now so the video should play for everybody- sorry for the confusion.

I was thinking it was going to be truly bone-chillin’ today, but it wasn’t so bad after all. Not exactly a pleasant surprise or anything like that, but better then expected – probably 4˚C. Managed to get a half day in the shop and made some progress on the sticks.

Yesterday I had inlaid a strip on the top edge of the kabuki. Today the adhesive was dry and I planed the strip down. I thought to try some experimental camera work, actually affixing the camera on to the plane. It sorta worked, though it wasn’t the exact viewing angle I was after. Be that as it may, I will inflict another another video clip on you, the first part of which shows taking down the filler strip with a fairly thick shaving, followed by some passes with the plane (set to take a thinner shaving) to clean up the surface:

Again, the beam is a bit low for a good planing position, but taller than yesterday at least. The upper surface I’m cleaning up will be beveled, so I was planing more out of enjoyment than necessity! Getting it flat and clean though does enable me to assess how well the infill work came out.

I then flipped the beam over 180˚ so I could complete the last bit of infill work on this stick, namely the under-surface. I set up the box aluminum section straightedge and my router in preparation for cleaning out the groove:

That was followed by masking, then milling an umeki, planing that strip to fit, applying adhesive, tapping the strip down into place, wiping the adhesive squeeze-out off, and then pulling the tape:

While the adhesive began its curing process, I attended to some final trimming on the bottom of the open slot mortises on the same stick of wood:

The same gauging stick I used to dimension the tenon was used to gauge the mortise depth:

Yep, left some blood in there too. Nothing like marking your territory after all.

The other side’s mortise floor was completed a while after:

Then it was on to some mortising on the main posts for the stretchers, or nuki as they are termed in Japanese. The mortises are angled outward about 5˚.  I thought I’d try some more filming, though surely this is a humdrum sort of activity. Just learning the ropes of filming and editing, so hopefully things will get more professional as I learn from all the mistakes I am surely making. Anyway, hopefully no one will fall asleep:

When the drilling was done I gave it a little further attention with a chisel, a preliminary clean out in preparation for paring:

The dots indicate the boundaries of the mortise, while the slash marks are from an earlier layout that turned out to be in error.

All for today. Planning to spend some time at the shop tomorrow (what happened to a day off once in a while?), so I should have another post for you soon if it is of any interest. Thanks for visiting the Carpentry Way. On to post 35.

4 Replies to “Gateway (34)”

  1. Tom,

    well, I'm sure you are jesting. I was more experimenting with the 'camera on plane' idea than thinking about what sort of shaving was happening – normally I wouldn't think to show that stage of work. I'm having a lot of fun planing the POC in any case…


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