Gateway (41)

Post 41 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.


Working on the mortising task for the rear posts-  here I’m drilling the first of two holes for the threaded rod hold-downs:

Right on the money:

The other one was completed a few minutes later:

It appears a bit off center, however the mortise wall (lower surface in the picture) is nearly 1/8″ fat at this point, so all will be well

The lower through-mortises were roughed out on both posts using the portable hollow chisel mortiser, and the post ends trimmed and planed clean:

I used the same shim which helped make the posts into their parallelogram-shaped sections to support the hollow chisel mortiser. It worked well.

A look down one of the mortises – the remaining interior clean up will be done by chisel and I will rout the cogged seats, just as was done on the main posts:

For the upper mortises, I had to tilt the mortiser – this was accomplished simply with a 3/4″ (19mm) plywood shim and a wedge, setting the angle with an adjustable bevel gauge:

Away we go:

On the opposite side, the mortiser was tilted the other way:

The mortises were punched through without too much fuss:

Then it was time to pare the mortises out:

All done with these two sticks:

A look at a couple of mortises:


I think I’ll move on to the wall posts and flanking posts next in the frame member processing.

I finished up slightly early today ahead of the “storm of the century” rolling in this evening. It seems we will get about 2 feet of snow in the next day and a half, and the roads will be closed for the interim. If we do lose power my hope is that is won’t be for too long, and can stay nice and warm. Our fridge is stocked, the generator is on standby. If you are in the same neck of the woods as me, please take care over this period.

All for now, thanks for visiting the Carpentry Way. Next: Post 42

4 thoughts on “Gateway (41)

  1. That's a cool trick with the mortiser! I'm assuming there was a little trigonometry used to calculate the shim & wedge used.

    Stay safe & warm over the next few days! And send a little of that snow WA state, we're missing ours…

  2. Joshua,

    thanks for your comment. actually, no trig this time. Simply laid out the mortises on opposing faces using measurements taken directly off of the drawing, then connected lines around the side faces. The bevel gauge was then set to the slope line and then used to set the chisel tilt.

    There's a company in Japan which makes an attachment for this mortiser, or perhaps an alternative base, so that the head assembly can be tilted independent of the clamping mechanism.


  3. Chris
    Congratulations on your 801st post !

    Stay safe and remember: 'Hot cocoa is a most comforting drink.'


  4. We seem to have been fortunate as the storm track moved off to the east and we only got about 6″of snow and some wind. Whew! I thought I might lose a couple of days in the shop, but it will be only one day.



Anything to add?