Gateway (52)

Post 52 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.


Work on the final two pieces of the framework – the kasagi – continues. The joinery was completed yesterday (I neglected to bring my camera however), and today I worked my way into the beveling on the top surface, the cuts first roughed out on the Hitachi CB-75 bandsaw:

Here’s a look at the joinery on the ends which connect to the main post:

The underside of both pieces shows the two sliding hammerhead mortises in the foreground, and the infill for the stress relief kerfs are there as well, hopefully not too obviously:

A closer look at those two mortises:

These were taken to accurate dimension in concert with some paring work on the hammerhead tenon shoulders. I’ve got them set up to have a 0.005″ compression fit. Hopefully it will come out as well in the fitting as I have attempted to bring about in the cutting.

The tenoned ends also have sliding hammerhead mortises:

I had a bit of hoo-ha this morning tracking down the custom knives for the bevel cutting, along with 6″ rub collar, as they had been sent to the wrong address. I seem to have bad luck shipping stuff, either sending or receiving. I did manage to get my hands on the box eventually however.

With the knives installed in the cutter head and the shaper set up for template routing, I constructed a template guide jig:

It would have been more ideal to have a second layer of plywood on the bottom of the jig to make for easier sliding, however I did a test run and it seemed fine so I decided to proceed. I was also lacking more plywood. It’s not a material I tend to have on hand, and with my truck off the road for the winter a little more of an issue to obtain when I just need a single sheet.

Seemed like a brief video of the shaping process wouldn’t hurt:

That takes care of half of the beveling work – namely the right hand sides of both upper surfaces in this pic:

The grain of the right hand stick has a little curl to it as you can see.

That curl had a downside however. I had a little chunk pop off the apex of that piece, which was annoying but no biggie as the top surface is entirely capped with a copper sheet:

I’ll probably patch it all the same – I’ll see how things look after I trim the end of the stick, which gets cut on a slope. I also have to do a small amount of shaping on the underside of the timber.

In other news, I picked up the kiosk stainless shoes and associated hardware from the metal fabricator this afternoon, and took them down to Springfield MA to a place which does powder coating. They should be ready in a week or so. I’m going with ‘black velvet’ for the color, sort of a semi-gloss finish.

Also, I got home to find my Zuani tenoning heads had arrived! I’m excited to unpack these monsters and see how they roll. They are the largest size that can be fitted on my shaper. More on those toys and the work they do in an upcoming post.

Well, guess what? Another blizzard rolling in tomorrow morning, with another foot of snow expected along with hurricane force winds. Oh joy. This has to be the snowiest winter on record around these parts, and it has been freezing cold for a protracted period to boot. They are warning about the hazard of frostbite and that sort of thing on the radio, so, well, conditions are rather more adverse for working on this project than I might have hoped. Oh well, onward and upward, do the best I can.

All for today – thanks for visiting the Carpentry Way. On to post 53

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