Gateway (62)

Post 62 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.


Now fitting the rails to the left side main door’s hanging stile:

Came out okay:

The second rail was then fitted, always with a check for 90˚ when the joint is drawn up:

Also looking for a clean interface on these faces:

Take the clamps off for a closer look:

As with the right hand door, fitting the four battens didn’t take too long:

Unlike the right hand door, I decided not to bother doing a complete assembly of the parts for the moment. It was time instead to process the dadoes for the panels:

The same task was completed on the rails, albeit with shallower dadoes:

A closer look at the dadoes on a hanging stile and hinge stile, at the end where they terminate:

The grooves are rough cut for now, and I used the power groover for that task. The power groover does a great job, cleanly and quickly, however I always concentrate extra hard when using it as it is a tool which can make a mess of things in an awful hurry if I let things wander for an instant.

I’ll take the dadoes out to final width and depth using a router after I have finished the panels and know the finished dimensions.

Speaking of panels, it was time to dust them off and take a look at what I had:

Wait, there’s more:

The original plan was to use two panels per door and two panels in the flanking section, however this plan was not able to be realized. The mill in Oregon lacks a large bandsaw to cut timber with, and after they went as deep as they could with their circular sawmill on these boards, they finished off the cuts with a chainsaw. Unfortunately, the chainsaw was not wielded especially skillfully, which resulted in several of the panels having divots from the tip of the chainsaw’s bar:

This was despite specifying the rough sawn thickness at 1/4″ over the target.

Another handsome divot – don’t they call these a mark of character?:

The divots are too deep and too large to plane out or otherwise patch. I could still use 2 panels on the main doors as they are entirely free of divots, however I think it would look better to have a consistent panel count on all paneled sections, so I will instead be using 3 panels on each section. By going to 3 panels, I can of course employ narrower pieces, which means that some of those panels with the divots can be used by trimming them down in width to lose the defects. Still, it would have been nice to use 2 panels each….

I still need to cut the short vertical draw bar supports for the main doors, however I decided instead to get cracking on the side door joinery fitting. Here are the parts laid out:

After the left stile, in the picture above, there are 4 battens, 2 pairs tightly alongside one another so they look as if one, and then the two rails to the right of that. So there are 8 sticks in the above assemblage.

First off, two of the battens have their tenons trimmed, as they meet the stile in the hinge locations. These now become haunched double tenons:

First time try of the fit:

No worries:

Should be able to fit the rest of the side door parts together tomorrow.

That’s the show for today. Hope you enjoyed! Onward and upward: post 63

4 Replies to “Gateway (62)”

  1. Jack,

    thanks for the question. I will be using wedged tenons, which are not too easy to disassemble, so I will be gluing the joints. That's pretty well standard practice for these things. The rest of the joinery in the structure will be without glue.

Anything to add?

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