Gateway (67)

Post 67 in an ongoing series describing the design and construction of a kabukimon, a type of Japanese gate.

Before assembling the side door, it seemed like a plan to fit the door lock. Easier to manipulate just the stile for drilling and mortising rather than the entire door.

As with all the other hardware on this project, the door lock came without mounting instructions, however there was a diagram on the company website showing the backset distance, among other pieces of information. Trouble was, the parts I received, notably the lockset itself, did not conform to the dimensions. Not a huge problem, as I have calipers to measure the components. Curiously, the lockset’s mounting plate was 25.4mm. Unless you’re completely allergic to metric, or oblivious to the inch scale, then 25.4 mm is a particularly interesting measure as is is exactly 1.0″. So here you have it, a traditional Japanese temple door lock and the mounting plate measures exactly 1″ x 6″. Hah!

Mounting the lock, a task that wouldn’t take all that long on a regular western door, took me about half the day. That stressed me out a bit, taking more time than anticipated, however it came out fairly well in the end I thought:

I was snookered a bit, as it turned out. I should have taken some measurements from the lockset before designing the door, as I would have made a little more space between the battens had I taken into account the distance between the plate mounting bosses. The bolts which connect the front plate to the rear plate were right on the edges of the mortise for both the batten tenons above and below, so I elected to offset it down a little bit, placing two of the holes such that they will pass through the batten tenon. Would rather have avoided that of course. It won’t weaken it or anything, but I would rather not pass fasteners through joinery if it can be helped

Here’s a look at the front plate at the interior face of the door stile:

The rest of the day was occupied by putting the door together. In the end, given the tight joinery, I elected not to glue the joints, instead I glued the wedges in after clamping everything up. I didn’t want to see most of the glue pushed out of the joints, nor deal with squeeze-out in awkward spots.

The door required a trial assembly, some minor adjustments after separating the parts again, and then one more clamp up and all was looking like it would pass. The completed door, front (outer) face:

A look at a couple of joints after wedging:


The cut out for the lockset is revealed in this view – not the simplest set of operations to cut it out:

A look at the back of the door (interior side):

The battens came up tight to the stiles:

A look at some mitered rail abutments – here’s top left:

2, bottom left:

That looks like a dent but I’m pretty sure it’s just a mark in the wood.

And 3, bottom right:

Omitted to take the 4th corner for some reason, however it looked the same as the others.

I’ve marked out the face of the door for the decorative domed nails, and need to put in a bit more time yet on the door trimming the tenons flush, trimming the stile ‘horns’, and a few other minor tasks. Hoping to get that buttoned up tomorrow morning and then can move onto the main door panel work.

All for today, and thanks for visiting. Next up is post 68

6 thoughts on “Gateway (67)

  1. CHRIS;
    Looking good! Came together beautifully! Nice and clean joinery. Hardware looks awesome! The door turned out very nice. Keep it coming,great stuff!!!

  2. Looking awesome, the hardware looks magnificent. One question: I'm wondering what your thoughts are on the wood type for wedges whether there's any pros and cons of using a different species for them (a harder wood) vs using the same species, is it primarily aesthetic choice or does it make any functional differences?

  3. Siavosh,

    thanks for the question. There are different situations for wedges, so the answer is not a blanket one. If a wedge is used to spread a tenon apart, to form it into a dovetail shape, as with the example in the blog above, then using the same material for the wedge makes the most sense, as the wedge is bearing against tangential/radial grain, which will compress to some extent, as will the wedge. You could use another wood for the wedges for decorative effect, though ideally it should be a wood of similar density as the tenon stock being wedged.

    If a wedge goes crosswise through a tenon, as you see on the stretcher connections for a lot of pedestal tables, then it is bearing against end grain in the tenon, which is considerably less able to compress when loaded. If you used a wedge of the same material as the tenoned stock, then the wedge's radial/tangential grain would be easily compressed by the end grain in the wedge mortise. There is makes more sense to use a harder and denser wood. The same goes for cross-wise pegging generally, shachi-sen based joints – anytime the locking mechanism involves a peg or wedge bearing against the end grain of a tenon in some location, it is best use a harder/denser wood for the pin or wedge.


Anything to add?