Gateway (70)

The big 7-0 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. Post 1 in this series can be found here if you’d like to start at the beginning. Each post links to the next at the bottom of the page.


Working on the main doors for the past few days. I wanted to show a quick video of the super surfacer in normal operation, that is, with auto-return:

The doors were made from some quite nice stock, but it wasn’t completely perfect material. Here, a knot was excavated and patched in one of the stiles:

You can see a little pin knot to the upper right of the picture, which I chose to leave. I don’t fill every knot, just the ones that are loose or punky. Thankfully, most of the pieces I’m using on this project are pretty decent and don’t require much patching.

I was enjoying my Yokoyama VAR (Vacuum Arc Remelted) White steel plane today, which I have been using for final clean up here and there as necessary:

That plane required so much work to set up, and the chip breaker was junk, however it has a great cutting feel and works pretty well as a single blade plane.

After planing, trimming the stile ends, and chamfering, the door frame can start to come together:

Let’s not forget the panel assembly and rails:

One stile is drawn up first:

Then the other:

Then it is a matter of masking tape application, mixing epoxy and driving in the wedges:

A look at the side after wedging:

The other door also completed, save for hardware installation:

Some copper work appeared today as well:

These are for wrapping the lower ends of the rear support posts, hikae-bashira.

All for now- thanks for visiting! Up next is, you guessed it: post 71

2 Replies to “Gateway (70)”

  1. Dude, that surfacer is awesome! Is there just a blade that it's fed into that makes those shavings? Man, you could make drapes for your house with that thing…

    The completed door looks amazing; I'm really digging the wedge applications here. Fantastic job, Chris- it's really a pleasure to see this project come along from the very beginning.

  2. Joshua,

    thanks for the comment. The surfacer has two stationary blades and, in auto-return mode, cuts coming and going. If you watch the video closely you will see a shaving also coming out when the timber returns back.

    Appreciate that you have followed this build from the beginning!


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