The Well of Heaven (IV)

Continuing on now with a look at some of the steps involved in making a coffered Japanese ceiling.

There are two openings in the framework for lighting, and in these areas the frame members in a few locations do not lap, but terminate in a ‘T’. To fix the connections together, I will use a long screw. Since screws have unreliable purchase in end grain, I mortised the receiving frame member so as to fit a blind cross-grain pin.

Here, the pin has been driven in and is being trimmed flush:

I chose mahogany for the pin as it is a slight bit denser than the Yellow Cedar.

The screw should draw the connection up tightly:

I found a little space where I could put the perimeter frame up using the corner templates I took from the room, and position the other frame members atop so as to iron out the issues arising from a non-square room in the install location:

The joinery between the interior frame members is complete at this juncture. Here’s a look at a mitered lap with mortise, with a regular mitered half-lap above:



A look at some of the ceiling frame end joints:

The ceiling frame parts are nearly complete:

A view of some of the mitered housings:

The perimeter frame corners have a form of mitered and stub tenoned connection:

Mating corner:

Those joints are a hair fat for the time being and don’t fully close up at their 90˚ abutments. During the next fit up I will trim the miters so as to bring the corners tight together.

All for this round – thanks for tuning in. Post V next.

4 Replies to “The Well of Heaven (IV)”

  1. Educated questions?! Now you have me worried….

    Kidding aside, I guess I could fill in a little more info about the design, so look out for that in the next post.


  2. I'm curious how you processed the mitered half laps this time. Were the pieces ganged to ensure uniformity? Did you use the mill?

    -Matt J

  3. Thanks for the question Matt. I tackled these a little differently than in the past, making a paring jig which wrapped around the stick and enabling me to pare the miter faces at the same time. That paring jig indexed to the half lap notch. The half lap notch was roughed out on the chop saw, and then a separate jig was used to rout the notch to correct width and spacing, notch to notch. and then the cheeks of the notch were trimmed to dimension at the end with the mill.


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