BCM 2017: On a New Track (2)

Back to the current work on the track and sliding doors for the middle room of the Machiya located in the Boston Children’s museum (BCM). Last time, I had re-sawn, jointed and planed stock for the stiles, rails, and shiki-i (sliding track), all a few millimeters over dimension. The next shop session I checked the pieces to see if they were still straight, re-jointed as necessary, and planed the parts to about 0.3mm over finish dimension. Then the parts were super-surfaced to exact size. Then the stiles and rails were dadoed for the panels:


Also, at this stage, lines were marked indicating rail junctions and mortise locations for the panel battens:

The shiki-i, which I chose to make out of Honduran Mahogany, was similarly planed to dimension and then super-surfaced to exact size. Then a coat of water-based stain was applied:

Though the stain is water-based, the cleanly sliced cells of the wood from surfacing mean that the grain is not raised.

A day later, after some careful calibration, I used my groover to cut the dadoes in the track for the doors:

David Pye’s notion of ‘workmanship of risk’ was clear to me again, anytime I use the groover – the tool must be perfectly guided as any slight deviation or pressure can result in a spoiled cut in a blink of an eye. Fortunately, all went well, and here I’m wrapping up the second pass:

Later, the piece received more stain, and is still wet in the following photo:

One coat is in fact sufficient, however I find a second coat gives a very slightly more even appearance.

The rails connect to the stiles by way of twin tenons and have a mitered return on the front face. here I’m rough-cutting the tenons:


A while later all eight rail tenons sets were rough cut:

I’ll pare the shoulders with a guide block next time, and trim the tenons the the required height.

The stiles were then mortised for their battens:


Another round in the shop should see me through the remainder of the joinery work. Stay tuned for more and thanks for visiting the Carpentry Way. Post 3 in this series is next.

8 Replies to “BCM 2017: On a New Track (2)”

  1. Hey Thanks for all the posts. I admire those tenons. Were they all off the saw and chisel, they look, well, pretty perfect. Mine are always a bit scruffy in spots. I think after seeing your I'll go sharpen my chisels some more 😉 Thanks again for sharing all your great work and maintaining a great blog.

    Take Care,

    Chris Barnes from Florida

  2. Chris,

    thanks for your comment. The tenon cheeks were cut to the line using a quick-and-dirty jig on my table saw, the top/bottom tenon shoulders were roughed out on my bandsaw, the waste portions chopped out by chisel, the mitered return roughed on my SCMS, and the back tenon shoulder finish cut on my sliding table saw. That back tenon shoulder will serve as a reference for guided chisel paring of the rest of the tenon shoulders, and the mitered return will see another pass on the SCMS yet.

    Cedar is so easy to work, compared to most other woods I deal with, that a chisel seems to stay sharp all day.

  3. Nice work Chris! Excited to follow along with this series as I have great interest in these type of doors. I think yellow cedar and Honduran mahogany are my favorite woods.

  4. Happy to read from you again on a really nice restauration project. Talking about workmanship of risk, I always wonder why you don't use your great german friend by the name of Martin to shape the tracks, taking the risk back almost to zero if you work with a feeder? I know you lack tooling on the shaper!
    François Pernod

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