First Light L (50)

Final assembly was proceeding well yesterday when about half-way along, wouldn’t you know it, the battery in the camera gave up the ghost. My camera’s power adapter was also broken, so I was left with no way to upload the pictures I had taken, and no means of snapping any more pictures. Dead in the water, so the process had to grind to a halt altogether. This morning a trip to an electronics supply store yielded a generic charger. It looks like the battery is pretty much dead, however it holds enough of a charge to allow me to continue.

So, without any further ado, on with the conclusion of the garden lantern’s final assembly…

Onto the dodai went the housing posts, and the electrical were leads fished up one of the posts:

Since the relish on the post tenons was at the bare minimum (3x peg diameter), I went with Mahogany for the pegs since it is more flexible than the Bloodwood:

The posts fixed, in then could go the grill assemblies, and then I started installing the keta, or wall plate:

Here’s the keta installation completed along with the sub-ridgepole, roof board pairs along with their supporting ribs, and the gegyo (gable pendants)- I’ve moved the lantern into another room so as to have enough ceiling height to facilitate the roof fitting:

The hafū are pre-assembled:

One of the hafū assemblies slides into place on its central pair of draw bars and the lower corner dovetailed draw bars:

That’s a 16″ wide slab of figured Bubinga, about 12′ long, in the background, currently being used as a shelf in our cramped apartment. also visible in the above photo are sets of the Bloodwood hi-uchi-sen, opposed wedging bars that travel across the wall plate corners in a compound slope.

Next, the tapered sliding half-dovetail pins are tapped home – these ensure that the lower roof board is fixed tight to the barge board and serve to reinforce the lower cross-wedged draw bar connection:

A step back for a look at the roof after all the components except for the ridgepole are in place:

Now, the ridgepole slides down into place, simultaneously engaging with the hafū, the draw bars connecting to the sub-ridge, along with the six dovetail tenons found on the ends of the roof ribs:

The very last step of assembly is to tap in the two Bloodwood pegs that fix the upper ridgepole, or muna-gi, in place:

A look to the other side of the muna-gi with the pegs fully in:

This was the original design:

And here is the lantern I produced, complete at long last:

The above image could use a few degrees of rotation, however it’ll have to do for now as I don’t have photoshop.

On with the light, the First Light:

Another view:

I think I’ll play around with a few different light bulbs to see the one I like the best. The current one might be a bit too bright, though I will need to see how it looks out in a garden before deciding. Another option would be to increase the opacity of the glass.

I hope readers have enjoyed this detailed build up of a Japanese garden lantern. It was a prototype, and I feel really pleased with the way it came out. I learned a lot from the design and building process, and have some lessons to bring forward toward the next time I build a lantern like this. I was surprised at how long it took – I certainly didn’t expect to run 50 posts and more than 750 photographs. I hope it hasn’t been overly tedious for the reader at least, though many have expressed encouragement along the way, for which I am deeply grateful.

It occurs to me that it might feel a little weird actually to start blogging about other matters from here on out, however I’ve got more than a few things on my mind that seem to need outlet, so we’ll see what unfolds on upcoming installments of the Carpentry Way.

As always, thanks for coming by, and your comments are always welcome.  Installation series can be found starting here.

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