Thursday, September 24, 2009

First Light XLIX

The 49th post - rounding the bend and entering the home stretch. Although I was thinking back at post #40 that this thread would end somewhere around #45, well, I am now going to have to revise that upward, obviously, and am quite sure that the nice round number of 50, 'L' in Roman numerals, will be the final post.

I am now entering into the final assembly process and have few remaining tasks to deal with. One was to install the glass into the grille panels:


Here are the 4 panels with glass fitted:


I then cleaned up the end grain of the Bloodwood opposed wedge pairs which lock the four post sections together:


I later did a bit more trimming and have made these wedges all exactly the same length now so they stick out the same amount. It looks a little tidier that way, though as I said earlier I would probably just as well trim them flush and paint the end grain white.

So, the final assembly begins - here, the lower tier of hijiki are in, along with the central and perimeter draw bars, along with most of the pillow blocks:


Next, all the pillow blocks with their central pins installed, along with the Goncalo Alves cap with the electrical cable routed through at the side position:


Then the upper tier of support beams (hijiki) are installed, and the electrical cable now routed through one of the diagonal hijiki:


Ever upward, now two of the dodai are positioned, and the black wire is woven through the end of the half lap on one piece:


Another view:


The remaining two dodai dropped into place along with the floor panel of the lantern housing, the white wire fed through the joint, and the slots of the cross wedges in the central draw bars are front and center:


Another view from a pace back:


Next, the wedges themselves, which I made out of Ebony:


The Ebony actually crushes a bit against the Lignum Vitae mortise walls when driven in, so I'm thinking I might remake the wedges also in Lignum Vitae.

That left the insertion of the sliding cross bars, in Bloodwood, which lock up the central pins at each sill piece, the making of which I described in the previous post:


With all the pins and wedges in place, I was pleased to find the entire top assembly was very rigidly attached to the post - even with some firm attempts to twist the bracket assembly, or kumimono, off of the post top, it didn't budge or creak at all. I can tell that could even lift the entire piece, including the foundation stone, up by the sills alone, though I felt no need to actually do that. No need for senseless lifting if one can avoid it (that's not something I would have said in my twenties - hah!). So, Mission Accomplished in terms of that design goal! Ultimately, the in-service durability and repairability of the piece, over the long term, will really determine the soundness of my design choices.

In the next and final post in this design/build thread of a Japanese garden lantern, I will attach the lantern housing to the sill, install the grilles, and cap it all off with the roof assembly. I'm really looking forward to powering up the light and seeing how the lantern works in the dark.

Thanks for dropping by today. Next post, the big 5-0, will be coming up soon, so please don't go to far away.

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