Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Battari Shōgi 6

This is the 6th installment detailing the construction of a battari shōgi, also known as an a-ge-shōgi, a type of fold-up bench found uniquely on Kyōto-area merchant's houses. This project is for the Boston Children's Museum, and previous episodes can be found in the 'Blog Archive' to the right of the page (you may have to dig into the 2009 vault if you haven't visited in a while).

The last post ended on a real cliffhanger, as I was detailing the patching repair to a portion of one of the main frame rails. Possibly quite a few of you lost no small amount of sleep tossing and turning, mulling over the outcome of this particular episode? :^).

Well, the suspense is over - Lady luck smiled upon me and the piece managed to avoid the firewood pile. Whew!

After the patch mortise was roughed out, I clamped on a straight edge and pared the mortise sidewalls:


I also did a little scraping to clean up the floor of the mortise, and then it was ready:


On with the glue:


And then the clamps:


When the glue had dried, I was left with the stark realization that the patch was proud of the rail's surface by about 100th of an inch, and it was time to find out how Wenge would get along with my hand planes (cue sinister music..).

I grabbed a smaller plane out of my box, a 36mm Miyamoto, blue steel, and sans sub-blade. I had it fitted into a domestic red oak dai (block), which is really not the best choice (Japanese red oak is another kettle of fish mind you), but it seems to serve its purpose all the same. I hadn't actually used this plane for a couple of years, and after a quick visual inspection, I tapped the blade down to position and, somewhat cavalierly I might say, dragged the tool along the top of the patch to see what might happen:


It looks like you can pull shavings off this stuff - at least on edge grain - without too much fuss. I worked the surface down until it was flush with the surrounding material, without any tear-out issues:


A couple of close-ups to see how the patch turned out:


Considering it is on the inside of the frame rail, and rarely seen, and partially covered by the corner joint to boot, I think the patch will do the job.

Hmm, I wonder how many pictures you will find on the web of Wenge shavings?:


All that remained was to complete the layout and cutting for the mortise at that corner:


An hour later, it was done:


Next on the agenda, with all the corner mortises complete on the long rails, was to process the cuts for the twin tenons on the short side frame members. I invariably choose to tackle such cut-out problems by doing the cuts into the end grain with a router. I spent about an hour making a jig for which to tackle the job, and then started roughing out the joints with my router and an edge guide:


The ends of the frame pieces after the initial rough-out:


Then it was a matter of snapping my fingers, while saying 'abra-cadabra', and the joints were moved along significantly:


It's great to have the assistance of a djinni sometimes - they work for peanuts too!

Here's another view of the joint:


The next step is to process the miter returns on both halves of each joint, but that will have to wait until next time. The dreaded 15 picture limit has been reached once again. Please stay tuned, as there is more to come. Your visit today was greatly appreciated! On to post 7

4 comments:

  1. Very well done Chris. Did you have the sub blade in while planing? From the photo it looks like no, unless it's covered by shavings. It also looks like you can get a nice planed surface on Wenge. At what angle is your blade set into the dai?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dale,

    thanks for the questions. There was no sub-blade on that plane. The surface was reasonable I guess (considering that I didn't sharpen the plane or fiddle with the sole at all), and was intended to be a rough-planing only. I'll probably finish plane using a slightly larger plane with a sub-blade (most of mine are set up that way), and then I will be wet sanding in oil anyhow....

    The blade bedding angle on that Miyamoto is about 39˚ (an 8-bu slope).

    ~Chris

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  3. Nice save Chris! I wish I could come watch you work in person lol. This stuff is endlessly interesting to me, especially when you explain WHY you chose a certain joint over another.

    Thanks for doing this. It's absolutely making me a better craftsman.

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Matt,

      so glad to read that something you found here has been useful to you.

      Cheers,

      C

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