Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Battari Shōgi 19

This is the concluding post in the series on the construction of a folding bench for the machi-ya (Japanese merchant house) installed at the Boston Children's Museum. Previous eposodes are archived at the right of the page.

I loaded up at 8:00 am for the 2+ hour drive to Boston. I arrived on time, and carted my stuff up to the third floor. The museum had closed the house so that I could work on the bench installation without interruption.

I had the bench wrapped in butcher paper and plastic, so after unzipping it from its packaging, I set it up in position to check out how it sat for level, side-to-side and fore/aft:


I was pleasantly surprised to find that the bench sat pretty darn level in both directions, which relieved me of the job of adjusting the feet:


With the positioning looking good, I set to work putting the first bolster into position, using a mallet to tap a drill so as to mark the sill on the building for a pilot hole:


Then I drove a timber screw in place and tapped in a plug:


I put a drop of hide glue on the plug- here it is after tapping in but before I cleaned it off with a chisel:


Then the bench was slid carefully into position, and I drilled and screwed in the other bolster:


After that, I got busy on a variety of things and forgot to take more pictures. Basically, once the plugs were dressed down flush, I then oiled them, and then did some work to fit the latches which hold the bench in the upright position. As the Wenge frame pieces on the replacement are slimmer than the originals in SYP, the overall length of the bench is a little less than the original - this necessitated moving the left side catch over about an inch or so. After that, I did some work inside the house, changing out some worn out door hinges and installing some new security catches for the shōji by the tsubo niwa ("pocket garden") When all was said and done, I remembered my camera again!

I also remembered a reader requesting some photos showing the overall view of the front of the machi-ya, so I tried to oblige:


Here's a view showing the bench in its folded-up position a little better:


I don't know where they dragged this freak out from, probably some local dumpster diver, but he insisted on a photo sitting on the bench:


The catch on the left side is visible on the post. The right hand post has a mark from the previous unit, as a result of the post twisting a fair amount and interfering with the swing. I suggested they put some stain on the mark for the time being to make it less obvious. Ultimately, the post will need to be removed and possibly replaced altogether.

Well, that's that. You never know, I might find myself doing some more work for the museum down the line, as they seemed quite happy with the new bench and other work I have completed for them. If so, you'll read about it here on the Carpentry Way.

Another 2 hours and 15 minute's driving and I was home, and nipping into a nice bottle of Smuttynose Robust Porter, my reward for getting the job done.

Thanks for dropping by today.

2 comments:

  1. Fantastic work Chris, thanks for taking us on the journey with you from start to install. Hopefully you will be getting more work from the museum and hopefully they spread the word of your skills to others.

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  2. Great thread Chris. The bench looks wonderful and it just glows there. I'm sure the museum was more than pleased with your work and I'm also sure you will get more work there. Like you say that post needs to be replaced. Bloody good work, Mate!

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