Work continued today on the kiosk post splice repairs. First job was to buck the posts pieces down closer to finished size, which removed a good 20" from each piece. That made them easier to handle.
After a bit of faffing about with fitting the posts in a horizontal position, I decided that it would probably be easier to tackle the fitting with the posts vertically-oriented:
In most cases, when post rot splice repairs are undertaken, either you are working on a complete structure, which has been jacked up and you fit the repair post in from below, or the structure has been completely disassembled and you are working on the sticks individually. Here, the structure is all together yet it is sufficiently small and awkward to handle that I ended up working on it in this manner. Like I said, splicing on new to old material has its challenges.
I started getting the splice on one post engaged:
At this point, about 1/2" (13mm) shy of closure:
Since the main portion of the joint has sloped surfaces, as the joint goes together it tightens up. It is important to judge the fit carefully, as it is inevitable that when the surfaces finally come all together you will need to make some final tweaks. If the joint was put together from too far apart with too much force, then it can be kinda hard to separate again. Conversely, you don't want to overcompensate in the direction of easing the fit either as the joint will then be a bit loose when fully up.
Second post now fitted to a partial engagement:
A closer look - about 1cm apart at this point:
Getting closer with additional fitting work:
A bit of trimming and uttering and muttering later, almost there:
Another view after another whomp with the mallet:
Purty dang close....
I chose to drive them all the way together, and then found some areas that needed further fettling, and then pulled the joints apart. A while later, adjustments complete, the connections were reassembled:
Let's see how things look:
Shop is looking a bit like a disaster zone at the moment, but never mind that.
The other front face:
Looking passable for sure:
Closer in yet:
You will notice that the new wood piece is a bit larger than the old. Does this imply that I will be be planing the surfaces of the new piece down until they are flush with the old one? No.
One of the lessons of Japanese temple carpentry that I am working to understand better and incorporate into my work is the attention paid in the framing process to how things will be 10 or 20 years down the line. Wood and wooden assemblies, shrink, settle, weather and distort over time. Making things when new to fit crisply is all very well, but if 10 years later the settling and shrinkage of the material causes large gaps to form in those formerly tight joints then the carpenter has failed to anticipate. So, the trick is to understand what is likely to happen (and this will vary in different parts of a structure depending upon exposure to the elements, local climate, and how much live/dead weight is involved) and design the connections so that after the settling and movement has concluded the fit is good. This may mean that new pieces will be fitted to their neighbors with slight gaps in certain areas. Looks like a mistake was made, but it isn't the case.
The old wood posts in this kiosk have shrunk and distorted and settled after 26 years outdoors. That wood has done most of its moving and weathering by now. The new piece needs to be left oversize as it is likely after 10~15 years of weathering and adjustment it will become more nearly similar to the piece to which it connects.
Further, the post will join to a metal shoe down lower, and needs to be square in section at that location. If I made the new post identical in shape to the old one, I would have to make it non-square in the spliced area as well, which would then leave me with the task of feathering out the faces from non-square to square in a run of about 20 inches. I'd rather not.
Finally, if one planed the new material down to match the old it would be difficult to do so without kissing the old wood surface with the plane somewhere. Then one would be left with applying some sort of stain to try and blend the parts, never mind the change in surface from weathered to planed, and it would be tricky to pull off the transition cleanly. As it is, I'll be looking to stain the new wood to look similar to the weathered material. I'm hoping my contacts in the finishing industry can give me some good advice as to how to accomplish that.
Funny enough, the splicing repair was likely the trickiest joinery work on the entire project, so I'm glad to have gotten through cleanly. Everything from here on out is joining new material to new material, everything straight and square, which is so much more straightforward. For the kiosk, I've marked out for the cross member location and milled up the stock for that, so tomorrow I plan to complete that portion, which will wrap up the kiosk repair work for the most part. When the metal shoe fabrication is complete in a few weeks, I will return to this portion of the job and fit the shoes, re-establish the electrical chase up the back of one post, do final planing, chamfering and so forth.
Thanks for coming by the Carpentry Way. On to post 21.