Here we are at post 17 in this series, describing the design and construction of a folding bench, or battari shōgi, such as are typically found attached to the front wall of Kyōto-area merchant's houses. This project involves replacing a 30-year old damaged shōgi from a Boston Museum. Previous installments are located in the Blog Archive to the right of the page.
One note before I proceed today: if you recently added a comment and it hasn't appeared, that is because it has been rejected. By me. I welcome all comments, except for those where the writer does not append their name to the comment, and/or (this is a new change) where the comment contains advertising, hyperlinks, and so forth. If you want to advertise, do it some other way, thank you.
Today was glue up day. First things first though - I wanted to fit the new hinge pieces to their respective cross-pieces. These connections are a form of open bridle joint (that's one way to describe it at least), and will not be glued or wedged - there's no conceivable need since the cross-pieces are captive in the frame. As it turned out, both hinge pieces fit nicely into their morises without any adjustment or trimming. Here's the entry of one hinge piece into its cross-piece:
Once fully home, here's how it looked:
Next I wanted to confirm the operation of each hinge, and check that it closed to the point where the stretcher would be flat against the underside of the cross-pieces. Here's the assembly connected up:
And then rotated down:
It came out just as planned.
Next I wanted to confirm the fit of the floating panel all around the frame:
I'm very glad I did this, as I discovered that the end cut on the panel was not square at one end, by a whopping 2~3 mm, and this would have definitely hung up the assembly when gluing, something I most assuredly did not want to happen. I trimmed the end grain with my smoothing plane until the fit was satisfactory.
I thought carefully for a few moments about whether I had missed any details that needed attention before glue-up, and finding none, decided, with a slight sense of nervousness, it was time to start the final assembly.
Here we are around the half-way point - all the cross-pieces are bedded in the lower frame rail, the side frame rails are on, and the leg assembly is in place:
I then glued the remaining long side frame member into place, and clamped it all down. Then I checked it for any racking, however it all seemed good and square, so it was time for wedges:
Down they go:
Here's a shot of the underside of the bench, showing the swing-out leg assembly in position:
I was very pleased with the way the whole process went. Here's a look at the four mitered corners after glue-up...
Whew! Well, all that remains now is to trim the tenons, oil the end-grain bits and give the piece a final oiling and careful clean-up. Next week sometime I will be taking it to the museum for installation.