the Carpentry Way: Screen Play (24)                                                          

Screen Play (24)

Another day, another post. This is the 24th in the series describing the build of a Japanese tsuitate, or freestanding screen. for previous episodes, please take a look in the blog Archive to the right of the page.

Well, I'm all thumbs and in a real scrape here folks:

Time to turn the lights on with the Bubinga with some Tung oil:

It's really gorgeous stuff, no doubt about it, and brings out the flickering flame motif suggested by the outer frame shape. I'm just at the start of the finishing process, but my thumbs need a day off, let me assure you! One day maybe I'll get/make a scraping plane.

Today I tackled some remaining work on the upper frame member - processing the mortises for the grill bars. I was able, with some careful measurement to relocate the fence, to reconfigure the jig I used for the lower frame rail to do the same job on the upper:

It didn't take too long and all the mortises were roughed out:

A close up:

With that item out of the way, all the frame members are now mortised for grill bars, and all that remains is the scribe-fitting of the individual grill bars.

It was now time however to fit the lower frame pieces together, the cross pieces of which have a stub tenon and a mitered abutment. I worked on the frame uprights to trim their corresponding abutments to 45˚ and deepen the dado for the cross piece stub tenons:

Once both legs were done, I went to fit the cross piece onto the sill below, which, as some readers may remember, attaches with three sliding dovetail keys. On it goes:

Very fortunately, before I attempted to slide the upper piece along, I remembered to fit little plugs into the lower sliding dovetail mortises to retain the keys in place:

If I hadn't done that, assembling the two pieces may have been a one-way street, and I'm not interested in that course at this time.

The fit is pretty tight in the joints, and I used a drift to tap the upper piece along:

The join line between the two pieces came out pretty well:

Once I had the piece as far along as it would go, I checked to see how the match lines were intersecting between the sill and the cross piece:

They're very close, but about 1/64" or so out of alignment. The expeditious course was to trim a little off the keys:

After that was done, I reassembled and found the marks indexed as they should.

Now it was time to see how things all come together with the sill-cross piece assembly now together:

Tap, tap, tap, a little on each end, and closer it gets:

As I hoped, or should I say planned, things bottomed out on the 45˚ abutments and the sill was off of closing by about 1/32" at each end:

Time to kerf the fit, but we're at the 15-picture limit I keep to for each post, so please tune in next time for the continuation of the fitting. Thanks for dropping by and please feel free to comment if you are so inclined. --> On to post 25

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