the Carpentry Way: Ming Inspiration (14)                                                          

Ming Inspiration (14)

I was planning another post in the 'X Marks the Spot' series for today, but plans change with a big snowstorm rolling into town. I suspect I may be housebound tomorrow, so I will have plenty of time to put together the next post in that series. For today, I decided to do another post in this series on the design and construction of a dining table based largely on a Ming Dynasty antecedent. Pervious posts in this thread are archived to the right of the page.

Still working on that center rail. The next step was to process the sloped abutment of the tusk tenon, for which I made up a jig:

Once the jig was sorted out, I then worked the rail vertically, which necessitated a temporary platform be built so I could work on the cutting:

That's a teak plank milled in 1965 (with an interesting story behind it) serving as the platform. I have a couple of those planks, about 18" wide and perfect. Scared to cut into them frankly!

Here's a random shot of the central rib on top of that precious teak plank, which helps show the amount of material that was removed from the bottom of the rail:

With the milling complete, the tusk tenon now takes shape:

Then I trimmed out the waste with a saw and pared the surface down to the tenon cheek:

Then I could complete work on the tenon itself, taking it to finish dimension of 3/8":

The tusk tenon complete:

Now on to the sword tip miter on top of the 'T' form portion on the top of the stick. A little saw work to start - I find bubinga easier to saw than, say, wenge:

I used the rip teeth for both cuts:

Then I trimmed the miter to the line:

Now the end of the stick is complete, save for a little tenon chamfering:

Yet more work remained on the central rail- the housings for the battens needed to be trimmed out. I made another jig and routed to dimension:

I leave final clean up and trimming of the mortises for when I fit the five pairs of battens to the central rail, much in the way ribs attach to a spine in form, but with rod joints - sao-tsugi - connecting the pieces.

Wow! That one piece had a lot of work in it! I feel like I have spent half my life with that one stick. Next time, I move on to other parts of the table - probably the batten joinery can be processed in relatively short order. Thanks for dropping by and tuning in. --> on to post 15

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