the Carpentry Way: Mizuya (2)                                                          

Mizuya (2)

Design work has been proceeding along with the kitchen storage tansu, or mizuya. I've fleshed in some more off the piece and thought I'd share some pics of the piece as it sits now in concept-land.

At this point, I'm thinking that the uppermost level will have 4 sliding doors, the level below that 3 or 4 sliding doors, then the 4 drawers (with a possible horizontal splitting to happen with one of them so as to have 5 drawers), and on the bottom level a pair of sliding doors on the left and a hinged door on the right.

An elevation view for the front:

Elevation view, side:

Perspective view, rear:

One more perspective view from up on high:

There will be a few more interior shelves to come yet.

Corner Conundrum.

The design of the corner joints took a lot of time to solve to my satisfaction. In the end I remembered a form of Japanese timber framing joint that I had used on a well pump shed project many years ago that might work for this application:

This locking joint, which shows a miter on the exposed face, is termed dodai sumi dome hozo sashi shiguchi. The word dodai refers to the mudsill, however a form of this joint is also used to connect a type of eave fascia, urago, around a corner and up the gable end of the structure, where it gets a different, and equally long name.

I chose this form of joint because it mechanically locks together using wooden pins, shows a miter on the exposed faces, and allows adequate toom for a tenon to pass through. I haven't seen this joint used on furniture before, however adapting timber frame structural joints to furniture is how it was done at the dawn of antiquity, so to speak, so nothing unusual here.

I made some modifications to the standard form, and here is what I came up with:

The post receives a haunched, double wedged tenon.

From above you can get a good idea as to the configuration of the parts:

First off, one of the joint halves slides over to partially interlock with its neighbor:

Then the joint slides 90˚ the other way to fully interlock with its partner, and the 2 fixing pegs, which are slightly tapered, are brought into the party:

Once the two sills/rails are connected up, the parts are slid down onto the post tenon:

Then the two wedges are driven in, completing the connection:

From the inside, one can see some of the joint mechanism, however in the cabinet I am making that mechanism will largely be hidden from view:

On my cabinet, here is an outside view of the same sort of corner connection:

If you were on a chair, you'd be able to see some of the joint on the top surface:

The usual view however, where you would be looking up at the joined area, nothing is given away:

I felt pleased to find a good solution to the corner join problem and have applied the same joint to all 8 corners of the cabinet.

The cabinet components are quite rectilinear, and that could look a bit severe, so I'm planning to soften the aesthetic a bit by using some molded curves and possibly beading on the doors, and have an idea to include a bit of delicate latticework as well. I'm still nowhere in the quest to figure out the hardware, though at this point it is mostly going to be a pair of hinges and possibly some drawer pulls.

Thanks for coming by the Carpentry Way. Comments always welcome.  On to post 3

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