the Carpentry Way: Gateway (37)                                                          

Gateway (37)

Post 37 in an ongoing series describing the design and construction of a kabukimon, a type of Japanese gate. This is a project for the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Post 1 in this series can be found here if you'd like to start at the beginning. Each post links to the next at the bottom of the page. Recent installments also to be found in the 'Blog archive' index to the right of the page.


Went into the shop today with a definite plan of attack, and accomplished some of what I had hoped to achieve at least. Things sometimes go slightly off course, but in the right general direction.

The idea was to fit the remaining umeki to the main posts, and I managed to get a couple of the smaller pieces in:

Another view:

Those seem to have come out well but I haven't planed them down flush yet.

Then onto the main beam, or kabuki. There is a secondary beam to be fitted below it, termed the magusa. Here is is in red:

First task was to go over the under surface of the main beam to make sure it was square and straight. There were a few adjustments required, and as I went through I few steps along that track, I realized that it would be a good idea to fit the nose pieces to the beam and check that everything was coming together well before moving much further ahead. That's where my day plan want sideways, as the fitting of the nose pieces took several hours. Oh well. One step at a time and keep marching.

They came out decently I thought. Here's the left side on first:

This is the portion of the joint which will be inside of the main post:

The parts in the above picture are oriented upside down at this time.

Then on to fitting the right side nose piece - a view of what will be the upper surface:

It also came out well I felt:

Another view -the surface which will be visible from below:

Another view:

With the two nose pieces in place, I could then assess the entire assembly and plane the surface flat as needed:

A straightedge came in handy to check alignment:

Once the surface was where it needed to be, I could start fitting the magusa. The stick had moved out of square since it had been milled a few weeks back, so it needed a bit of attention, then it was fitted to the kabuki, trying to achieve a gap-free interface.

The kabuki and magusa will be connected to one another using all-wood connections, unlike the lag bolts used in the old gate I am replacing. The joints themselves will be 5 sliding double-hammerhead keys. Normally one might employ double dovetail sliding keys for this, but I prefer the hammerhead keys. And I have tooling for that!

I started out with some layout and then some rough mortising:

Another view, in a bit closer:

Should have these done tomorrow, along with the remaining infill work on the main posts. Hope you'll stay tuned.

All for today my friends. Thanks for dropping by the Carpentry Way. Next up: post 38