the Carpentry Way: Gateway (64)                                                          

Gateway (64)

Post 64 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.


Construction of the side door continued...

Today's work started with fitting the top rail to the right hand stile:

How it looks after the trimming is done:

On the exit face:

Then onto the lower rail connection to the right stile:

Resulting fit:

As usual, fitting the battens didn't take too much time:

I figured it wouldn't hurt anything if the door went together:


It was warm enough in my shop today that I only needed to wear two jackets, instead of three, and didn't even feel the need to put a space heater on. Still needed to wear a wooly hat though....

A look down the outside of one stile at the protruding though tenons:

Another rail twin tenon peeking through:

A batten tenon:

I spent a bit of time looking at the layout of the mortises for the hinges, which was a tricky little affair. The bronze hinges, made for temple/shrine doors, are rather specialized and I haven't worked with them before, and, believe me, there are pitfalls for the unwary. The hinges are tapered in both axes, and the taper is not symmetrical. It's not like they come with mounting instructions either. I managed to squeak through all the same, and felt glad to have taken the time to examine them closely. I had my apprehensions ahead of time that the hinges would be one of those things that look simple but can easily be installed incorrectly. I couldn't pattern off the old doors either, because the hinges were obviously not well installed on those, even to my untrained eye.

The frame fitting more or less done, I could turn my attention to panels. I decided upon an arrangement with the middle panel having a centered cathedral, and the outer two panels having the cathedral cut down the middle:

This pattern of boards (the bottom of the door is closest to view) maintains an overall centered appearance for the panel as a whole, and the three panels all have the grain running the same way-  the bark side of the boards facing outward in this case.

A lot of people seem to get excited about 'book-matched' boards, but if you hand plane boards it doesn't make sense to do that as the grain is reversed between boards in a book-match. The reversal means that light catches them differently, and they will weather differently. It makes more sense to arrange the boards so that the grain is the same direction on each for planing.

The arrangement of boards I chose also facilitated shooting the edges to joint them, as the grain was sloping the same way on adjacent edges:

A jointed edge pair done:

The panels will be splined and trenched on their backsides for sliding dovetails.

The dado work on the side door frame members was the next task:

These dados have been taken out to dimension as the panels themselves are close to dimension now:

That's it for today's slide show. I hope this isn't getting monotonous for anyone, and perhaps we'll see you next time around. Post 65 is up next.