the Carpentry Way: Gateway (67)                                                          

Gateway (67)

Post 67 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.


Before assembling the side door, it seemed like a plan to fit the door lock. Easier to manipulate just the stile for drilling and mortising rather than the entire door.

As with all the other hardware on this project, the door lock came without mounting instructions, however there was a diagram on the company website showing the backset distance, among other pieces of information. Trouble was, the parts I received, notably the lockset itself, did not conform to the dimensions. Not a huge problem, as I have calipers to measure the components. Curiously, the lockset's mounting plate was 25.4mm. Unless you're completely allergic to metric, or oblivious to the inch scale, then 25.4 mm is a particularly interesting measure as is is exactly 1.0". So here you have it, a traditional Japanese temple door lock and the mounting plate measures exactly 1" x 6". Hah!

Mounting the lock, a task that wouldn't take all that long on a regular western door, took me about half the day. That stressed me out a bit, taking more time than anticipated, however it came out fairly well in the end I thought:

I was snookered a bit, as it turned out. I should have taken some measurements from the lockset before designing the door, as I would have made a little more space between the battens had I taken into account the distance between the plate mounting bosses. The bolts which connect the front plate to the rear plate were right on the edges of the mortise for both the batten tenons above and below, so I elected to offset it down a little bit, placing two of the holes such that they will pass through the batten tenon. Would rather have avoided that of course. It won't weaken it or anything, but I would rather not pass fasteners through joinery if it can be helped

Here's a look at the front plate at the interior face of the door stile:

The rest of the day was occupied by putting the door together. In the end, given the tight joinery, I elected not to glue the joints, instead I glued the wedges in after clamping everything up. I didn't want to see most of the glue pushed out of the joints, nor deal with squeeze-out in awkward spots.

The door required a trial assembly, some minor adjustments after separating the parts again, and then one more clamp up and all was looking like it would pass. The completed door, front (outer) face:

A look at a couple of joints after wedging:

The cut out for the lockset is revealed in this view - not the simplest set of operations to cut it out:

A look at the back of the door (interior side):

The battens came up tight to the stiles:

A look at some mitered rail abutments - here's top left:

2, bottom left:

That looks like a dent but I'm pretty sure it's just a mark in the wood.

And 3, bottom right:

Omitted to take the 4th corner for some reason, however it looked the same as the others.

I've marked out the face of the door for the decorative domed nails, and need to put in a bit more time yet on the door trimming the tenons flush, trimming the stile 'horns', and a few other minor tasks. Hoping to get that buttoned up tomorrow morning and then can move onto the main door panel work.

All for today, and thanks for visiting. Next up is post 68