the Carpentry Way: Gateway (69)                                                          

Gateway (69)

Post 69 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.


A weekend passes - another couple of days of work accomplished on the main doors. Probably not going to have any time off for the rest of the month, and shop days are going to get longer.

The parts for the doors are pretty much cut out to completion, and it's the fitting that now eats up the hours:

A sliding dovetail trench after cut out, and a batten before the dovetail is formed:

The panel sub-assembly for the right side door sits awaiting its turn:

The panels have been trenched and the dovetails completed, but I have room only to work on one door at a time. Right now it is the left door.

Here, the vertical upright between the middle two battens has been cut out, tenoned, and fitted:

I just have to trim the ends back slightly yet. The generic term for this upright, which carries a portion of the door draw bar, is tatezan (縦桟).

A look at one of the male sliding dovetails on a batten:

The battens on the left door are all now a good fit to the panel dovetails.

The middle two battens for the right side door have also had the housings and tenons cut for their tatezan, and have been chamfered:

I think it likely I will be able to assemble the left side door tomorrow, and the right side the day after that. A challenge at this time is simply moving these large and heavy doors around without damaging the delicate wood. Its a central challenge on this project actually.

All for now - thanks for visiting. Post 70 to follow.