the Carpentry Way: Colgate EALL (10)                                                          

Colgate EALL (10)

Recent weeks of work on the Colgate project have involved a pair of hanging transoms, one for the Japanese space and one for the Chinese space, each at the end of the hallway.

The Japanese one is simple in form - here is the inner frame and panel portion, mostly complete:

The lattice framework is wenge, which seems to be in short supply these days in these parts - I had to go, as per usual, as far afield as PA to get a couple of sticks, which were of excellent quality.

The junction in the middle is the standard double-mitered half lap:

The frame and panel assembly will be sandwiched between these two avodire beams, which in turn will be fitted to a pair of opposed decorative avodire 'posts' - since this fitting will be done on site once the posts are up, I cannot fit the wenge frame end members to this framework quite yet:

Another view:

The transom for the entry to the Chinese room employs a lattice pattern, which is composed of individual mahogany sticks mortised and tenoned together:

Any slight irregularities in the frame joints were cleaned up afterwards by plane:

A tie of sorts between 'Japan' and 'China' is provided, as it were, by employing a wenge surrounding frame here also.

Once that wenge frame's joinery work was done and test-fitted, a 'clampapalooza' ensued:

When you clamp like this, you get thirsty for seltzer - I needed two cases.

A find wenge quite fine to plane, but it is also, I must say, one of my least favorite woods in which to handsaw (and it's no thrill to chisel either):

The completed assembly, with surrounding mahogany frame (upside down in this view):

Here's a view of the frame in the intended orientation:

The wenge partners nicely with the mahogany it seems to me.

I am pleased with the way it come out, and I think the two transoms form a nice pair of 'bookends' for the space in which they situate:

Next, a look at one of the frame's upper corner joints:

The upper corners employ this sort of mitered, finger jointed affair, while the lower corners of the frame employ mitered joints with internally concealed dovetails - but the miters are found only on the front and back edges and not all the way around the joint. Sorry, I forgot to take a pic.

There is a reason that the upper and lower joints are different. The upper ones were chosen for simplicity and relative ease of fabrication, while the lower ones will allow me to take shavings off of the lower portions of the vertical frame members without upsetting the look of the miters or risking end grain tear out, and as the lowers are exposed to view I decided to give a quietened down visual instead of a joint like you see above, which will be buried in the ceiling. Based on my story pole from the site, I know that the walls in this location for this transom are about 1/16" out of parallel, so I have made the outer framework to the larger story pole measurement, and will trim the frame on site after seeing how it fits first.

All for this round - thanks for tuning in.