Wednesday, August 15, 2018



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Sunday, August 12, 2018

Colgate EALL (17)

Some progress has been made on the WordPress front. I’m still new to this site, having migrated here from Blogger a couple of months back, and still on the steep part of the learning curve it would appear. The sidebar I had installed with Paypal purchase buttons for material in the TAJCD series has been unaccountably missing and non-functional for the past month, but at last it is back and seems to be working as before.

WordPress, to their credit, acknowledged the problems I had been having, and along with decent technical support (something unavailable on Google’s Blogger platform), they just refunded all my money for two years of business membership on WordPress. And they will still provide me with full support going forward. Kudos to them!

I continue to work my way through old posts, cleaning up formatting errors and fixing post-to-post links so that it becomes possible to read through various build threads once again. I have just worked my way through the 87 posts which comprise the MFA Gate Build, titled ‘Gateway’, and that has now been added to the Thread Index. Additionally, I have added a permanent link to the sidebar for ‘Thread index’, which when clicked will take you to that page listing the threads which have been fixed up. I have a bunch of old threads still to go through and add, and hope to complete this work in the next month or two, adding new (old) threads as they get sorted.

Also planning to add a ‘Topic Index’ for those many posts here which are either very short series on a particular topic, or stand-along posts which may be related to one another, or not. Just trying to find good ways to make this site, with more than 1000 posts, more readily searchable and readable.

If, when reading an old post, you come across a link which does not work, language referring to things not present on the WordPress site, or odd formatting, please drop me a line and let me know about it.


Getting to the conclusion of  the next to last week of fabrication for this project. Two principal items left are the shōji for behind the circular window in the alcove, and the sliding doors, ita-do, for below the alcove.

As a previous post detailed the construction of the two kake-shōji for the Japanese room, it would be redundant to go through the fabrication of the two shōji for behind the circular window in the same fashion. Nonetheless, I have a few pics to share.

After the frameworks are together, tenons are trimmed and some clean up done on the edges:

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While the first frame is getting cleaned up, the second is getting clamped up:

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Afterwards, a bit of attention is given to the faces of the frame as well:

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I’m using mulberry paper, or kozo, on this set. Here’s one of the doors after the paper has been glued on:

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A look at the joint between stile and rail, a haunched tenon with mitered coping;

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After the paper was glued and left to set overnight, the next day the paper could be misted so as to tighten up any sags.

Here’s the pair of shōji then, just needing a little final planing along the meeting edge, which will be done after they are test fitted onto their sliding tracks in the next few days:

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The parts for the lower sliding doors are well along:

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Another half day of work should see them through to completion.

In the home stretch now, with delivery/install still planned for the 17th/18th of this month.



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Friday, August 3, 2018

Colgate EALL (16)

Next on the list were the two staggered shelves in the Japanese flanking alcove, or tokowaki. This illustration shows the arrangement:

Colgate EALL tokowaki

I used some figured cherry for the shelf boards and followed the traditional  proportioning rules of thumb for both shelf thickness and spacing. I worked closely with the EALL department head, a Japanese woman, to come to a mutually pleasing arrangement for the shelves.

Cutting a pair of boards for shelves is, on initial consideration, one of the simpler tasks a woodworker might find themselves faced with, however these shelves are a little trickier than they might otherwise appear.

In the Japanese context, alcoves are where some of the most refined woodwork in a building will be performed, and compared to the rest of the interior, materials of the best quality and with more refined joinery are employed.

The end of a solid wood shelf presents end grain, and this end grain is to be concealed. The way of doing that is to fit an asymmetrical double-dovetailed sliding key.

Here’s a look at the trench on one board after cutting was 99% completed:

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You can see from this view that the lower portion of the trench has a smaller sliding dovetail than the flared opening.

A view from the other end:

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One has to take considerable care in cut out not to damage the delicate arris all the way around the trench opening.

Here’s the trench completed on the other shelf:

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Another view:

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The double dovetail keys were fabricated with a combination of table saw work and milling machine work:

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The picture above shows the key sticking out further than it will be when done, and shows the end which will be buried in the wall.

This is the viewed corner after the double-dovetailed sliding key is fitted, and, in case it was not obvious, the key going to be trimmed right back to the end of the board soon enough:

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If the key were trimmed before final fitting, it would be rather difficult to remove. So, I leave it to protrude about 1/2″ for these initial steps, so it can be readily tapped out with a hammer.

The upper shelf has an additional piece which curls up, a component termed a fude-gaeshi. Originally these were fitted to table tops and shelves as a means of keeping scrolls from rolling off, however in recent times they have become more of an architectural ornament. It would be odd, for instance, to put a scroll on a staggered shelf.

I considered for a while making this piece out of another wood which complimented cherry, like avodire, or provided a darker accent, like mahogany, however in the end I went with cherry. My milling machine was most useful for a bunch of the cut out work, with  lot of hand tool finishing required in the end.

The completed fude-gaeshi with three male sliding dovetails cut out of the same block, and the sliding dovetail tranches completed in the upper shelf:

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You an also see in the above photo that the double-dovetail sliding key has been trimmed back. It’s kind of funny in a way, to fit a long-grain key to conceal end grain, as the net result looks an awful lot like like the shelf is plywood/particle board and has been edge-banded.  The irony is not lost on me.

In the fude-gaeshi goes on its three sliding dovetails:

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Then it slides along until the end of the piece is flush with the edge. I thought the fit came out nicely.

Here’s the shorter shelf after the end cap is fitted:



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Sunday, July 29, 2018

Build Thread Index

A sizable number of the posts on this blog are devoted to build ‘threads’ where the reader is taken along the journey of design and construction of a piece. Some of these build threads comprise less than 10 entries, while others run to 100 entires or so.

The links provided on this page will take you to post #1 in each build thread, and each post in a build thread is linked to the next, with the link provided in the body of the blog entry at the end. So, this is not a true index, but merely a way of pointing the reader in the right direction for reading a thread from beginning to end. WordPress seems to lack, at present, a proper sort of index, with entires listed in numerical order, so this thread list is a placeholder until such an index becomes available. Further, I have found that some of the language in these posts, written when this blog was a blogger artifact and not a WordPress one, had to be changed as they referred to things that were present on the blogger site which are not present here. I will be working my way manually through hundreds and hundreds of posts, updating and amending. Some older posts have links to youtube videos which are defunct, and I’m even finding typos, missing page links, and stuff like that. Little by little we’ll get there, making this site more user friendly.

There are more than a dozen substantial build threads, so look for this page to be updated as these threads get cleaned up and all the links working properly.

Build threads:

Coffee Anyone?

Building up my Library (bookcase)

Colgate EALL



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The Art of Japanese Carpentry Drawing

At first, the 5 Volumes, 2 supplements and Kanna Tuning Manual which comprise the series, were listed to the right side of the page with convenient Paypal purchase buttons, however for some inexplicable reason that widget has become non-functional. I am working on this issue with WordPress tech support, but in the meantime I thought it would be convenient, for those interested in the TAJCD material, to provide a listing of the blog pages detailing each of the parts. I’ll make this blog entry a link at the right of the page for convenient future access.

Here are the links to the blog pages announcing each of the TAJCD essay publications:

And the Supplements:
That is the current sum total of TAJCD material. New Volumes are planned but no schedule is set as of yet regarding release dates. These will be announced, of course, on this blog as they become available.

The essay prices are individually noted with each item, however if purchasing 3 or more items, discounts do apply. For example:

5-Volume TAJCD set: $140.00

5-Volume set plus both joinery monographs: $170.00

5-Volume set plus Kanna Tuning Manual: $170.00

Complete set of 5-volumes, both joinery supplements, and Kanna Tuning Manual: $200.00

Payment is generally by Paypal, though for those in the lower-48 states, there are other options, such as USPS Money Order, bank check, or Squarecash. All international purchasers must use Paypal. Contact me via email if you would like to delve in.



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Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Art of Japanese Carpentry Drawing

At first, the 5 Volumes, 2 supplements and Kanna Tuning Manual which comprise the series, were listed to the right side of the page with convenient Paypal purchase buttons, however for some inexplicable reason that widget has become non-functional. I am working on this issue with WordPress tech support, but in the meantime I thought it would be convenient, for those interested in the TAJCD material, to provide a listing of the blog pages detailing each of the parts. I’ll make this blog entry a link at the right of the page for convenient future access.

Here are the links to the blog pages announcing each of the TAJCD essay publications:

And the Supplements:
That is the current sum total of TAJCD material. New Volumes are planned but no schedule is set as of yet regarding release dates. These will be announced, of course, on this blog as they become available.

The essay prices are individually noted with each item, however if purchasing 3 or more items, discounts do apply. For example:

5-Volume TAJCD set: $140.00

5-Volume set plus both joinery monographs: $170.00

5-Volume set plus Kanna Tuning Manual: $170.00

Complete set of 5-volumes, both joinery supplements, and Kanna Tuning Manual: $200.00

Payment is generally by Paypal, though for those in the lower-48 states, there are other options, such as USPS Money Order, bank check, or Squarecash. All international purchasers must use Paypal. Contact me via email if you would like to delve in.



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