Saturday, December 31, 2016
Friday, December 30, 2016
Things are progressing along relatively smoothly. The work I’m tackling is to cut the housings on the ceiling perimeter frame, mawari-buchi, for the ceiling cross bars, or sao-buchi. There are two housings in fact, a lower one for the exposed portion of the frame, and an upper one which keeps the frame from any tendency to twist, which would make for gaps in the housing in the exposed portion, were it to occur:
I have a piece of sao-buchi cutoff to use a a checking device for each connection, albeit, only for checking the exposed housing fit:
The ends of the actual ceiling rods, already cut, have a stepped arrangement so as to fit both housings on the perimeter frame.
Fully down and the fit seems to have come out okay:
There’s a little pencil mark left on the bottom which needs to be removed. The exposed faces of the mawari buchi have yet to be chamfered and finish planed, and that will take care of marks like that.
There are 24 housings to complete in total.
I guess it wouldn’t hurt to show a reflected ceiling view so readers can have a better idea as to the overall scope of work:
It is a standard aspect of Japanese traditional architectural design to produce a reflected ceiling view for a house, as ceilings vary from location to location within a structure. They are an elaborated aspect, and one that surely deserves to be drawn upon mare by western builders.
As an example or such a plan, here’s a reflected ceiling/roof framing plan from the main temple building at Shakuō-ji Temple:
Another from the Goten at Nagoya Castle:
Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah….
After the perimeter frame members were mortised, I ran them through the shaper, climb-cutting with the feeder, to chamfer the outside lower arris:
Frame work completed, I could start reassembling the ceiling frame for the last time, starting with the perimeter frame, miters adjusted for final fit, and then the long sao-buchi go in:
The junction of ceiling frame member with perimeter frame mortises is provided with a degree of slop on both ends to allow for any variances in the walls, beyond which I have already accounted:
I hope the above photo makes clear the nature of the stepped end cut on the ceiling rod and the two mortises in the perimeter frame member.
An overview of the completed ceiling framework all assembled:
At last the panels could be fitted:
Then a weird thing happened. There are 44 panels in this ceiling and I was sure I had prepared 44 pieces, however today there seem to be only 43 pieces. I cannot account for this shortfall, other than with my wallet, ahem, as I need to pick up some more Western Red Cedar tomorrow and fabricate another panel.
Install is scheduled for the middle of next week. After fitting the remainder of the panels, I have to make some small frames for the light wells, and then repaper 3 shōji. Almost done.
Thanks for coming by the Carpentry Way.
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Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Continuing on now with a look at some of the steps involved in making a coffered Japanese ceiling.
There are two openings in the framework for lighting, and in these areas the frame members in a few locations do not lap, but terminate in a ’T’. To fix the connections together, I will use a long screw. Since screws have unreliable purchase in end grain, I mortised the receiving frame member so as to fit a blind cross-grain pin.
Here, the pin has been driven in and is being trimmed flush:
I chose mahogany for the pin as it is a slight bit denser than the Yellow Cedar.
The screw should draw the connection up tightly:
I found a little space where I could put the perimeter frame up using the corner templates I took from the room, and position the other frame members atop so as to iron out the issues arising from a non-square room in the install location:
The joinery between the interior frame members is complete at this juncture. Here’s a look at a mitered lap with mortise, with a regular mitered half-lap above:
A look at some of the ceiling frame end joints:
The ceiling frame parts are nearly complete:
A view of some of the mitered housings:
The perimeter frame corners have a form of mitered and stub tenoned connection:
Those joints are a hair fat for the time being and don’t fully close up at their 90˚ abutments. During the next fit up I will trim the miters so as to bring the corners tight together.
All for this round - thanks for tuning in.
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Friday, December 23, 2016
I am not going to kid you all. This has been a tough couple of weeks. I have struggled more than I have in a long time and I am still trying to recover from recent things that happened. I am getting there, but it is going to take a bit longer, I am afraid.
I know that isn’t what you are used to seeing from me. In general, I am a very positive person. A fighter. Someone who is able to look at even not-so-nice things and try to find a grain of something good in them. Keith used to say that I lived on a “Pink Cloud”. A place where optimism reigned supreme.
I like living there. I truly believe that our attitude helps dictate the direction that our life heads. I try to look at every situation from the positive side. For even things that are painful to us allow us to grow, learn and feel. It is part of the process of our life.
But losing my kitty Pancakes so suddenly to cancer was a huge hit. He was young. I never saw it coming. The last thing we expected when we dropped him off at the vet was that we would never see him again. I just wasn’t prepared for the outcome.
I spent the first week after his death in shock and mourning. Those of you who have pets understand. I heard stories from many of you that were close to my heart, as many of you had gone through the same with your own sweet companions. You understood the hurt, anger and deep feeling of loss that I felt. You understood the pain – both physical and emotional. You understood the sadness.
With each passing day, it became a bit easier. The slow process of ‘acceptance’ had begun and the feelings of pain and hurt were beginning to be replaced gradually with feelings of love. I was starting to be able to see photos of him and instead of crying, I smiled. I thought about the antics he did with me and realized how fortunate I was these past nine years to have him in my life. I am so grateful for the short time we had.
Then last Saturday, just as I was beginning to heal, things shifted again. My other cat Richard became violently ill. I spent the last weekend nursing him and talking on the phone to the best vet in the world who was trying to counsel me on treating him. We had an ice storm here and the roads were horrendous on Saturday and the vet’s office is about 45 minutes away. It would have been dangerous for us to try to get him to the clinic. We tried our best.
On Sunday, Richard showed some improvement in that he stopped vomiting, but little else to give us hope. He fell into a lull and even though I had been giving him fluids by eyedropper, we knew he was severely dehydrated and very ill. Late in the afternoon, we made the decision to take him into the clinic. We were glad we did.
To make a long story short, we saved his life. He had a high fever and what turned out to be a liver infection. We had to leave him at the clinic for nearly two days and didn’t get him back until Tuesday afternoon. They had to give him five IV treatments along with antibiotics, steroids and a pill to help his liver recover. When we brought him home, he looked 'better’ but was still weak and had much healing ahead. But we are grateful he is home. And grateful that he is alive.
It sure put things in perspective.
It shifted my feelings of sadness and loss of my dear Pancakes to one of concern and worry for my Rich. It isn’t as if I am not still mourning the loss of Pancakes, but the gratitude that filled my heart that Richard is alright has helped me realize just how fortunate I am. It has helped me look at things in a slightly different way and focus on what gifts I have instead of what I have lost. It somehow made things a bit easier.
This realization does not at all diminish the love I have for my sweet Pancakes, but rather helps me appreciate the time I had with him even more. In looking back, I saw some changes in his behavior. I had attributed that to moving to our new home, as I was even still adjusting to that. He was a very sensitive kitty and I thought that the change had more effect on him than the others. But looking back through knowing eyes, I realize that these small changes were clues to what was really happening. He was sick and probably hurting and didn’t have any other way to tell us. He had become 'crankier’ than normal and his tolerance was much lower of things and he was quieter. Looking back, I think he was slowly distancing himself from us. It was his way of letting us know something was wrong.
By realizing these things, I also realize that he was spared a great deal of pain. If his condition had gone undetected much longer, it would have certainly caused him great pain and suffering. I take comfort in that his final days were filled with love and relatively pain-free. He passed from this world to the next as gentle as possible. I am grateful for that.
Richard is slowly recovering. Now it is Friday and he is nearly back to his normal self. He is on several medications and will be for a couple of weeks. We will then bring him back for some more tests to be sure his liver was recovering as it should. We think we are out of the woods.
I used to love to sit at the beach and watch the waves. I could sit there for hours doing just that. Their never-ending rhythm of rolling to the shore would both calm and sooth me.
In a way, I think that I can assimilate the events of our life to those waves.
Day by day each event that occurs to us keeps rolling in, unrelenting. Each event is different. Some are good. Some are not so good. But no matter what happens or how it affects us, life goes on, as the waves keep coming. That is part of living.
I have decided to take the rest of this year off to continue to heal and reflect on some things. I have been blogging for over seven years and have barely missed a few days during that period. I always strive to bring something good and positive to you all and hopefully encourage you to be positive as well as creative. I truly feel that is one of my most important purposes here on this Earth. But I need some more time to heal. It would be a farce if I came here pretending that I am unaffected by the events in my life. I wouldn’t be true to you all or to myself either.
On a final note, I want to thank you all for your wonderfully sweet and encouraging words, notes, gifts, and thoughts. I am astounded at the number of people who really do understand and care. I try to answer them all, but sometimes I just run out of energy. I need to step away from the computer so that I can focus on something else and heal and move forward. I hope you understand.
For those of you who celebrate Christmas, Keith and I both wish you a very merry day. For those of you who do not, we also wish you well. May you all have a wonderful holiday season and a happy, healthy and creative new year ahead.
We are so appreciative of you all. So many of you are not only customers or readers, but true friends. We are ever so grateful for you love and support, both in our business and personally. Thank you.
I know that there are great things to come in the upcoming year. I can’t wait to show you as I implement my ideas. We will focus on the good things and the joys that life offers and hopefully, it will enrich our lives and make them a bit happier.
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Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Cleaning out the book shelves has put me in a mood to look at my tools, and move along those items i am making no sue of, for whatever reason. Some of these tools were purchased from little mom and pop hardware stores in Japan and never used or set up, others were included in batches of tools bought in quantity, others were bought and just not put to use as I had thought I might. May as well move them along to someone who will make use of them. I’ll be adding to this list over the next couple of days, so please check back if this sort of thing is of interest.
Shapton ‘Pro’ #2000 stone, NIB, still with the plastic wrapping:
Japanese framing hammer, medium size:
Brown and Sharpe trammel set:
Packed in a mahogany box:
A pair of 42mm kiwa ganna, of a unique type, kinda like a gotoku ganna was divided into two separate planes, right and left. Makes for a low profile dai so this plane can also be used for trimming the sidewalls of grooves:
I bought these from another carpenter about 5 years ago and he had set them up. I never put them to use since. They are a hair loose in fit in my judgement, so a thin paper shim will likely be required.
The sub blades are not laminated:
I think the maker is Katsujiro:
$200 for the pair.
A set of corner molding planes:
These I scrounged in small town hardware stores in Japan, and have never done much with them.
A look at the profiles:
The set of 5 is offered at $250.00
The Akafuji (“Red Fuji”) jointing plane, by the famous (and long deceased) Tanaka Sho Ichi Ryo:
About 15.5" in length:
Dai is fitted with a kuchi-ire:
Laminated sub-blade - the cutting steel is excellent, but I don’t know what it specifically is:
I purchased this as a used tool, already set up. While the ura isn’t the prettiest, the fit between blades and in the dai is fine.
The plane was called Red Fuji due to the slight copper patination on the blade:
The working surface - the dai is 'hon’ red oak, a material getting harder to obtain and now quite costly:
The mouth opening:
There’s another one of these on Ebay right now- which is surprising given the rarity of the tool - for $900. I’ll offer this one at $750.00
More tools to be listed tomorrow.
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