Showing posts from January, 2011

Sukiya gate model

Purpose: design and mock up a model of a Japanese style gate to work out scale, design, and construction issues before spending $2000 on materials. No specific design was copied but overall dimensions and scale reflect common examples seen. Rough full scale dimensions would be 9 feet tall, roof is 8 ' long x 6' across, gate opening is 5' wide. I started by making a 1/10 scale drawing and worked out basic dimensions there. Making the model served the purpose as I ended up with a list of things to do and avoid on a full size version.

Alaskan cedar cabinet

Design considerations: This design was loosely based on Japanese sewing boxes (haribako) and small cabinets popular in the first half of the 20th century. Of course, those craftsmen did not use dovetails for any joinery in their boxes - at least not visible dovetails. Next time I would follow their example. The dovetails are visually too busy once the finish darkened up the end grain. Alaskan yellow cedar (AYC) is beautiful to work with but a bit pricey so I wanted to minimize waste. This dictated the major dimensions. 

Materials: AYC, poplar drawer sides and internal framing, Port Orford cedar drawer bottoms, maple drawer pulls, 1/4" birch plywood back. Titebond II glue. 

Methods: The AYC came as rough sawn 2"x8" about 6' long. This was resawn with a frame saw to approx. 1/2" thick pieces, then cut to 18" lengths, then planed flat one face. A marking gauge (kebiki) was used to mark the edges for thickness and then the second face was planed flat and parallel…