Small Shoji Screen

This project started as a class assignment for Jay van Arsdale's joinery class in Oakland, CA but actually serves a purpose at my house. We have a south facing living room that gets too much sun at different times of the year. The windows in the room have fixed clerestory windows above. This small shoji screen fits the smaller clerestory frame and is held in place by two 1/4" dowels.

Everything is Port Orford cedar (decking grade - but plenty good enough) except 8 small redwood wedges used to expand the through tenons. No glue (except for the paper glue). No finish. I will be adding shoji paper soon.

The stiles and rails were rough cut by machine then hand planed to dimension. The kumiko (the grid parts) were hand cut. Layout for all parts proceeded from one reference corner. Mark all parts from that corner and do not lose those markings or the slight differences will cause assembly headaches. I cut a spare kumiko and used it as a marking stick to transfer kumiko spacing onto the stiles, rails, and kumiko. You assemble the grid, then fit the whole thing into the frame, then wedge the frame, then trim the tenons flush. The frame tenons here are haunched to reduce twisting - not that there is much load on this particular frame. I cut a shallow rabbet on the back surface to provide a gluing surface and recess for the paper. This is a fixed frame, but the recess is a good option if you are making the standard sliding doors that have to bypass each other. 

Before clamping, wedges, and final trimming.

Redwood wedges - make a couple extra.

Tap in wedges alternately or you might close up the open kerf.

One of the corners after trimming with a flush cut saw.

Jay van Arsdale - Shoji     
Toshio Odate - Making Shoji