Shoji panel lantern (andon - 行灯 ) - Part II

 Here is the exciting conclusion of the lantern design started way back in nevermind. The challenges this time related to:
  • the handle design - wood, bamboo, mixed? Then what?
  • the top panel
  • the electronics 
  • mounting the electronics and creating a switch
  • the bottom panel.
  • pinning the through tenons (because they needed it). 

The Handle:
What is not shown is what took all the time. I tried a bent split bamboo handle but the control and fixtures required to get a smooth semi-circular bend without major burning (you heat it with a torch, bends nice) was too much for a one-off handle. Scrapping that idea I looked at using 1/2" diameter black bamboo (very pretty stuff), but the joinery between the horizontal bamboo piece and two vertical wood or bamboo pieces was not coming out cleanly. Fall back to wood. 

A couple trial versions got me to this solution. It is sturdy and looks similar to other andon handle designs I have seen. Sort of a blend between a bucket handle and an andon handle.

The top panel essentially extends the grid pattern from the side panels. I directly mortised the kumiko into the upper stiles. 

The guts:
Teach yourself LED electronics and build your own, or... buy an LED lantern that has a known run time and is ready to go. I looked at building it from scratch but it was complicating maintenance and mounting so I bought a Cree 110 lumen "tender warm white" LED camping lantern (LTC-1613AA-W) off eBay and cut the top globe off. Then I scuffed the bubble over the LED to diffuse the otherwise harsh light. (To be clear: I did NOT scuff the actual LED. Never do that. I scuffed the plastic hemispherical dome-like enclosure that protects the LED and diffuses the light. It comes only partially obscured and partially clear). Really, the contradictory descriptions, warnings, images, and specs on the packaging alone make it worth getting this lantern (for a laugh). It is a well made lantern and Cree is tops in LED products.

With the light source settled I could now figure out how to hold a lantern shaped like R2D2. Ended up with a 1/8" diameter brass rod that I bent into a bail. The ends of the bail insert into two holes and hold R2 in place pretty well. To swap batteries (3 AA cells) you separate the ends of the bail clear of the block and lift it away. That beam you see (above) sticking up in front of R2 is the switch lever. It pivots on a 1/8" pin and protrudes down through the bottom to provide a see-saw like on/off switch. Works well so long as R2 does not rotate.

The shoji paper is a Japanese water-marked chrysanthemum floral pattern that came from the collection of Jay van Arsdale. It is applied with Nori brand paste/glue (carried by Hida Tool) and is water based so the paper can be replaced eventually. 
About the pins. I ended up pinning all through tenons to hold things together. I left enough of the pins protruding so they could be pulled if need be. No glue was used and the locking through tenons were only secure in one direction, so either the front and back or sides were not going to stay in place. Design flaw plain and simple. Surely there is a better way to join these stiles and rails.