Monday, October 12, 2009

An interesting challenge

As an exercise to work out some details in the large fence project the Daikudojo folks are beginning for Lake Merritt in Oakland Ca, we discuss some of the ways we can use different joinery in the building process then work out rough test pieces on joint models.

One interesting challenge came as a few of us questioned a joint that had two 2”x 2” crossing on edge. The fence we are building will have a top piece on edge ( a 4”x4”) which will act as a roof for the top of the fence. There will be pieces added that will be inset in the 4x4 that will act somewhat like truss arms ( for lack of a better work and being tired and on a 13 hour train ride) where we will then add a 1” thick maybe 8” wide cedar board on either side.

The "assignment came about as fellow students of Van Arsdale Jim and myself were looking at a joint Jay had come up with as a possible candidate for out fence project joint. The joint was made of two pieces crossed on edge (think diamond) and then a mock up post where the joint was to sit upon. After looking the joint over for a while Jim and I talked about the difficulty of this joint and also this is a 200 ft fence which means a LOT of these things. We both went off and started drawing while dumbly looking around. After a lot of “how do I even mark this thing up let alone cut it” thoughts, I just started trying to be logical and wondering why I did not take geometry again in college.

Adding to the idea is that the post would come to rest below the side wings of the 4x4 ( think of the top pointing up). The example in the photo shows the two pieces and what
the 6x6 would like like ( it is a joint model as well) after it is cut up.

Adding another challenge was the idea of making the center piece of the post a tenon that would go through the 4x4 ( Im not making this up....) and be wedged at the top (all covered up by the top so no rain issues on the end grain.

In the end it looks like we are looking at a different option to affix these pieces together in the fence. I guess the fact that we have until 2010 to finish and not 2015 might be a reason. The interesting thing about Jay VanArsdale is, that with a background in sculpture, he tends to see joints that we have trouble picturing. Not that he invents these joints, some we have seen before some not, he is good at getting us to think when we see a joint together about how it may be put together.

An example of this is when I first saw the Japanese temple base joint where there are 4 goosenecks. You think wow pretty, then you wonder HOW it works finally then you find it slides at an angle and your head stops that ache you get when you use it to think.

Ill work on trying to follow our progress through this blog or I may even focus a blog on that specific project as it is a 14 month project.

Give this joint a try. There have to be many ways to attack this thing.

a roof for the Bonzai garden

The Bonzai garden at lake merritt has a board to post what is going on for the day. It was made by the Daiku Dojo members a few years back. The top piece was really just a straight board. While we were waiting for our cedar for our big fence project, Jay thought we could give the post it board a little more flair. Jim has been working on this and the picture at left shows the new piece. Angles cut on top and the wings are single pieces cut by hand and the edges of the wings have carving mimicing the curves.
What I really like is that this is a pretty simple was to add a roof (small) to something and have it look really sweet.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Kitchen cabinet doors

In taking off the paint on my kitchen cabinets I found that I had three different types of doors. It looks like at least 4 of 6 had been replaced but possibly even up to 4. The larger cabinets were old doug fir plywood, which I thought would look bad in a natural finish. below the sink the doors had a piece of pine added to the inside edge to make them 1/2 wider, I figured these were just some replacement doors that were fit and likely cheap. The last 2 doors were likely original and were tung and groove doug fir. I had initially planned to just replace the under the cabinet doors with a bit of a Japanese influence, but as I was to takle all I realized I had better think my plan over.

After tearing down my barn, I had a stack of old growth doug fir, nail holes and all, some a bit cracked, these seemed to be the logical replacement. In a standard frame offset with furniture grade vertical grain plywood, I think the new doors are simple and a nod to both old and new.
After installing the doors, I still have yet to add handles of some type. I had thought a nod to Krenov might be a nice touch.