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.

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