Hello and welcome to the continuation of the Japanese Tool Box build, part of a series in which a Japanese Tool Box, inspired by Chris Hall of The Carpentry Way, is created as a gift to my son.
In this post I will be completing the internal supports, fitting the bottom panel and closing the case to complete the case assembly.
After determining the internal dimension for the length of the supports, I use my dado plane and a batten to cut the shoulders to thickness. I’ve detailed this process recently and so I will skip forward a bit to cutting the tenons.
The mortises have not yet been cut out and so they do not have to be individually fitted at this point, and because of this I can gang-up the tenons to cut them at the same time.
I set my Kibiki gauge to mark the height of the shoulder.
Next I saw the shoulders to height and then waste out between the tenons with a coping saw.
Next, I saw the tenons to thickness and remove the waste by sawing the shoulder.
Now that the tenons are roughed out, I can saw for wedges and complete the cut out by paring the shoulder to height.
After completing the tenons on the internal supports I can transfer my cutout to the panel and begin chopping out the mortises.
Unfortunately I forgot to take photos of this process, sometimes being in the moment means that the photos take a backseat.
Now that the mortises are cutout, I can install my center supports and market exactly where the base panel’s groove should fall. If there are any minor consistencies in height, these will be accounted for by the marking knife. I continue forward to cutting the grooves.
I complete the part by touching out the visible faces with the kanna and finally chamfering all corners. This is an important step in making a hand-tooled project nice to engage with. Planes leave hard edges and removing those edges is key to having a finished piece which encourages people to it and enjoy the finished surfaces.
The tenons are now poking through on the panel, ready to be seated with wedges.
The base panel is cut into three panels, which are then slipped into their respective grooves and the opposing side panel is then tapped down until it is seated. This creates a housing for the panels. The amount of expansion/contraction of the base panel is estimated and clearance is built into the sides to account for this. Material selection is critical for the base panel and so quartered material was chosen and being cypress it will move very little. I built about 1/8″ of clearance into the side grooves (combined) which will allow the base panel to expand out to summer thickness without binding.
Softwood has an added benefit of being able to compress slightly, so if it does bind at the height of summer it will compress a small degree before pushing the box apart at the low corners (or so I hope 🙂 ).
Now I begin cutting and installing the many, many wedges that are required for these tenons. I’m making those in gaboon ebony. I always keep cut-offs of exotics around to make wedges out of, gaboon ebony is nice to work with but keep a close eye on grain direction.
The wedges are then tuned up on the shooting board.
And then installed into the tenons.
I use glue on the wedges and between the tenons and shoulders. It helps to fill any minor gaps in the work and helps prevent the wedges from pulling out in pieces when they are planed flush.
After the glue cures I return to cut the tenons flush.
Some interesting works of contemporary sculpture are created in the cut offs.
MOMA, are you watching?
The tenons are then planed flush.
Finally the exterior edges are planed flush and chamfered.
This is a combination approach, the miter plane helps minimize the chance of spelching around the end grain of any exposed bits which will be planed flush to the case sides.
I hope you have enjoyed this installment of my blog! Hope to see you again soon.