Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Center lining

Today I was by myself here. Not so easy to move the 6 meter beam and separate the members for another perhaps final paring. I found out that the book didn't include the taper for the wedge that helps separate the pieces. Also moved the pillars, A3 and A2 and started marking things.

 I like to look at this joint.

There was a particularly interesting moment today when I was thinking of how to compensate for the difference in height that the pieces have.

We squared one, the other remains twisted and a bit cupped.

You can see that at the end of the 6m the piece goes a bit to the left. It also goes up and down a fair bit. But I don't mind, I just make a shouldered tenon in 3 direction, and most importantly, I simply measure from the centre line. That way I don't care about the shape of the wood. It was real great moment.

Then I started writing names on the beams.

I did the centre line with a chalk line, It was not so bad, just very imprecise. Then started chopping that mortice. I thought of Gabe and took my shoes off. What a good feeling man. Plus you get extra focus to saw when your toes are close to moving iron.

And something I don't really like to do, I used a brace and bit to speed up the process. It's hard work, I wouldn't have thought so. The beam is a 6x6 or a bit more maybe. No idea what wood.

I started with the ryoba but was definitely not the tool for the job.

An hour later or maybe more, I had that. Then hammock. Still my arms are in pain for all the moving here and there of the beam.

It doesn't sound like much work for a day but it's finally starting to come together. After having done the spline, things seem to go faster now. I was thinking of using a thinner secondary horizontal beam, and use some of that left over wood to make the fence. I also think I need 2 more pairs of saw horses, so perhaps tomorrow I do that. Need to get food and a haircut though, so the morning will be in the city. 


  1. The Project is looking great my friend!

    I too have recently seen the light, regarding center line layout. It's so efficient, you wonder why it isn't the standard practice......especially now that even the store bought lumber isn't particularly uniform.

    Oh wait.....99% of new construction uses essentially NO joinery, so layout is a moot point, haha. Everything new that I see being built in Hawaii uses galvanized bracket hardware. Instant joinery, but not very satisfying to the soul. You are on a good path.

    1. Don has a comment somewhere, about taxing materials instead of labour. We could implement that in the near future when we rule the world, I just used a bit of chalk, rice and tuna to make the joint.

  2. Nice work, it seems very exciting!

    I was wondering yesterday, would the chalk line be more accurate if the thick cotton string was replaced by a finer string? Or does that only work on ink lines?

    1. yes and yes.

      A thinner line would make it more accurate but the good think of ink and which is missing in chalk is surface tension. Powder will disperse more easily, so you need a liquid to keep things together.

    2. Hmm... so we put some water in the chalk.... maybe a binder, as well... maybe add some charcoal to give it a dark, contrasting color...

      Oh shoot. I just reinvented the ink line.

    3. Tajima (the company that makes many different factory made Japanese tools....sort of the "Stanley" of Japan, except good, haha) probably sells 10x chalk lines. They use a very fine, nicely braided line that leaves a good crisp mark. The chalk itself is much nicer too. It's what "real" carpenters use nowadays I guess. You can order just the line, but the chalk box itself is SO much better, you might as well order the whole thing. It's like, $18 on Amazon.

      I still prefer ink, though.

  3. Looking great my friend! I need to get a pair of those tabby shoes when the winter comes and barefoot is not too smart in an unheated shop. Barefoot is free, you just have to keep your feet clean so that your work doesn't smell of feet, haha.

    I had to spend yesterday driving back and forth from the giant strip mall/suburb that is Denver, Colorado, to help my uncle install modern kitchen cabinets. All particle board veneer and cheap oak face frames with crappy router bit glue joinery. Really trashy cheap stuff with almost no reuse potential, to be destroyed with a sledgehammer in five years when they start falling apart, sad.

    Every time I drive my old truck that hard something breaks, and all the money I make ends up going to keep the truck working. The stupidity of such a cycle is like a slap in the face every time I try to "make some money" on a short job.
    I would be honored to come down there and make no money working with you.

    1. Seriously Gabe, any day you want to come, we organise a course on shoji making and with that pay the ticket. We need to make it international and invite people from argentina and brasil. I guess that at 500usd fee with 6 students we are set. And think about it, skip a bit of winter...

      Plus all the fun building stuff in the south of Chile. I still don't have house but anyway you are welcome to stay with us, wherever that may be. And the honour would be mine, I bet we would learn lots.