Diagonals, Hinges, & Locking Pieces for Asa-no-ha Pattern

With the jagumi finished, I moved on to the 4 long diagonal pieces, the 16 hinge pieces and the 8 locking pieces. In total there are 34 individual pieces in this entire Asa-no-ha pattern.

The diagonal pieces are straight-forward. 45 degree angles on both ends, sized to fit.

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And now all four pieces sized and inserted.photo 4

The unsightly gaps in the jagumi are unfortunate…I will address that issue in attempt #3.IMG_2859

Here are the two hinge pieces and the locking piece. I cut all the blanks and then shaved this first set down to act as a guide for the length of the remaining pieces. In the end I always sided on just a bit longer and then trimmed each piece to fit. The angles on the single locking piece are 45 degrees.

The hinge pieces are more challenging. Each has one end with two 22.5 degree angles and one end with two 67.5 degree angles. The trick with the 67.5 degree angles is to have one angle about 1/3 the width of the hinge piece and the other angle 2/3 the width. This takes some trial and error to get just right and I’m definitely in the trial and error stage myself. One hint is to size the 2/3 width side to match the length of the corresponding 45 degree angles on the locking piece. Confused yet?photo 5

Here’s the rest of the blanks ready to be trimmed into hinges and locking pieces.

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Trimming the 22.5 degree angles to fit.

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The first set of hinges and locking piece in place. The fit is good. The jagumi are not so much…IMG_2863All the pieces trimmed and test fit a go.

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Here you can see that some of the pieces need to be cleaned up. To do that I took a thin shaving or two off the offending piece by running it lightly over the blade on the low angle block plane.photo 3-2

All the pieces kept in order after being cleaned up and ready to be inserted back into the jagumi.IMG_2875

The final result is much cleaner. Not perfect by any stretch, but a vast improvement over my first attempt at the asa-no-ha.IMG_2880

And all put back together again. A couple of things I learned on this second try: whatever the plane used to trim the pieces, keep the blade as sharp as possible. Trimming the 45 and 67.5 degree angles isn’t so bad, but at least with this Alaskan Yellow Cedar, the 22.5 degree angles are prone to tear out. Better to take light passes rather than apply too much pressure to the wood. In other words let the plane blade do the cutting; also, as I mentioned before, make sure the jagumi mortises are cut to just the right width, otherwise unsightly gaps appear; and lastly, make sure that all the strips of wood used to make the blanks are precisely the same width and thickness throughout. Even a slight variation in thickness for example from one side to other, even as little at .5mm makes a difference in how everything fits together.

My theory right now is that the only way to get things just right, if that is ever truly possible, is to keep practicing and making mistakes so that I can correct the next time.

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