Chop, Chop, Chop

In building the kasumi-gumi shoji screens there is ample opportunity to practice a few key skills due to the sheer number of repetitive tasks. This is a good thing. Once I rough-milled all the parts of the screens, from rails to stiles to kumiko, then did the initial planing and then the marking it was time to start on the mortises. With a rough count of 222 mortises (some of which are over 18″ in length, that’s a lot of mortises. dscf0090

Here’s an abstract picture of how the top rail, center rail, hip board, and bottom rail line up.


To speed up the process, I drill out the bulk of the waste on the mortises with the drill press. Here I’m boring out the long mortise for the hip board on the bottom rail.


…and with the help of a strong IPA, transferring the mortise markings to the tsukeko.


Trying to keep it simple.


An IPA can only get you so far. Coffee ends up being the real workhorse of this project.


Cleaning up the mortises, post drilling.


These guys, along with my mortising chisels, got a lot of work. Time for the sharpening station.


Mortises-chopped! Looks like the Chicago skyline from Lake Michigan (if you squint your eyes).