Sho what?

I have finally had time to process the video clips that I took at the 2011 Woodworking in America conference. I confined my videoing to just one session, Jay van Arsdale’s session on shoji making. One of things you will notice is that layout takes just as much time, if not more, than any cutting or chiselling. In the Japanese tradition, this is done with an inkpot, sumitsubo, and a piece of bamboo sharpened to a knife edge, sumisashi. These ink lines provide a clean, sharp line that is about the same size as the thin Japanese saws, and can be cleaned up with one pass of a smoothing plane. A knife line would remain in the wood, and a pencil line is too thick. (Jay said that at a construction site, it was easy to see who was the head carpenter, he was the one without ink all over his hands from handling the marked boards.)

Bear with any shaky camera work, please, and enjoy. Parts 1 and 2 deal with the marking of a mortise and tenon for a wedged through tenon of the frame of a shoji screen. Parts 3 and 4 deal with the actual chiselling and sawing of the joint.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Here is a pic of the completed joint with the through tenon planed flush.

I will wrap up the conference in my next posting, with additional pics.

UPDATE: Was saddened to hear that Jay was involved in a bad tablesaw accident this week. Luckily, he did keep all of his fingers, but it was close. Lets all wish him a speedy recovery!

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