Monday, May 5, 2014

The Samurai Cometh

The local parade went right past the museum Saturday and it consisted mainly of various samurai groups, including women and kids.  Two taiko drumming bands were in trucks but the parade was led by a marching brass band.  The biggest thrill had to be the three samurai on horseback.  Its hard to imagine financing that hobby in Japan.  The last participant was the parade princess.

We did have work to do, regardless.  Saturday we piloted the nail holes in our center plank.  Our nails run from the outer planks into the center plank, and the heads will be on the outside of the boat.

We use notched blocks to set the planks on edge, holding them fast with wedges.  These are called hasami, the Japanese word for scissors.

The museum director trying her hand at making nail holes, instructed by one of the volunteers.

The chisel has a heavy hilt below the handle so one can pound it back out of the work.

Since the nails are made of rectangular stock they need a hole the same shape.  That's why we use a chisel and not a drill to make our nail holes.  

We had one large, hard knot in our seam, which I weakened by running a series of closely-spaced saw cuts through it.

Driving nails.  We've been all practicing our rhythm techniques.  My second teacher was a virtuoso at this technique but warned me that I must not imitate he style, but had to develop one of my own.

The mortises all get plugged.  Since the grain of the plugs run at right angles to the planking these will swell and never come out.  Nevertheless we put some glue in the mortises.

Sawing the plugs flush.

The seam is right at the demarcation of the sapwood and heartwood, and you can double click the photo to see how tight it is.  I'd say about half our total seams are this tight, the rest open a tiny bit.  I am very happy with the quality of work my volunteers are doing, frankly amazed given they have no prior experience.

The bottom of our boat is done and now awaits the transom and stem.

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