Saturday, February 20, 2016

Houses, Boats, and a New Word

I've been walking different routes around town to get to work, mostly to try and find old architecture and any other interesting tidbits.  This style of house/business is new to me: the downstairs looks like a traditional wooden house while the second story is like a fireproof storehouse.  

The copper-clad shutters and the finish plaster which is flaking off, sadly.  The matrix visible underneath is bamboo lashed together in a grid.

The front door is extraordinary, cut from a single plank of wood, a short door set in a larger door.

More typical traditional residential construction, showing the fine white plastered walls with the protective covering of thin clapboards.  Most houses in town have added tin to protect the plaster walls.

A look at the rough plaster hidden behind clapboards, which are less than a 1/4 inch thick.

I've mentioned Japan is safe and theft is rare.  All over town are municipal snow shovels ready for use.

Now to the boat.  Readers of this blog will probably remember earlier discussions of fitting planking by running a series of saws through the seam.  The technique is called suriawase, which means "rub-put together" and also "reconcile." The bottom of this boat has a very slight curvature to it so I need to fit the outer planks at a slight angle.

I wedged their outer edges up slightly.

I marked the proper height taken off my bevel pattern.

When adjusting the seam tighter between passes with the saw, one take great care not to close the seam completely.  If you do the saw can easily wander into the plank.  My students have struggled with this and I came up with an innovation: fit the back of the saw in the seam before tapping the planks to prevent closing the seam completely.  My teachers never had to do this because they had so much experience.

The little wave you see in the seam by the caulking iron was caused because the seam was tight so the saw cut down one plank edge only rather than staying between the planks.

The rubbing motion used in the final passes results in long slivers of sawdust.  I've heard this technique also called surinoko and tosunoku but today I learned in Himi it's called aibazuri.
Ai means to put together; ba is a sawtooth, and zuri is to rub.

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