Saturday, January 14, 2017

Garden Boat for Takamatsu

I am back in Japan, here for about five weeks building a boat for a garden in Takamatsu. While waiting for my flight from Tokyo to Takamatsu I looked out the window at the gate and saw Mt. Fujii in the sunset.

I am working at a company that makes cabinetry, mainly for ship interiors. This is a small building they have to store lumber. I am using one half to build this boat.

My lumber pile.

Even though its winter all the surrounding fields are cultivated in vegetables, the work of one young organic farmer. He stopped by to introduce himself and gave me some lettuce and radishes.

What a joy at the company's main shop to have them mill my materials. Previously in Japan all the boats I've built, either by myself or with my teachers, we used nothing more than hand tools and portable power tools. Here the owner runs a giant planer/joiner to surface my planking material.

From left to right a joiner/shaper, the joiner/planer, and a straight line ripsaw. It took us about one full day to mill all the materials for this boat.

On the straight line ripsaw I had my hinoki planking cut to remove all the sapwood.

This machine makes two parallel rips. Again, we fed the material to take off the sapwood. Overall the quality of the materials I have to work with are pretty extraordinary.

I found this boat rudder standing in one corner of the shop. The company founder, the present owner's father, started the business building boats, but that worked faded. He said this rudder was fifty years old. Its in the traditional style, cut from a single piece of hardwood (white oak) with a tapered stock that dropped through a hole in a beam across the stern of the boat.

I am staying at one end of this small fishing village, and visible is Shodoshima, a large island in the Inland Sea. I hope to go there in a couple of weeks because a group of people teaching themselves barrel-making gather every year at this time at a soy sauce factory to make large wooden tubs. I want to meet them and see their work, which is very similar to my own work making tub boats.

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