Friendship shrine #4: MaFe's mini me mirror Netsuke...

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Blog entry by mafe posted 08-13-2021 11:00 AM 1057 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Status, details and gluing. Part 4 of Friendship shrine series Part 5: Finale »

Friendship shrine
MaFe’s mini me mirror Netsuke…

This is part four of the blog, for more info read first part intro.

In this part, we will kill our darlings…

This might seem like murder, sawing through a Netsuke, but there are a idea behind the mad(s)ness.
Bought this beautiful old wood Netsuke, from Japan some years back, it is a rolled together man, that reminds me of me, when I have my neck pains, so it has a special place in my heart, as a mirror of my reality of life.

With a ultra fine saw, he is sawn through.


With my little self made router, a hollow is made.

It’s a Dremel motor that runs it.

Feeling like a dentist.

But decided I needed more room.
For a big rare earth magnet!

Done on the drill press.

Magnet epoxy glued into the Netsuke.

So let’s leave him there to dry for a while.

Love the Forstner set, finally bought my self a fair set last year.

Now gluing up the shrine.
Shelf is held in place with wood nails.

Trick to cut ends of and make sure not to hurt the surface.

Just some thick paper, with a slot cut into it, I use that often.

The cut then looks like this.

And with a ultra sharp chisel, it’s cut flush.

Starting to look like the idea.
Any tricks to get the glue out of the wood, from painters tape, that has been left for years?

Netsuke is corrected, so the cut will no more be visual and waxed up.

As the bottom on has rabbets on two sides, it gets two wood nails in each end, to make it steady, but able to move.

A simple shrine, where the wood does the talking, no fancy details, pulls or other noise. Exactly as I were dreaming of.
I love it – thank you guys.

Don’t forget the mirror.
Had my doubt’s if a man’s shrine should have a mirror and if, then if it should be square or round. Decided it was time to grow up and admit also men have a feminine side and that we should be over those stereotypic ideas by now.
So I picked what I felt right and aesthetic.

Measure once.

Test routing, with a jig I made for the purpose.

Looks mighty fine.

Pinning the jig down into the lid with a brass nail.

Carefully routing and crossing my fingers as I do it.

Looks good, for now.

Then clearing out the hole, with the large base I made for the router, here it really comes handy.

And it fits right in.

Really pleased with the edge, those spiral router bits are the thing.

Sexy yes?

Stropping to razor.

Removing any bumps.



Just as I wanted.

Carefully I plunge down a router bit into the mirror hole.

To make room for another rare earth magnet…

Now MaFe’s mirror Netsuke – Mini MaFe, can hang there upside down…
This is getting really strange Mads!

Epoxy again.

Magnet goes in.

Glue for back of mirror.
I hope it will not crack, if the wood moves a lot… It’s not too big, so I think it will do.

Mirror in place, tome for tobacco and a break.
See you soon.

Hope it can be to some inspiration, or an upside down mini me Netsuke…_

Best thoughts,


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

12 comments so far

View mafe's profile


13334 posts in 4331 days

#1 posted 08-13-2021 11:06 AM

Refresh browser, if you see no pictures, I made a mistake first, sorry.

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Sylvain's profile


1393 posts in 3741 days

#2 posted 08-13-2021 11:56 AM

So, I guess, the Netsuke will be used to pull ( the top and ) the drawers open.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View mafe's profile


13334 posts in 4331 days

#3 posted 08-13-2021 12:32 PM

Sylvian, you just nailed it, were looking forward to see if it was figured out.
The top lid will be opened by a simple push and the netsuke can help, where the drawers will only open with it.
Big smile, thanks for playing along,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View lew's profile


13425 posts in 4997 days

#4 posted 08-13-2021 02:56 PM

Love the use of magnets!

Have you tried “acetone” to remove the tape residue?

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26783 posts in 4347 days

#5 posted 08-13-2021 05:45 PM

Pretty clever, my friend!!!!!!!!!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Sylvain's profile


1393 posts in 3741 days

#6 posted 08-13-2021 06:44 PM

By the way, for those who would like to copy your shrine design with hand tools only (for whatever reason), there is a free Paul Sellers video serie which shows how to inlay a round mirror (look for “hand mirror” in his site woodworking master classes).

Thank you for your nice comment about my Moravian Workbench.
I really like your detailed descriptions of the way you work and I thank you for that.
About my work, I try to implement the techniques that Paul Sellers shows in his videos.
What I could show would be, most of the time (in my view) substandard.
As an architect, you certainly have the skill/ability to figure out what is not shown about the general design.
I nevertheless have added one picture which might be useful.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View mtnwild's profile


4448 posts in 4769 days

#7 posted 08-13-2021 11:56 PM

Very cool seeing your process, thanks for sharing…

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View icemanhank's profile


561 posts in 3398 days

#8 posted 08-14-2021 12:33 AM


-- "These are my principles. And if you don't like them, I have others." ... Cheers, David from Sydney Australia

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8417 posts in 1824 days

#9 posted 08-14-2021 02:10 AM

I agree with Lew, I would try acetone to remove the tape residue.

The shrine is coming together, and I like the magnets!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View pottz's profile


20657 posts in 2226 days

#10 posted 08-14-2021 04:28 AM

oh hell i just took a bow of silence to appreciate what i just saw.mads always takes me to a spiritually place where i can chill out,relax and find my self again.thank you again my friend!!!

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View mafe's profile


13334 posts in 4331 days

#11 posted 08-21-2021 07:22 AM

Hi guys,
Time seems to get wings these days.
On my way to Sweden now for best friends wedding, but want to thank you all, I have been so touched reading the comments and re-feeling all the thoughts I had making the shrine, as I wrote the blog post.
I’ll be back once I’m back from Sweden, to comment you all.
Best of my thoughts and a big smile with a happy tear of joy, thank you guys, for making that happen,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View mafe's profile


13334 posts in 4331 days

#12 posted 08-26-2021 01:43 PM

Hi again,

Lew, Thank you, it was fun to think the magnets into the project, as knobs would have disturbed the simplicity of the shrine. Hidden complexity was the answer. Smiles. Acetone took some, but not all, I got rid of almost all by acetone, gasoline and sandpaper, there were no miracle… It was because I had left the tape there for years, guess it will be last time.

Jim J, Smiles thanks, pretty fun it was to make it. Cheers.

Sylvian, remember that there are always some one better than you, that you can learn from – but also some one less skilled, that can learn from you. So it’s never waste to share your skills, don’t compare your self to others, compare your self to you, enjoy the progress you make and share the joy. If I compared my self to the great masters, I would stop woodworking tomorrow. Instead I enjoy the big progress I have made the last ten years and look at my hands with a smile. You are better than good, just as you are, as long as you try.

mtnwild, Thanks for riding along, or should I say rowing… Smiles thanks.

Icemanhank, and so to you.

Dave P, Big warm smile thanks. (See my Lew comment on tape).

pottz, Pottz you are the man. That is exactly the place I look for in woodworking, so to even be able to get you there, it’s priceless. Thank you.

Best of my thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

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