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Shourou Garden Feature

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Project by Eeyore posted 07-24-2020 03:15 AM 644 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this cedar belfry as a garden feature in my wife’s flower garden. It is all red cedar, with cypress pegs and wedges. No metal in the frame, but plenty of brads in the roof. I cut all of the joinery by hand, if you count drilling out mortises with a cordless drill to be “by hand” . It took me about six full workdays in the garage.

-- Elliott C. "Eeyore" Evans





5 comments so far

View hockeyfan_019's profile

hockeyfan_019

46 posts in 151 days


#1 posted 07-24-2020 12:08 PM

Hi Eeyore, looks great! How are you keeping the individual planks on the roof aligned with each other? Splines or biscuits? Did you use any sort of finish? I suspect that you will need protection from UV at least, to prevent excessive sun-fade over time, but I guess it will depend on your regional weather how fast it happens. Nice aesthetic for sure though. Did you consider making a few modifications to make it into a small bench with the roof for the occasional tea-break, or resting protection from the sun, for those long weed removal sessions??

-- Most of my tools are older than I am

View pottz's profile

pottz

12365 posts in 1903 days


#2 posted 07-24-2020 01:50 PM

nice garden feature,is the bell for your wife to ring when she needs some extra help planting ? nice work on the joinery,with cedar that should hold up quite well for many years to come.

-- 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 Eeyore's profile

Eeyore

71 posts in 135 days


#3 posted 07-24-2020 01:59 PM

The individual roof planks are just butted up against each other and nailed down to the roof beams. They are only 1/4 inch thick, so there isn’t a lot of room for joinery. I thought about doing shiplap, but the boards are also narrow (3.5 inches). I re-sawed 1-by-4 on the band saw, then planed off the saw marks. There’s a strip at the very top to hold the ends down, and I may add another strip crosswise on top of the lower roof beams, and maybe a third strip at the bottom ends.

I was only confident enough in my re-saw ability to deal with 1×4s, or I would have done something different for the roof. The roof isn’t waterproof at all. We got some serious rain yesterday and the undersides of every board were pretty wet. Sometimes on garden features like this, the Japanese won’t even use solid wood! They’ll just use strips of bark or bamboo. It’s not meant to be waterproof, just decorative.

Similarly, the Japanese aesthetic doesn’t normally include much paint or finish. That’s one of the reasons for all the joinery. If some part starts to go bad, you pull it out and replace it. Some of the complex splicing joints you see aren’t just meant to be fancy puzzles, they are specifically for replacing the bottom half of a rotting post or something. You’ll see paint sometimes to seal the end grain of various pieces, and I will probably go around and do that in a few days.

For seating, if needed, we have a stack of folding shougi stools that I made, or this all-joinery bench that I don’t know what to call it.

-- Elliott C. "Eeyore" Evans

View Eeyore's profile

Eeyore

71 posts in 135 days


#4 posted 07-24-2020 03:41 PM

nice garden feature,is the bell for your wife to ring when she needs some extra help planting?
nice work on the joinery,with cedar that should hold up quite well for many years to come.

Thanks.
Yeah, I hope the cedar lasts a while, if only just because of the cost. Cedar used to only be twice as expensive as pine, but now it’s like 5 times as expensive as pine.
If the wife needs help planting, she normally just asks. The bell is just because she likes it. It was made from an old SCUBA tank, so it is very nicely machined and has a pleasant sound.

-- Elliott C. "Eeyore" Evans

View swirt's profile

swirt

5651 posts in 3891 days


#5 posted 07-25-2020 02:26 AM

Nice work. I like the design and appearance. Good joinery, should last a long time.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

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