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Solar Flicker Lantern in Maple

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Project by Eeyore posted 08-24-2020 03:06 PM 786 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This simple frame lantern is almost identical to the previous one (12”x7.5”x7.5”), except it is made from some ambrosia maple instead of red oak. In the end, I’m going to need at least a half dozen of these. I figure I can get four more just from the surplus wood in the shop. Probably the next four will be poplar, cypress, cedar, and pine. We’ll get to see how the different woods hold up over time.

In the pictures, you can also see the step-wise progress I’ve been making on the belfry. I added some precast concrete footers under the vertical posts. Eventually, I’ll add some construction adhesive to keep the posts anchored. You wouldn’t think something this big could blow over in the wind, but I’ve seen it happen.

I’ve also painted the end-grains of the beams and tenons. This is common in Japanese architecture, though probably not Rustoleum enamel paint. The paint keeps water and bugs from getting into the wood through the end grain. I’ve already put two coats on, and I expect that I will be applying a new coat every year or so.

-- Elliott C. "Eeyore" Evans





4 comments so far

View hockeyfan_019's profile

hockeyfan_019

69 posts in 571 days


#1 posted 08-25-2020 12:13 PM

Looking good! How are you holding the solar lamps inside the structure? Is it enclosed on the bottom by “paper” also? Can rainwater get out?
For your anchors, they make galvanized “U” shaped brackets that you can screw-anchor to the footers, and then the posts can be nailed in parallel to the ground cross-wise to the grain where they can actually hold. You may want to anchor the footers to the ground as well though, early spring winds here often can have gusts that exceed 70 mph, and that can cause a lot of uplift.

-- Most of my tools are older than I am

View Eeyore's profile

Eeyore

128 posts in 555 days


#2 posted 08-25-2020 03:10 PM

The lighting unit drops in an rests on the diagonal cross braces that are just under the horizontal rails. You can see them in this picture of the oak lantern:

The bottom of both lanterns is open to allow light and moisture to escape freely.

The concrete footers have square holes in them with angled bottoms so that the posts are kind of wedged into them now. Normally, they are used for building decks, and have a lot more weight on them. There’s no place to screw down the metal brackets you mention, which is why I am planning on using ahesive. The footers are somewhat conical, and actually about ten inches tall. I am hoping that having them mostly buried like this will provide sufficient anchoring.

I’m no stranger to wind storms and freak wind bursts, so I am definitely taking your warning seriously. I watched a microburst lift a similar structure several feet up into the air on a sunny day and smash the thing on the ground. It’s one reason that the roof boards of the shourou are not edge-joined to each other to make a solid roof. I’d rather have the wind rip the roof off the structure in pieces. The roof is easier to replace than the frame.

-- Elliott C. "Eeyore" Evans

View hockeyfan_019's profile

hockeyfan_019

69 posts in 571 days


#3 posted 08-26-2020 05:20 PM

Thanks for the info! After I posted I went back to look on your prior lantern project where you described the design well, so shame on me for not looking first before asking questions. Hope everything holds up if there ever IS a windstorm, would be terrible if such a nice project got damaged, but I guess then it might encourage you to build another great one!

-- Most of my tools are older than I am

View Eeyore's profile

Eeyore

128 posts in 555 days


#4 posted 08-26-2020 07:13 PM

Hope everything holds up if there ever IS a windstorm, would be terrible if such a nice project got damaged, but I guess then it might encourage you to build another great one!
That is kind of the Japanese way. Nothing is forever, so there’s never a need to weep bitter tears. If something is damaged, repair it. If something is destroyed, rebuild it.

-- Elliott C. "Eeyore" Evans

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