bookmark_borderShogi folding stool

I just completed this shogi folding stool that uses a new design. Instead of the ends of the legs fitting into slots in the feet (like in the old design), the legs are joined to the feet using wedged through-tenons with shoulders that curve up around the feet. I also used a new method of sewing the fabric of the seat so that stress on the stitches is lateral instead of longitudinal.

Shogi 2020

The frame is made almost entirely from red oak planks and dowels. You can just about see the walnut wedges that secure the tenons in the mortises. There’s also a respectable amount of glue and filler, but that can be our secret. The hinge axles are brass-plated hinge pins that I custom cut to length and cross drilled to accept brass cotter pins.

I like this design for the shogi because it is more properly medieval, even though I used even more modern machine tools to make it than before. I used a table saw to cut the legs and dowels, and to cut the joinery I used a drill press, band saw, and mortising machine.

bookmark_borderBunny Badge Block

I want to make a daimon hitatare to imitate one that I saw in a scroll. This will be so awesome, but I need a way to print my badge (which is a graphical device registered with the SCA’s College of Arms) dozens of times on the fabric I bought for this project. After months of noodling on the idea, and about a week of carving and re-carving, here is the block itself, ready for block printing.

I’ve tried it out on some crap fabric, and I’m pretty happy with the results of my tests. next up is to start cutting fabric into panels, and start printing with blocks. It’s interesting that although some paint does get into the detail grooves of the craving, that ink doesn’t reach the fabric.

bookmark_borderBlue Shop Coat

I’ve been doing all thus work in Mr. Arimoto’s shop, and a little work in my own shop, and getting pretty tired of filling up all my regular clothes with sawdust. A woodworking blog I read started selling some nice looking shop coats, but they were a little pricey for my tastes. What the heck, I can sew.

blue shop coat
Shop coat in blue cotton duck cloth

It’s just another iteration on the venerable pajama pattern, just in heavier fabric with a few extra pockets to hold tools and wood chips.

bookmark_borderTabi 2019

I didn’t manage to get my tabi for last year finished until February of this year, but i’m now way ahead of last year when I didn’t finish my 2018 tabi until more than half way through the year.

Tabi 2019 in brown raw silk

The uppers and soles of these tabi are made from the same raw silk I used for this suoh. The ties are made from some green linen I had left over from this hapi that I made so long ago. I did save some time making this pair by just overcasting all four layers (two layers of upper, two layers of sole) together at once instead of sewing the inner and outer layers together separately and then joining them with the himo ties. This leaves a raw edge rubbing against the feet, but hiding this edge between layers is bulkier and actually less traditional. Anyway, as you can see in the photo, I usually wear socks inside my tabi.

Just in case you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about here, tabi aretraditional Japanese footwear. Common tabi are made of two layers of fabric. Modern tabi have closures at the back, but historical tabi close in front and either tie at the top or are tall enough to be held shut by the kyahan. Since they are fabric and you walk on them, they tend to wear out pretty quickly. I try to make a new pair every year so that as old ones fall apart or get too dirty I have new clean ones to take their place. Since they don’t need very much fabric, I usually piece them together from bits of surplus fabric left over from other projects.

bookmark_borderShop Talk

Mr. Arimoto has a large job to deliver a few dozen rustic-looking tables and booths for a new restaurant somewhere out in the suburbs.

I have been helping out in the shop, mostly scraping, sanding, and finishing. Since I have lots of experience doing this kind of thing for fun, it’s good solid work. My days have been spent leaning over one table top at a time, chatting with Mr. Arimoto when noise allows. This does not leave much brain left at the end of the day for composing thoughtful blog posts.

On the other hand, it gives me lots of chances to look at interesting pieces of lumber he has around the shop. Look at this piece of walnut that actually has some walnut inclusions.

Walnut slab with walnut inclusions
Just look at it.

bookmark_borderPeople sometimes lie to avoid appearing dishonest

“Our findings suggest that when people obtain extremely favorable outcomes, they anticipate other people’s suspicious reactions and prefer lying and appearing honest over telling the truth and appearing as selfish liars.”

https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/30/health/lying-to-seem-honest-reputation-wellness/index.html

People are funny.

bookmark_borderSCA Portrait

Here’s a picture of me from our Baronial 12th Night event wearing a Kataginu Kamishimo of mostly new-for-2020 garb.

Kataginu Kamishimo in blue linen

I’m wearing a kataginu vest and hakama pants in matching blue linen, printed cotton kosode, white linen kosode, white linen kyahan shin covers, black linen tate eboshi hat, and purchased jika tabi shoes. Sagemono belt-hangers are a belt favor of the three baronial orders to which I have been inducted (Order of Copernicus, Order of the Blue/Silver Comet, Order of the Gold Comet) and a kinchaku made from the same black silk brocade as my elevation garb which has been machine embroidered with a Laurel wreath.

bookmark_borderKunz Glue Scraper

Every once in a while, somebody lends you a tool to use, and using that tool elicits the reaction, “Where has this tool been my entire life?” Such a tool is the Kunz Glue Scraper .

Photo courtesy of Highland Woodworking

“This is not,” as I said to Mr. Arimoto, “a tool for delicate work.” When you’re gluing wood together, a certain amount of glue “squeeze” out is all but inevitable. You can swab it, you can sand it, you can plane it, or you can cry about it. The right glue scraper, used over a beefy enough work piece, makes the glue chips fly away from your work piece. This long two-handed handle and thick, sharp, steel double-edged blade makes short shrift of your squeeze scraping. This tool means business.