The redwood boxes I made a couple days ago inspired me to try using the rest of the redwood 2×4 I had for a small asanoha pattern piece. It measure one foot quare with a square jigumi and 1″ square frame. Because I’m still away from my home shop all of the work was done with hand tools.
I’ve been watching lots of Youtube videos of Japanese shokunin working at a planing board and they use their legs and feet to hold material while doing all sorts of stuff. It looks awkward, but turns out its faster than clamping material for mortising. In addition, my knees were absolutely screaming from sitting cross-legged and kneeling all day, so anything you can do to stretch them out feels good. Normally I’m sitting at the same height as the material I’m mortising, so working this way actually allowed me to be less stooped over.
For the frame joinery I used a mitered mortise and tenon. Not quite as strong as the mitered boxed mortise and tenon, but this piece is so small it didn’t seem necessary.
The kumiko work was quick, so few pieces to cut and mortise. I’m finding it necessary to finish plane my kumiko while checking thickness with a dial caliper to get accurate results. A kumiko-kezuri-kanna plane with holdown bar would really help my tolerances. I’ll definitely be making one in the future. Iida tool sells a hikouki kanna by Inomoto for a mere $900. I think you can see why I use a much simpler kanna to make my kumiko.
The mitered mortise and tenon required some clamps to hold things together for glue-up. I had a little trouble with the angles on my miters this time. The 45 degree jig that I used to trim the miters on the mortised ends was starting to get a little inaccurate and worn from use. I didn’t notice it until I test fit the frame pieces. Thankfully it was correctable without changing the total inside length of the frame pieces. This piece was sixteen hours to make, so its worth about $200 if it were to be sold.