Vertical Parts For One Kumiko

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Assembling the Kumiko

With the joinery done, you can assemble rhe kumiko. Use a large, flat surface for this. Each dado gets a BB-sized dab of glue. Use a 1/4-in.-wide brush to spread the glue in each dado, then press the horizontal kumiko into the vertical kumiko. A light tap with a mallet at each joint will ensure the pieces are fully interlocked.

Once the joints arc assembled, you'll need to clamp them at the corners and along the sides of the frame. (See bottom photo, previous page.) When the glue has dried, I trim the protruding ends with a Japanese dozuki saw, but any fine-toothed saw will work. Then I plane a slight bevel on the inside edge of the kumiko with a block plane. This bevel allows easier installation when it comes time to install the kumiko in the screen frame.

Making the Frames

I use the finished kumiko to determine the exact length of the screen's stiles and rails. This is important because slight discrepancies in joint spacings will affect the overall height and width of the kumiko when it's assembled.

Cut the rails and stiles to length, then consider your hinging options. (See sidebar, pages 62-63.) I use wooden hinges for this screen, so my next step is to round over the edges of the stiles and notch them for the hinge bodies.

At this point I prepare the '/4-in.-thick cherry-plywood panels for the lower frame openings. I cut sequential panels from a single sheet of plywood so the grain pattern is continuous from frame to frame.

Since most 1/4-in.-chick hardwood plywood comes with only one good face, I cover each non-show face with cherry veneer. You can use regular veneer and

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Kumiko Woodwork Technique

this module five times for each kumiko. (See below.)

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Frame Kumiko

Shim and sand. Use strips of Synskin™ as spac ers when installing the removable kumiko. Then sand the kumiko flush to the frame.

Drilling for dowels. The author uses a pair of homemade jigs to drill pairs of dowel holes in the stiles and rails. Metal drill bushings guide the bit.

glue it to the panels using a conventional veneer press or a vacuum bag. (For more on these techniques, see AW #42.) Or you can do as I do: I buy paperbacked veneer, available from Constantine's (800-223-8087) and use contact cement to glue it to the panels.

Next, rout the stopped grooves in the stiles and the rails for the plywood panels. I do this work on the router table with a '/4-in. straight bit. If your panel is thicker than '/4 in., you'll have to rout the grooves wider by adjusting the fence and taking a second pass. Draw stop marks on the workpiece and the router-table fence as a guide when routing the grooves. (See Fig. 1.)

Tiny biscuits. Ryobi's "mini" biscuit joiner is handy for joining the narrow middle rail. Cut double slots in the rail and the stiles.

Joinery for the frame comes next. I

use dowel joints to join the top and bottom rails to the stiles, and I use biscuits to join the middle rail.

A couple of homemade doweling jigs enhance both speed and accuracy when drilling the dowel joints. (See left photo, above.) Each jig holds a pair of '/4-in.-dia. metal drill bushings, available from Woodworker's Supply (800-645-9292). I mark the exact frame locations on my stock, align these marks with marks on the jigs, and clamp the two together for drilling.

My choice of biscuits to join the middle rail to the stiles gives me some vertical leeway when installing the rail, because biscuits have some lengthwise "slop" in their slots. This adjustment is critical for the rail to fit tightly against the kumiko. Since the middle rail is only 1 '/2 in. wide, standard biscuits would be too large to use here. Instead, I use Ryobi's new "mini" biscuit joiner and tiny 1-in.-long biscuits. (See photo, left.)

Once you've cut the joints in the frame, dry-assemble each frame with the lower panel and both kumiko. Make any necessary adjustments; then spread glue in the panel grooves and on the joints, and glue up the frame and panel on a flat surface.

Installing the Kumiko

Once the glucd-up frames come out of their clamps, you're ready to install the two kumiko. I glue and brad one of the kumiko to each frame, then I screw the second kumiko in place. This feature allows me to replace the Synskin™ panel if it becomes soiled or damaged.

I use an air-powered brad nailer to sccurc the permanent kumiko flush with one side of the frame. Brads driven by hand through pre-drillcd holes will also work. When the glue has dried, I use 120-grit sandpaper in a random-orbit sander to level the stile-and-rail joints and even up the kumiko with the frame.

To drill for the screws that secure the removable kumiko, I set it into the frame with some I-in.-wide strips of Synskin™, separating it from the fixed kumiko. Then I drill and countersink holes every 10 in. around the perimeter and attach the kumiko with #4 Hat-head brass screws. This kumiko protrudes slightly above the frame's surface, so 1

Hand Plane Thicknessing Jig

Attaching the skin. Secure the Synskin™ to the fixed kumiko, using staples every 10 in. around the perimeter.

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