A Closer Look at a Japanese-Style Garden Gate
More drawings, details, and photos for this project.
Often there’s more to a story than we can cram into the pages of Fine Homebuilding magazine, and even when we manage to fit everything in, photos and drawings can only take you so far. For Asa Christiana’s recent Japanese-Style Garden Gate build we wanted to supplement the beautiful illustrations with a SketchUp model that you can use to study details or just adapt to your own situation:
We also didn’t have space to share Asa’s clever solutions for assembling the gridwork that dresses up the top portion of the gate. Here is some additional information, and another SketchUp model of his jig, to help you finish that work with confidence:
The gridwork jig is two pieces of 1/2-in. or 3/4-in. plywood or MDF screwed together at 90°, along with a “key” made from a length of the grid material. You can clamp it to your miter-gauge fence as shown below, or screw through the back of the miter fence into the jig fence to attach it.
After cutting the gridwork strips to fit the opening, cut half-lap joints with a stacked dado set. A jig assures even notch spacing; just bump the tip of the workpiece against the key for the first notch, and hold it securely to the jig to make the cut. The rest index off the previous notch.
Use 1/4-in.-thick strips behind and in front of the gridwork to secure it in place. L-shaped stops help correctly locate the back strips, and shooting 18-ga. brads through the strips locks them in place.
After gluing up the entire grid at once, put a dab of glue at each joint, let it dry (with weights on it to hold it flat), and then place it in the opening. Then nail in the front strips to lock it in place. If it ever gets damaged, you can always pull it out and repair or remake it.