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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Chapter 81 - Bannisters and Shōji for the Right Side Second Floor Porch

July 7th - 8th 2014

I started first by trying again to install the front porch windows.  This took a lot longer than I thought as I had to slowly sand down the one piece that fits the inner sliding windows.  All of my windows (and doors) slide.  I wasn’t about to give up on this one porch because the doors were so tightly fitting.  So after a few millimeters of sanding, testing, sanding etc. I finally got the windows to fit.  Now I just had to glue the beam in place and let it set.  You can see in the foto where I had to sand down so much but this part is actually hidden when I install the outside panes.  So I wasn’t too concerned with it being clean or perfect.  Just the windows had to slide! 
Gluing the cross beam after massive sanding.  You can see the uneven edge.  It will eventually be hidden.
Next was making the final two shōji doors.  They went together quickly.  I didn’t like my leftover shōji paper so I cut some new pieces that would look nice when light shines behind them.  After gluing them to the back of the door, it was time to mount them to their sliding beam.  I had mounted the previous windows backwards since, like the front porch windows, the back side windows get installed before the front ones.  It’s because there is a running piece of wood that fits across the top of the windows and holds them in place.  Different from the front ones which need to be inserted into their respective slots above and below for them to fit (which is why I had such a hard time with the front porch windows).  Anyhow, since the final piece just gets glued across and holds them in place, it was fairly easy to install from the inside of the room (although had I done it right, I’d be installing from the outside of the room - so...I screwed up! What can I say.  I had done two porches already and I guess I forgot this detail...) so I painted the piece and installed the shōji by dropping the final piece into the room and positioning it in place.  I tested the windows to be sure no glue had gotten inside the sliding area.  They slide just fine! So since the porch was laying on its back, I then installed the front porch windows dropping them into place and gluing the final piece across to hold them.  Success! And they DO slide!
The two shōji windows.

Fitting the top cross beam which holds the doors in place.
Finished shōji doors.  They DO slide.
Adding the upper cross beam to hold the windows in place. And these slide too!
Next up was the bannisters that get installed on the outside of the porch.  There are a few steps that add to the overall look of the ends of the bannisters so I had to glue small pieces in place that then needed to be sanded down to shape.  So I had to glue then leave the glue to set before shaping the ends.  Once set, I sanded them down to shape, glued them in place, painted the bannister, varnished it and installed the bannisters into position on the porch.
Top before shaping, bottom after.

Bannister ready for varnishing.
Onwards! I’m on a roll! (See what happens when you have extra hobby time!)
Porch nearly completed.  Needs just the awnings.