The Making of Chashitsu, Day 9

q8I finished the last of the grooves early this morning. Then I headed back home from the mountain. I had a few very nice days in the mountain. I got all the wood I needed in addition I had two very nice cross country skiing trips.

Back home I got all the wood safely down to the basement. I focused on cutting the wood for holding the fusuma today. Was almost able to complete it. One of the pieces had been made 8cm wide when it should have been 6,1cm so I have to cut it tomorrow. Also I apparently had made a counting error because I had a few more pieces than I needed. Anyway it is nice to see the outline of a Tea-room taking shape. On the photo you can see that the railing for the entire room is placed down. The floor pieces has been fasten, while the ceiling pieces are just placed on top. One nice detail is the tokonoma piece. It is one huge chunk of wood. Even got the bevel on the front. It’s not 10cm thick so I can’t leave it at the floor like it is now. I need to lift it a few cm so that it is 5 cm above the tatami.

The Making of Chashitsu, @Lumbermill

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Ceiling slider with groove

Spent a few hours at the lumbermill today. Originally the plan was that one of their guys was going to make the grooves that I need for fusuma and walls, but that ended up not being possible. Today I made about half the grooves I need using their equipment. It’s a tedious task, but it has to bee done. I got all the sliders for the roof done today, and need to do the floor ones tomorrow.

Yesterday I was told that they would not be able to make the pillars, because they did not have any small enough pieces of wood to make it with bark in the corners. This was a dissapointment. We went looking for suitable trees this morning, but in one meter deep snow and with only a hand saw we were only able to get a single piece. When we brought it back to the lumbermill they said it was to crooked. On the bright side, the our guy at the lumbermill had gotten permission

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Pillar with bark corners

to cut down a few white birch near to the mill. He brought a chainsaw and forklift. Suddenly we had more raw material than we needed. Another guy at the lumbermill operated a huge saw that cut the trees into square pillars. Usually he does everything he can to get teh corners 90 degrees with no bark showing. Today he did a fabulous job of cutting the pillars so that just enough bark was showing in the corners.

I’m very happy with the look of the finished pillars. I think they are going to give the room a nice touch. Also it will give the room a bit more the look and feel of a mountain hut.

In my mind the pillars would be pine with dark bark. However, I ended up with white birch. This changes the colour composition in the room. With this in mind I feel it more appropriate to just lightly color the wood.

Tomorrow I’ll be back at the lumbermill to finish the grooves. Very much looking forward to getting back home to try and assemble it all, but first there is a few days of skiing in the mountains. Hopefully I’ll have some nice photos of the room on saturday.

The Making of Chashitsu, Day 4 + 5

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Mizy-ya and entrance to the tea room.

Yesterday was mainly a shopping day. I got the rest of the wood that I need for the mizu-ya floor. I cut them into “right” lengths. However, as I started to put them down I discovered that I had forgot to take into account the extra space needed for a sliding door for most of the distance. Luckily I had made the boards too long, and not too short. At that time the saw decided to act up. In short I did not get as much done on day 4 as I had hoped. Though I put down the last boards on the chashitsu floor and a few boards on the mizy-ya

On the bright side, I did get a call confirming that the visible wood for the room will be ready next week. With luck and some hard work the room may be ready by the end of Easter.

Started Day 5 by looking into the saw problem a bit more. It blows the fuse in the house when I turn it on. In theory the fuse should be fine. Also it worked nice over the weekend but yesterday and today it kept breaking the circute as soon as I started the saw. After some experimentation I discovered that when I use my longest extension cord (which is what we did this

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Tea-room, with some paint tests in the corner

weekend) the saw works fine, when I use no extension cord or a shorter one it blows the fuse immediately. I’m no electrician, but that seems very odd. Bought the saw back to the store where I bought it. Told them the story of what happened, but they weren’t entirely convinced. That is until they tested it and the fuse for the entire wood storage blew. The offered me a new saw. To be on the safe side we tested it for the same faults. No sign of it. Back home again I started fixing my mistake from yesterday with the floor boards for the mizu-ya. After a few cuts the saw kills the fuse again. Seems like the issue is exactly the same with the new saw. I capitulated, brought out the long extension cord and got to work. If any electrician can explain to me what is happening to my saws I would be very grateful.

By the end of the day I had completed the mizu-ya floor today. Also I put one layer of paint the two types of walls I’m going to use. I want to see how the colour I have bought looks on the actual surfaces I will be using. Expect I need two or three layers before I can see the finished colour. Also I need to get hold of some sand to put into the paint so that it will get the right texture.

The Making of Chashitsu, Day 3

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The Tea-room, taken with a wide angel lens on a iPhone 5.

Wanted to put on the floor boards for the entire Tea-room today. I had just enough boards, but ran out of screw’s before I could complete it. I got the remaining boards already cut into the right lengths in the next room, so it should be quick to add the last boards once I got the screw’s. Got some other stuff in my calendar for tomorrow but I hope I’ll be able to make a quick trip to the store and get wood for the mizuya and screw’s.

The corner posts, and the sliders for the doors has been ordered from a lumber mill  I’m very excited to see the result. They have said they will have it ready for Easter. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for putting it all up next weekend.

The Making of Chashitsu, Day 1

p3Today we started on the Tea-room. First order of business was to make a platform onto which the tatami can be placed. This has two purposed. Mainly allow for a sunken RO. In the image you might see two small squares, this is where the RO will go. So I will be able to do both regular and gyakugatte. The second purpose of the raised floor is to reduce the hight of the ceiling to proximately 185cm. This leaves me the choice of either just keep it at 185cm or reduce it further by adding some nice wood to cover up the white concrete ceiling.

It doesn’t look like that much work, but it took the two of us the better part of a day. Tomorrow we will continue and do the same thing for the mizuya. I hope that we will be able to start putting down the wooden floor tomorrow too, but after today I’m not certain.

Tatami for my Tea-room

designFor years I have been trying to find a way to get tatami for a Tea-room. Ordering them from Japan is fantastically expensive. The tatami available in my home town are all made for western beds so they have inconvenient sizes like 60×200 og 90×200. Which obviously makes it impossible to make any tatami patterns.

Browsing on the local equivalent of e-bay for some photo gear I did a check for chado or tatami. I might be in luck and find a Japanese imegrant selling some thing, but no. However I found a new store selling tatami for beds. I asked them for custom sizes, and YES!! they could do that. So now I have ordered tatami for a yojohan and tiny mizuya.

The tatami should arrive in May, so now I’m busy trying to clear out my tea space in preparation for building a elevated floor. The image shows the intended floor plan. Unfortunately there is no way I can separate the guest entrance from that of the host. The mizu-ya will be just one and half tatami, with another half mat in front of the entrance.

I’m very exited!

New Tea-Room

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Storage area before

When we bought our house one room in second floor was designated as Tea room. For a while I used it as a Tea room and had great plans for improving on the facilities. However, that plan never came to fruition.

This winter my newly bought secondhand aquarium sprung leak and 843 liter of sea water flowed out over our living room. The result of this disaster was that we could not use our living-room for several months. To have a space to watch TV and sit in a couch the room designated as Tea room became the new living room. The problem was that when the living-room was fixed the couch and the TV stayed in the Tea room, and gradually the Tea room became just another messy place.

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Storage area today at 18:00

Our house was build in 1959 and the insulation in the loft floor was from that time too. Even worse the loft had no proper floor board to walk on. I decided that I would remove all the old insulation and put in new. When I had done this I added new and proper floorboard. Voila, and I had an abundance of storage space on my loft. In the basement I had a storage room full of stuff junk. I moved much of this to the loft and the rest to the garage.

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My Tea Space

Finally I could start moving my Tea-stuff from the messy room on secondfloor down to the basement. After several hours of moving boxes and such I have what looks like a Tea room.  In the future I hope to be able to lift the tatami of the floor so that I can have a sunken ro, and also proper fusuma. I made an estimation that it would cost approximately 12.000 USD to import tatami and fusuma for a four and half mat room with a few mats for a mizuya elsewhere. At the moment there is no way that I can afford that, unless I dip into the wedding budget, which would result in a pre-wedding divorce.

Tomorrow I will unpack some of the dogu and hopefully enjoy the first cup of Tea in nine months. It has been way to long since I last did temae.

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Mizuya and Dogu storage