Last post in a series describing some repair work on 4 sliding paneled doors, or ita-do, and related sliding track, for the Boston Children’s Museum.
Today was install day, and that meant a 2 hour commute to Boston, one of the least drivable cities on the planet in my experience (not that I have driven in every city on the planet!). I allowed extra time this morning for the drive, which was fortunate, because one of the routes close in to the city resembled a parking lot for a good stretch of time. When I got to the museum, the parking lot I normally access was being dug up by the City of Boston, and after some fruitless searching at two other parking lots, one full and the other too low to enter, I ended up parking about a mile (1.6km) from the Museum. All in all, that put me about 50 minutes behind schedule from the start.
Fortunately, all the steps went smoothly. The first part of the work, and the part which i thought contained the greatest potential for time-sink, was the removal of the old track. I guessed that it was probably going to be extensively nailed from the backside, which was unaccessible without dismantling a lot of things, so my strategy was to sacrifice a carbide saw blade and rip cut the entire track, snipping as many of the nails as I could in the process. This approach proved to work very well - here, I’ve finished the cutting and with the aid of a long pry bar I’m starting to pull one half of the track away from the rest of the framing:
The other side came out without much more in the way of complaint:
With the track removed, I pulled any remaining exposed fasteners, or trimmed them off flush with my angle grinder and cut-off wheel, and that left me a clean deck to work with:
The track was relatively trouble-free to fit, requiring only a small amount of scribe fitting to the left post, which was twisted slightly out of position:
In the west, the drawing techniques for fitting a sill between irregularly rotated posts is termed ‘tumbling’, while the Japanese cluster it in generally with scribing, or hikari-kata. It’s a useful skill to have in one’s bag of tricks.
Once the track was secured in place, I commenced working on putting the doors. I had left the stiles a few mm long in case significant adjustments were required, and it wasn’t too long before the first couple of doors were in place:
A short while later, all 4 doors were in:
I had forgotten to bring any wax, however the Museum happened to have a bar of Japanese sliding door track wax, so I applied a little bit to the track’s mizo, and that made for a nice feel in the sliding motion. Here’s a look with one of the doors open, though the doors will normally be closed as the 2nd floor is not open to the general public:
The Museum was very pleased with the work.
The process went very smoothly, and took me only a little over 2 hours to complete, including removal of the old track. Then more driving awaited on the commute home, but at least I was ahead of rush hour. That’s it for this short series on BCM work for 2017- thanks for tuning in.
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