Building Woody Joe’s Shinmei-zukuri Shrine – Part VII

Coming into the last 1/3rd of the build, things are speeding up a bit as steps seem to be getting simpler. As a result, this time, I’m covering both step 7 and step 8.

Step 7 << Katsuogi Installation>>

I haven’t been able to figure out what the word katsuogi means in this context. It translates to bonito, a kind of fish. In this case, it refers to these tapered logs that decorate the top of the shrine. Now, perhaps they represent fish in some way, but according to this Wikipedia entry, they are indeed called katsuogi and are purely decorative.

The Japanese text here calls for the use of a round file or sandpaper glued onto a dowel, and to file down part 11 according to the pattern shown at the bottom of the step instructions. Once this is done, to center the katsuogi on the part 11. Finally, center the completed assembly to the roof.

Actual construction was very simple and followed these instruction exactly. I first used a knife to mark the center of the notches in part 11, used a small round file to make the notches, then used a sandpaper covered 3/16″ dowel to enlarge the notches. The main issue I ran into was making sure that the notches were perfectly straight and parallel.

Next, I added the gold coverings 28B to the ends of the pre-shaped katsuogi pieces and glued the katsuogi into place. Before the glue set, I looked carefully over the pieces to make sure they were all perfectly aligned and level looking from all angles.

Finally, I added the gold coverings 27D and glued the assembly into place. There is quite a bit of gap in the peak of the roof and this assembly, so I had to use a bit of extra glue to fill in the gap enough for the assembly to be secure.


Step 8 << Installation of Stairs >>

The stairs construction was quite simple, but it still required close attention to the alignment of the parts. The first task, looking at the Japanese text is assembling the stairs.

Laser-cut parts 1C and 1D need to be 29mm apart, from inside edge to inside edge. I considered cutting piece of wood 29mm wide as a guide, but got lazy and just decided to glue one board, part 17, onto the bottom end of the stairs, just being careful the board was centered and the stair supports stayed 29mm apart. I then just made sure that, as I glued the remaining boards into place, the separation between those stair supports stayed at 29mm.

The one comment I have is to make sure that you look closely at the illustration in the instructions to make sure you orient the supports correctly before gluing the steps into place.

With all the steps glued in place, the construction of the stair rails was next. The Japanese text was really hard for me to decipher here. What I got was to assemble the rails in left-right symmetry.

I found that for the large posts to be centered on the stair supports (parts 1C and 1D), the railing needs to then line up with the inside edge of the posts, if that makes sense. If not, just take a look at the following close-ups and look at how I aligned the posts, parts 1E and 1F, and the rails, parts 7G and 7H.

I did a lot of test fitting and a bit of sanding and trimming to get the whole assembly to fit just right.

Once it looked right, I glued it into place, completing the construction of the shrine building.

Next will be the assembly of the torii, or the gate that, as Wikipedia describes it, marks the transition from the profane to the sacred. There is also the construction of a surrounding fence and base of the model, as well as the final placement of the landscape, which I expect I’ll cover in the next post and complete the model.



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