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Cutting the mitsu-kude (三つ組手)

I’m placing the last couple of coats of finish on the latest art piece, but because it’s been raining here quite heavily, the finish is taking longer than normal to dry. Once it’s finished I’ll add it to the Gallery.

I’ve started the jigumi for a couple of other pieces, so I’ll give a brief rundown on how I cut the mitsu-kude (三つ組手) for this. Kumiko dimensions are 1.6 x 10 mm, and the pitch is 35 mm.

There are two different types of kumiko cuts for the mitsu-kude (technically there are three different types, but most only use two, especially when cutting the joints by hand). These two diagrams show the joint in detail.

three-way joint 01 three-way joint 02

I place a suitable number of kumiko in my jig, and for the first type of cut, I cut at each interval mark at 30° down to two-thirds of the kumiko thickness. (The photo shows the cuts at varying angles of slope, but this is because of the camera lens - all cuts are perpendicular.)

I then cut the other edge of the joint.

Without removing the waste, I take the kumiko out and place at the other end of my jig where the 30° angle is in the opposite direction, and again cut along the interval marks down to two-thirds the thickness.

After making all the cuts, I then remove the waste.

I place these kumiko to one side, and secure the next lot of kumiko in the jig for the second type of cut. I cut down one-third of the kumiko thickness …

… then flip the kumiko over, and cut down one-third on the other side.

If these cuts don’t line up perfectly, these kumiko have to go in the bin because they’re unusable. Fortunately, mine do.
It’s now the moment of truth, and time to assemble the jigumi. The next photos show the general sequence I use.

I use a dab of normal PVA glue for the kumiko, so after the glue has properly dried, I’ll trim the jigumi in preparation for attaching the tsukeko. Once that’s done, the fun part starts with the patterns.
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