Monday, February 27, 2012

"Hey, can you move over just a little bit?" --Adjusting a kento.

This is the first time I've done this so I post these photos and my comments as an invitation to any who have done this before, often or just better to comment below on improvements.

As I mentioned in my last post I was pretty precise in cutting my original kentos.
I either use a Kento-nomi ( a flat chisel used just for this purpose) or the hangi-toh being carefult to split the black line that is my guide.
But sometimes, despite being careful, or if the wood shifts or expands more on one block than another one has to adjust the kento to allow for this shift.
This is the problem.

I'll let the following photos explain things but here is a summary.
A flat chisel is used to cut a groove next to the existing kento.
Using a slender, wedge of hardwood, tap it in with a hammer. Cut it flush with the kento and get back to printing.
As this was the first time I try this. I cut a sample kento on the edge of the block to try it out.

Above is the drawn "test kento" and the registration guides I cut from them.
Below are some cherry wedges I split off from a small block with a wood chisel and then sanded into a wedge shape with a sanding block and some 220grit paper.
(Ignore the Aisuki chisel which is just there for scale).

These were tapped in with a hammer.

Next was to trim it flush without having it pop out.
Here are the finished corner and edge kentos with the trimmed plugs.

Testing the kentos:

These are a bit ragged as my cherry blocks are a little thin (1cm thick) and the groove I cut next to the existing kento with a chisel seemed a bit too shallow. Tapping in the wedges was harder than I thought and some of them split or broke and had to be resanded and replaced.
Cutting them off also was harder than it should have been. Several popped out from the leverage of cutting them.
But if imperfect these do what they are supposed to.
As you can see from the last photos, they hold the paper edge a good 1-2mm off the old edge and should fix the problem.


  1. Fun to see you doing this! One small suggestion - while you are cutting the groove - hold the little shim of cherry between your teeth. When the groove is ready, lick the shim, then tap the wet wood into the new groove. It'll expand from the water, and jam itself pretty firmly into place ...

  2. I do it the easy way, with flat sided toothpicks (not the round ones, and no colored ones, either)! I just line them up vertically, most times it just takes one, lying on its side and glued in place. I learned this from Wanda who said she had so many toothpicks on one block that someone, David I think, remarked that it looked like she had built a dam.