Tenmasen — Anderson Japanese garden — Rockford, Illinois, USA

Anderson Garden Tenmasen

The Tenmasen in the garden (photo by John Braud).

In 2014 I designed and built a small Japanese-style boat for the Anderson Japanese Garden in Rockford, Illinois. I based the boat on a Tenmasen cargo boat I had built with my teacher in Tokyo in 2002. The Garden had a specific size limit. The boat is entirely Southern cypress with a hardwood deck and rub rails. I used copper to cover the fastening heads and scarf joints, a technique I learned from my Tokyo teacher. A local blacksmith made my copper nails.

       
       

The bottom assembled and cut to shape.

Planking the boat.

The rub rails are held with copper clench nails, set in a shallow mortise.

The nail head mortise is covered with copper.

The boat fully planked.

The beams are tenoned into the side planks. The floor timbers are through-bolted to the bottom.

The joint in the caprail is wrapped in copper to keep out water.

The boat has an oil finish and the stem is completely clad in copper.

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