DIY Japanese Shoji Sliding Door Panels

The moonlit shape of a swaying tree and the idyllic noises of the insect world will help your home come alive. Shoji panels enable the home’s exterior environment to affect your interior design. The practice of earning shoji sliding doors may seem daunting. Although this technological skill has been refined and developed over centuries by *tateguya*, — that loosely translates to \_craftsman for sliding doors\_ — you can build and keep a shoji panel.

Selecting Washi Paper

The most commonly used washi paper contains fibers in the gambi tree, mitsumata tree or the mulberry tree, and until artificial substances widened the selection from the 1960s, just paper made with these ingredients had been considered authentic. Washi paper can be bought from artwork and supply shops or online via specialist Japanese paper shops. Whether you choose an authentic or a synthetic material, use paper that has a depth of 0.04 to 0.08 inches and a width of 35 to 70 inches, depending on the size of your door. You ought to be able to stretch the washi paper over the whole wooden lattice frame. To attach it, spread a thin layer of rice paste across the frame and carefully roll the paper down from the top, pulling just tough enough to stretch out the wrinkles; be careful to not dislodge the paper. Wait for at least six hours for the glue to dry, and then spray on the surface with a mist sprayer. When the water dries, the washi will tighten its frame.

Installing the Rail System

Shoji sliding door panels are attached using a \_shikii floor rail\_ and also a \_kamoi overhead beam\_. To construct this monitoring system from scratch, you’ll have to etch a 1/16-inch groove in the lower beam and a 5/8-inch groove into the overhead beam. In case you are not familiar with Japanese carpentry techniques, seek aid from a professional *tateguya* to guarantee the measurements are accurate. After the grooves are cut, the panels could be slotted into place. To produce the track smooth, then spread a thin layer of wax across the ground rail or include a vinyl lubricating strip. While shoji sliding doors don’t have wheels, the groove depth together with the smooth finish and wax should let them open and shut with a one-finger thrust.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Maintenance is as much a cultural tradition since it is a process of conservation. In many Japanese households, the switching of the washi is a therapeutic procedure that’s conducted on an yearly basis. In addition, it gives you a chance to change the color of the washi paper or repaint the frame and rail program. When cleaning, use a soft-bristled feather duster to gently wipe the surface of each panel from top to bottom. Washi paper is very fragile and can tear with the slightest amount of pressure, so remain cautious constantly.

Shoji Philosophy

Shoji door panels supply more than just aesthetic appeal; they diffuse mild and also help air to circulate. This will make your home a healthier and more comfortable living environment. Additionally, shoji panels create a calming atmosphere by encouraging soft speech and graceful motion, which can be an integral facet of the Zen lifestyle and a defining component of 15th century *sukiya-zukuri* architecture — a design that has a widespread influence over modern Japanese decor.

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