Introduction: Ornate Japanese Torii Gate for the Garden

About: I'm an English guy living in the Czech countryside with family on a lifetime project (Wasnt the orginal plan :) of renovating our old farm house, building projects while slowly collecting new additions to the …

After a holiday in Japan and falling in love with the country as well as the cuture and customs we were inspired to bring a little bit back to the Czech Republic in the way of creating a Japanese garden and while the Torii gate its self is a religious symbol we had also seen it used as a symbolic entrance to an area of tranquility hence we wanted this Gate to be the start to our Japanese garden.

After researching many versions of the offical Torii gates as well as ones made around the world by fellow DIYers on the internet I chose my own design and started to look through the wood I already had as I wanted to utilise that I already had.

Now this Torii gate is a reminder of Japan and a start of our Japanese garden that will slowly follow over the coming years.

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Step 1: Working Out Your Dimensions and Design

After doing my research and looking at my travel photos from Japan I decided on the style of Torii Gate that I wanted to build. After than I worked out where in the garden I wanted to have this and then all that was left was the work out the dimensions that would suit both the place it would stand and also the materials I already had from past projects which would keep the cost down.

Step 2: Measuring the Timbers and Cutting the Joints

Once I had the wood prepared (my main header timber was actually an old roof joist so I needed to plane this right down), I went about marking up the wood for all the mortise and tenon joints and then proceeded to cut everything out.
I used mostly hand tools including hand power tools to make the job easier:
Power saw
Power drill
Wood chisels
Tape measure
Hand saw
Spirit level

Step 3: Cutting and Making Sure the Timbers Fit

Once I'd cut each joint out I would check that they fitted as the idea would be to use dowels and glue to fit everything together so no screws or nails.

Step 4: Continue Cutting and Fitting Each New Peice

I found this to be quite a theraputic task of cutting each timbre and adding each peice as I went along.

Once I knew all peices fit flush to one another and were nice and tight but not too tight I then took everything apart and stained the mortise and tenon joints in a good quality wood preserver and stain in the colour that I wanted the final product to be.

Step 5: Glue and Fit Each Timbre Together and Finish Off With Wooden Dowels

Once all joints have been stained a couple of times I glued and refit everything back together.

I nailed a wooden timber at the foot of the gate and checked that the construction was square and the same size at the top as the bottom. (This was removed finally after the gatre was in situ)

Drilled holes the same size as the wooden doweling I had in all joints in an area that would hold the whole construction together tight but at the same time not weakening the joints.

The wooden dowels were glued and hammered in, ends sawed off flush with the timbers.

Once everything was glued I left it to dry over night.

After it was dry I planed, sanded and routed a rounded edge along the structure to give it a smooth and more professional looking finish. (Well as professional as this DIYer can get :)

Step 6: Time to Install My Torii Gate :)

Once I had stained my Torii gate 3 times I proceeded to dig two holes 70cm deep with approx 15cm gap all around.

I coated the wood that would be in the ground at least two other coats of wood perserver.

Once the gate was in the ground I used gravel and small stones and compacted them around the timbres until they were rock solid when I tried to move the gate.

Last job was to remove the timbre at the foot (80cm from the bottom) , paint the holes with wood perserver,fill any holes with wood fill, give a final sanding and stain the entire structure one last time.

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