|KEY WORD : architecture / tools|
|Carpenter's ink pot, or ink pad. The sumitsubo, unlike other carpentry tools, does not have a fixed shape or size. Nowadays the carpenter generally buys his sumitsubo, but in the past he would make it himself, sometimes taking pleasure in carving onto the ink pot. Strong, easy to handle zelkova, keyaki 欅 wood is generally used to make the sumitsubo, but high quality examples use mulberry. The main dish in the ink pot is called the ink-pool, sumi-ike 墨池. There is a depression containing silk wadding soaked with a mixture of glue solution and ink, and attached to this is a wheel wound with thread sumi-ito 墨糸 (see *suminawa 墨縄). On the side of the pot there is a small piece of rounded wood with a needle fixed in it, and the end of the thread is attached to this needle. To draw a reference line on timber using a sumitsubo, first fix the needle in the required position on one side of the timber, and then, letting out the thread from the spool, move the sumitsubo to the other required position. Stop the sumitsubo in that position with the thread slightly stretched, and hold it down with the fingers of the left hand. Then with a finger of the right hand lift the thread up and let it go suddenly. The elasticity of the ink-soaked thread causes it to hit the wood and a straight line, used as the reference line, is drawn instantly. This procedure is known by carpenters as sumigake 墨掛.|
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