Assembling the catalog shoji votive

Ok, what is the trick to getting the GF shoji votive to go together property? I can get two sides in with a tight fit and the other two will not get all the way into the notch slot. I have broken one of the sides just trying to assemble. I purchased forever use, but it seems like I wasted money if it will be this much pain (broken side, cut finger).


Are you talking about the wooden sides, or the Acrylic sides? (if the Acrylic, make sure that you are orienting them the correct way, the tabs on the bottom are different distances from the sides)

I’ve made the votive a few times and with PG Walnut Material, it’s been slightly loose for me.


Are you using the suggested Proofgrade materials? (Anything else, and the slots probably aren’t going to fit.)


The acrylic is all in with shiny sides out. The votive base had to be forced in with a screwdriver blade. I can get three pieces of wood into the tabs (breaking one side), but there is no budging on the other side. I used PG maple plywood and frosted acrylic

Jules, Maple plywood (medium PG) and frosted acrylic

Huh! I’m surprised that you are having that tight of a fit if you are using Proofgrade material, but there is something about the shape of the cut that might help with future assembly.

In profile, a laser beam doesn’t cut straight down, it cuts at a very slight angle. So the base of the shape (the part that was on the bottom when it was cut) is always going to be a little bit larger than the top of the shape. If the fit is a little tight, you can try turning the pieces over or flip them, they might fit better.

That’s just in general, but another thing that is very easy to do is just brush an emory board over the edges a couple of times. That’s usually enough to let it slide right in. Shouldn’t ever try to force fit it though, that usually results in a broken tab.

You can likely save the print though - use a little wood glue and clamp or tape the tab back on until it dries. Then a few swipes with an emory board and you can probably still use that one. It will be indistinguishable from new and stronger than a fresh print. :slightly_smiling_face:


I think aside from a few earrings I have not built anything that did not take some finishing attention. I have used clamps or vices to press tight fitting parts together, and on some occasions a rubber hammer. but an extra thin piece of plywood with a 220 -350 grit sandpaper glued to its surface can do wonders better than a rubber hammer.


The tab didn’t break, it was the thin line foe the shoji screens. I have emails support to see what they say. Thanks to both of you for your help.

I’ve made a few dozen of these and posted these assembly tips last year…

Good luck!


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