Fibonacci Mosaic box #1: Design and piece cutting

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Blog entry by BritBoxmaker posted 09-15-2013 03:32 PM 2802 reads 4 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Fibonacci Mosaic box series Part 2: Pattern glue-up and ideas for experimentation »

This is a real-time blog, that is I am blogging as I am working on the project. As it is my own design I respectfully request that anyone wishing to copy it waits until I have posted the finished project.

I’ve made this design using part of the Fibonacci series of numbers; that is specifically 1,2,3,5,8, as proportions for the parts of this mosaic box. It’s going to be an EZ Mitre box so here is the plan for the initial board

Starting at 1 for the diameter of the central circle, the successive rings are in proportions 2,3,5,8 going outwards (that is 8 to the far corner at the bottom of the side in the final box). In each quadrant of the design the number of segments per ring are also in these proportions. The final design should look something like this paper model

The mosaic pieces will be Ebony, Purpleheart, Bloodwood, Yew and Pau Amarello with a white dyed two pack resin ‘grouting’ in between them. I am used to seeing mosaics made with less than perfect tiles so I am not overly worried about the perfection of the cut pieces. The resin should accommodate this well. I have not experimented with this method and I’m winging it. It either works or fails miserably. If you don’t risk things in life you can’t expect to grow.

First thing to do is print a full sized template for the piece cutting, on clear plastic, from the TurboCAD drawing.

The whiter sections of this are windows cut in the template in order to place and mark out pieces on the relevant woods. The woods are 5 to 6 mm thick (allowing for sand down to a 3 to 4 mm flat surface later) to be mounted on a 3 mm Birch ply base. I also printed out a full sized colour pattern to allow for initial placing of pieces as they are cut.

At the top of the picture are the various woods pencil marked with the pieces

I’m cutting the pieces on a scroll saw.

I have neither the keen eye nor dexterity of either Scrollgirl or KnotCurser so there should be enough inaccuracy in the pieces to satisfy the ‘rough finish’ required.

I started with the easier woods, Yew, Pau Amarello and worked onto the harder to cut ones later. Near the beginning

That’s supposed to be a straight line!

This is with all the pieces cut

and that’s where I am up to now. Next time I hope to be gluing the pieces to the base board and if it goes really well I might try the grouting technique.

Be seeing you.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

14 comments so far

View SPalm's profile


5315 posts in 3789 days

#1 posted 09-15-2013 03:43 PM

Hey Martyn, That is sweet!

Beautiful design. It will be interesting to see how it comes out. Just great I assume.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View CalgaryGeoff's profile


937 posts in 2389 days

#2 posted 09-15-2013 04:34 PM

Very nice looking start to this box. As Steve mentioned, I anticipate it will work just fine.

-- If you believe you can or can not do a thing, you are correct.

View stefang's profile


15784 posts in 3242 days

#3 posted 09-15-2013 04:39 PM

Looks very nice so far Martyn. I like the textured look created by the space between the pieces. Grouting seems like a great idea on this design.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View johnstoneb's profile


2794 posts in 2080 days

#4 posted 09-15-2013 04:52 PM

Looks great so far. I agree with Mike. The design seems to cry out for grout.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View amagineer's profile


1415 posts in 2504 days

#5 posted 09-15-2013 05:25 PM

Martyn: your creativity is amazing. Look forward to see the completed box.

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

View widwotkma's profile


40 posts in 2299 days

#6 posted 09-15-2013 06:34 PM

That’s a cool idea. I have often admired the artistic designs made using mosaic tiles and thought of incorporating them into woodworking (e.g. as a table top), but had never considered making the “tiles” out of wood. I look forward to hearing and seeing more about how this works out…


View mauibob's profile


234 posts in 2975 days

#7 posted 09-15-2013 06:37 PM

Nice design, Martyn – going to look awesome when completed!

Since all your wedges in a given circle are identical in size and shape, have you thought about stack cutting them (or at least a group of them at a time)?

-- Bob, Potomac, MD

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2316 days

#8 posted 09-15-2013 07:37 PM

W O W !

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View degoose's profile


7228 posts in 3262 days

#9 posted 09-15-2013 08:18 PM

Do not worry, this will not be copied by me… you have it all on your own… we salute you

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View littlecope's profile


3071 posts in 3409 days

#10 posted 09-15-2013 10:41 PM

Looking Great Martyn!
Cutting with the Scroll Saw must be in conflict with your usual sense of precision, eh? :)

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View shipwright's profile


7895 posts in 2705 days

#11 posted 09-15-2013 11:00 PM

That’s going to be a beaut Martyn.
Very nice colour combinations.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View mafe's profile


11631 posts in 2997 days

#12 posted 09-16-2013 12:41 AM

Amazing Martyn, look forward to see what happens here.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View rance's profile


4256 posts in 3068 days

#13 posted 09-17-2013 03:23 AM

Very nice design. I look forward to seeing your progress. Thanks for sharing like you do.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9220 posts in 2827 days

#14 posted 09-17-2013 12:21 PM

That is going to be a beauty! The grouting should be really interesting to see. Thank you for sharing your adventure with everyone here.


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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