Hello to all and welcome to the first installment of Intarsia Basics. Before we can start cutting we need to select the wood we want to use and get our pattern ready.
I prefer to start with stock that is one inch thick because that gives you a lot of depth that you can work with. It will require a little more sanding on some areas but it will help to give your piece a 3D look. It is your choice if you prefer to stain your wood to achieve the colors or use exotic wood. It is hard to tell the difference from pictures, but here are examples of both.
If you’re just starting intarsia, I would suggest staining your wood to keep your costs down. After you have gotten hooked and done a piece or two I would highly recommend to give exotic wood a try. Half the fun for me is to find just the right color and grain pattern for a specific area of my pattern that I’m making. I will make a pattern with some woods in mind, but change my mind 10 times after looking at the different woods and grain patterns. I will show examples of both throughout this class and you can make your own choice.
I used poplar for my wood to be stained, but any softer, light wood will work.
For exotic woods I used lignum, ebony, aspen, blood wood, curly maple, and teak.
Preparing your pattern:
If I purchase a pattern I will fold it into sections and put in on the printer to make copies of each section of the pattern if it will not fit onto a single page. It takes a little practice to make sure you don’t print one piece onto two of the pages and sometimes you might have to tape two sections together on a large piece. If I make my own pattern I will print it out and then enlarge with the printer in basically the same way. With this pattern I enlarged it to 125% for the size I wanted and was able to keep it on two pages. Then I made 4 copies of each and cut out each piece of the pattern.
After you have each piece of your pattern cut out you will need to separate them by color (wood) if you’re not staining. Then using adhesive spray you can glue your pattern to your wood.
Here you can see how to glue your pattern onto your wood (stained and exotic). Make sure to pay attention to your grain pattern and match it up with your pattern direction to improve your final result.
One thing you can do that will help your saw blade life and keep the wood from burning while you’re cutting your pieces out is to put regular scotch tape over your pattern after gluing. I can’t explain how this works but it does.
The last thing you need to do before cutting is to make all of your pilot holes for the areas that will need it. Nostrils and eyes will be the most common for drilling.
This will help you get you started and gives you some different options. We will start cutting on the next section, so please let me know if you have any questions.
-- If you not making sawdust, your probably wasting your time. Kory