The Classic Style is the most difficult of the saw cut styles to master. It involves cutting each piece separately, from packets of veneer, each composed of only one color or species. It’s considerable advantage is that it can produce as many identical motifs as the number of layers in your packets. This can reduce the labor and increase the speed of production of pieces with repetitive motifs or enable the production of several identical pieces. The first step as in other styles is ...
This style is named for one of the great masters, Andre-Charles Boulle (1642-1732) and it differs from double bevel style in several ways. In both Boulle style and Classic style, which I’ll cover next, it is imperative that the blade is at exactly 90 degrees to the work, both vertically and horizontally.Also in both these styles cutting is done in a “packet” of veneers rather than piece by piece as is done in double bevel. This results in several pieces of identical shape on...
When I posted the clipper ship marquetry for my Canadian chevalet, there was some confusion about the different styles of cutting marquetry and the terminology conected thereto. I will try here, using examples from some of my work, to clear up the confusion. First of all, let me say that these are all methods for sawing marquetry. Knife methods are not something I have much experience with and while they have similarities I won’t include knife cutting here. Double Bevel Marquetry ...
Again I had different routes that I could have taken on the glue to use. I decided to go with regular yellow glue. It is more forgiving. If I would have laid the face down in one piece instead of an inlay, I may have used contact cement. Since the whales were fairly small I felt the yellow glue would work fine. I needed even and constent pressure on the entire piece. What I did was laid it down in this order. 2×4’s, substrate, glue, whale, wax paper, foam pad, plywood, 2...
I have the design, cut the veneer pieces and now it is time to put it on the face. I tossed around ideas on how I’d put it on the face. My first idea was to order a large sheet of maple veneer (background wood). Cut the whale into the it like I did the rest and then glue it all onto a substrate panel. What I ended up doing was using 3/4” maple plywood as the substrate and cut in the design. First I outlined the whale. I then went around the border with a chisel. This allo...
Okay, I got approval form the customer and time to get started on the project. To pattern it I enlisted the services from a local sign company. They printed it up with the colors separated life size (life size to the bed not life size in the wild). They made me some mask to use as the pattern. Here is also the wood I choose to use. They are Quarter Sawn Walnut (dark color) and Lacewood (reddish color): These were masks so I was able to stick them to the veneer pieces. I cut them out...
I’m starting a very exciting project. Anything new that I try is exciting for me. I love new things and new techniques. I build a lot of murphy beds, as you can see from my post, but when I got customer wanting to add a whale design to one, I was all in. I don’t consider myself an artist or my work art, so this would be my first attempt at something like that. I’ve heard and read a little on marquetry and decided this would be the direction I’d take the customer....
I just finished the practice piece for the top of the music box. The method of marquetry I use is one that I have developed over the years. I used some of the techniques like the boulle technique and the packet method and combined them into what I call, ” the ten step method.” The veneer packet consisted of 8 different veneers and there were a total of 138 individual pieces. I used hot silicon sand for shading certain pieces of the veneers it gives the marquetry a 3D appearan...
Taking the Chevalet (no not Chevrolet) for a Test Drive. #1: Layout and Cutting... and a senior moment
So the chevalet is finished and it’s time to take her for a test drive. Like any test drive, you want to really put her through her paces so first up is to find a challenging road, or in this case some intricate clip art. Trace the artwork onto white paper. The veneers are home dyed with concentrated aniline dye in isopropyl alcohol. Tape the backs to keep the tiny bits attached when cutting. Stack the veneers into a packet and attach the pattern with spray adhesive...
Update: See also Chevy II, The Canadian Cousin. I first saw a chevalet in Sorrento, Italy about ten or eleven years ago. I was very impressed with the machine and the work being done by the master marqueters there but never dreamed that I would ever find myself building one. Well, retirement has it’s ways of taking you places you never thought you’d be going. After a working lifetime of more or less “creative woodworking” who knew I’d be this interested in per...
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