Marquetry Serving Tray #3: Cutting the Border and inlaying it all

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Blog entry by jmartel posted 05-25-2014 12:37 AM 1745 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Lets get started Part 3 of Marquetry Serving Tray series Part 4: Small design change, Construction of the frame, and cutting out letters »

Next up comes the tedious task of cutting all of the pieces to make up the rope. Somewhere north of 60 pieces for the border alone. I found a pattern online with the right diameter I wanted, so I printed out a couple copies, cut them up, and taped it down to the veneer I want to cut it from.

After cutting it all out, you are left with this:

While that would look all well and good on it’s own, I decided to give shading a try. This is the first time I’ve attempted it, so hopefully it will turn out ok. I pulled out the woodburning tool I bought from Michaels over a year ago for about $15, put the shading tool on, and got to work.

While it looks ruined, a lot of the shading should be taken off when it’s sanded. Hopefully.

Once that was finished, then it was time to inlay the Compass. I put it in the center, lined up all the points, and traced it out with the knife. Cut it free, and was left with this:

Once I got the compass in and taped to the background, I set on the task of inlaying the rope pieces. For this, I took another rope pattern and cut it into quarters. I decided to trace around the outside of the whole section of rope rather than doing each part individually. This went fairly quickly. To put the pieces in, I put some clear tape on the underside of the cut-out area to keep the pieces from moving around, and then used veneer tape once I got them into position. Once the veneer tape started to dry, I pulled the clear tape off and the pieces stayed where they were.

The backside:

The gaps there are on purpose as I will be filling that in with a very dark wood dust and glue combo to further enhance the rope detail.

That’s where I left off for the day. Next up is the lettering for the name, followed by laminating it to the bottom ply, and working on the solid wood sides.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

4 comments so far

View Dunelm's profile


28 posts in 1906 days

#1 posted 05-25-2014 01:15 AM

This is a great blog series so I’ll look forward to the next installments. Thanks for posting.

-- Bruce -- Canada

View shipwright's profile


7082 posts in 2216 days

#2 posted 05-25-2014 05:35 AM

The compass rose looks great.
Good on ya for trying the rope and lettering. They are hard enough with a saw never mind a knife.
But I have confidence that you’ll pull it off and it will make a great gift.

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

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 2753 days

#3 posted 05-26-2014 02:23 PM

Looks wonderful so far. I tried a little practice cutting marquetry with a knife not so long ago and not only was it poorly done, but my hand hurt pretty bad for a couple of days to afterward!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View changeoffocus's profile


457 posts in 1036 days

#4 posted 06-04-2014 11:42 AM

Still reading and learning

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