Graduation Present

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Project by davidtr3 posted 05-22-2016 02:52 PM 1062 views 3 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Made this box as a graduation present for my son.

Oak and Walnut with compass rose marquetry set in curly maple. Tray is walnut with mother-of-pearl star inlay.
I ran into some problems with the marquetry and it was a good lesson (for me at least). I had all of the marquetry completed, and I made the mistake of rubbing the joints with PVA glue while the marquetry was wet with moisture from the marquetry tape. This resulted in the dreaded black spot.

Rather than start over, I bought some oxalic acid. After two treatments of rubbing the marquetry with a 3M scotch pad and oxalic acid, the spots were gone. Had this been two or three years ago, I may have just started over, but I had a lot of time tied up in the marquetry and thought I’d give the acid a try.

Anyway, the lessons for me were: there maybe a solution to a mistake and never use PVA glue while the marquetry is wet.

Thanks for viewing

6 comments so far

View shipwright's profile


8184 posts in 3032 days

#1 posted 05-22-2016 03:01 PM

Very nice box David. The marquetry (parquetry actually I think) is very nice and sharp.

Personally I would suggest that you start using hide glues for marquetry for a myriad of reasons.
If the rub of glue was to fill the small gaps, a better way is to fill from the glue side with a mastic of (hide) glue and sanding dust prior to pressing the veneer to the substrate.
Anyway, good recovery and any day that you have a learning experience is a good day.

Well done!

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Ken90712's profile


17614 posts in 3423 days

#2 posted 05-22-2016 04:48 PM

Great work and nice save, looks awesome.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View majuvla's profile


13580 posts in 3101 days

#3 posted 05-22-2016 04:56 PM

Pretty nice box, wonderful marquetry on top. ‘Mistake’ is the best teacher.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Mean_Dean's profile


6910 posts in 3381 days

#4 posted 05-22-2016 11:24 PM

That’s a very handsome box—I’m sure your son will really appreciate it, and enjoy it!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View davidtr3's profile


51 posts in 1166 days

#5 posted 05-23-2016 04:54 PM

Thanks everybody. Paul, I had a very good system for my parquetry—when I do Compass Roses, I normally cut, add a piece, rub in glue from the back. Wait a few minutes and add another piece. With the Louis Cubes, I normally lay out a self healing cutting board with tape sticky side up, lay out the cubes, then rub the backside with glue as I go along. I strayed from my system this time. But I take your point very well. I will get some Old Brow Glue and have a go.

View shipwright's profile


8184 posts in 3032 days

#6 posted 05-23-2016 06:07 PM

I’m not sure LHG will work for mastic. With it’s longer cure time it may cause swelling.
Hot hide glue is the standard for mastic.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

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