"Discovery" - A Mosaic in Wood

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Project by Mathew Nedeljko posted 1005 days ago 2632 views 15 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This work is inspired by fellow lumberjock Robin Tucker (WoodMosaic) and the fabulous projects and tutorials he has posted here. This is a hexagonal Lazy Susan approx 12” wide and 1.5” high, made of .150” thick shop sawn Walnut, Mahogany, Maple and Poplar veneer, and laid onto a plywood base. The geometric pattern just kind of came into being of its own design – hence the name. Being my first attempt at this form of work, I decide to treat it like art and sign it and date it for posterity sake.

Robin cuts his pieces using a foot powered table saw, I decided to build a jig so that I could hand cut the pieces. There are 414 individually hand cut pieces, 210 in the top, 150 in the sides, and 54 in the base.

The finish is multiple coats of an oil/varnish blend, sanded between coats with final polishing up to 2000 grit. It is silky smooth and very pleasing to the touch.

My favorite part of this project is the way the light reflects off the the individual pieces, and the chatoyance of the wood as the lazy susan spins.

This was a fun project. Thanks for looking!

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

22 comments so far

View degoose's profile


6993 posts in 1981 days

#1 posted 1005 days ago

You certainly have something there to be very proud of… and I am sure that Robyn would agree..
My only critique would be the one Robyn gave me when I made my first… check the grain orientation.. always have each piece at angles to each other piece… ie don’t have the grain run the same direction in adjacent pieces…I have always remembered that and tried to comply…
Other than that … one very nice piece … and the fact that is it hand…

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ For lovers of all things timber...

View sras's profile


3813 posts in 1755 days

#2 posted 1005 days ago

Nicely done! Those diamonds take a bit of work to keep aligned – looks like you did a great job!

Thanks for sharing.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View motoman's profile


80 posts in 1977 days

#3 posted 1005 days ago

Have made a few of these myself,and can’t imagine cutting all those pieces by hand.Good job.

-- Mike Wix

View sandhill's profile


2117 posts in 2550 days

#4 posted 1005 days ago

I love Robin,s work you honor him.

-- Bob Egbert AKA Sandhill

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4354 posts in 1662 days

#5 posted 1005 days ago

Nice work, Mathew. Looks beautiful.

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

View woodworm's profile


14124 posts in 2216 days

#6 posted 1005 days ago

Neat & beautiful work. I don’t think I have patient to do the glue-up job.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View 58j35bonanza's profile


390 posts in 1318 days

#7 posted 1005 days ago

Beautiful work. It certainly is a piece of art.

-- Chuck

View cajunpen's profile


14376 posts in 2692 days

#8 posted 1005 days ago

Well done Mathew. I’m in the process of making my first Mosaic style piece myself. I applaud you hand cutting all of those pieces. Hopefully my project turns out as well as yours. I will have WoodMosaics and degoose to thank for it if it does turn out nice.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View shipwright's profile


4900 posts in 1424 days

#9 posted 1005 days ago

Sweet job Mat.
You have got optical illusions going on all over the place in there.
I see new ones every time I look at it.
Bravo !!

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

View SeaWitch's profile


149 posts in 1020 days

#10 posted 1005 days ago

Really nice. Very inspiring.

-- When you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, 'Certainly I can!' Then get busy and find out how to do it.”   Theodore Roosevelt

View lanwater's profile


3076 posts in 1560 days

#11 posted 1005 days ago

Looks great.

Wonderfull job.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1796 posts in 1817 days

#12 posted 1005 days ago

Great work….you used a hand saw to cut all of the parts???

Wow, you are a patient wood worker!!!! But it paid off because

your work is very beautiful.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

590 posts in 2456 days

#13 posted 1004 days ago

Thanks for all the nice comments everyone. I really approached this as a study in Parquetry and used some of the techniques I have learned on the marquetry side to make this assembly manageable. I believe in the old days they would call this type of work “Frisage”.

I assembled the entire top using blue tape to hold it all together, then flipped it over, taped the entire assembly, then glued it to the substrate all in one go. Robin glues his pieces on one at a time with hot melt glue, using my technique I was able to do it all at once.

Also, yes hand cutting each piece did take a while, but I felt it was the only safe way to work with small pieces. Of course, I used the machines in order to prepare the thin strips that the diamonds and triangles are cut from. Each piece also needed to be scraped with a utility knife to remove the small burr at the trailing edge of the cut that despite the jig acting as a zero clearance support I could not seem to eliminate.

If anyone is interested, I have a picassa web album that contains a lot more photos of construction details.

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

View CharlieM1958's profile


15684 posts in 2844 days

#14 posted 1004 days ago

Very impressive piece. I admire your patience and precision with the hand saw.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View helluvawreck's profile


15582 posts in 1492 days

#15 posted 1004 days ago

This is beautiful work and fine craftsmanship.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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