Chevelet de Marquterie

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Project by tom427cid posted 01-19-2012 05:21 AM 4384 views 4 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

One of my customers presented me with a clock to restore,a 40” tall Bracket clock. The surface is covered with Ebony and brass designs. About 20% of the brass is missing. The brass is about .016” thick. To thick to cut with a knife and to thin to saw-at least by conventional means. I have been aware of this type of machine since I had the pleasure to meet Patrick Edwards,a man of imence talent. I tried a variety of ways to be able to do the brass work and each time I came back to the Chevelet(mule or donkey). Since it is an uncommon tool and very few even know what it is information is to say the least scarce. Dimensions even harder to find. Anyway,the solution was to build one. First I want to thank shipwright for his photo essay on his build process. It was extraordinarily helpful and allowed me to fully understand what the machine was meant to do. This has been trying at times but also a real fun project. And the best part it allowed me to use a lot of pieces I have saved-you know to good to throw out but not good enough for a project. As a result I have maple,rock maple,white oak,red oak,poplar, hickory,cherry,douglas fir,and even some bubinga.Some of the hardware I bought,some was scrounged,some was made from something else. Construction time has been about five days and tonight I made the first cuts thru five layers of veneer(one split) with a 48tpi blade.I also added lambs tongue decoration to the post and the bubinga corner block is two pieces(love the color and the grain)
Thanks for looking,and comments as always are welcome.
Forgot to mention the wheels on the clamp are from a pair of casters,and the seat is a pair of lamp bases that were salvaged for their parts.

-- "certified sawdust maker"

9 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117276 posts in 3752 days

#1 posted 01-19-2012 05:25 AM

This looks great Tom you and Paul are in a very exclusive club .

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View sras's profile


4922 posts in 3304 days

#2 posted 01-19-2012 06:57 AM

Nicely done – I think we’ll be seeing some inlay projects in the future!

Thanks for sharing.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

715 posts in 4004 days

#3 posted 01-19-2012 07:33 AM

Congratulations on completing the build, and welcome to the Shiprwright inspired chevelat owners club! Looking forward to seeing the cutting you produce with it!

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

View NateX's profile


98 posts in 3171 days

#4 posted 01-19-2012 08:31 AM

Wow, I did a google search on these things, what an amazing tool. I wonder if I have find a spot in my shop for one of these!

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3225 days

#5 posted 01-19-2012 09:57 AM


Farm out, man. To be able to build that from a photo essay is amazing. You are too smart to be a Ford fan! Now, if only you could figure a way to power it with a 427 side-oiler, maybe a GMC 671 and Hillborn injectors. You could cut ANYTHING!!!

Nice work, and please, some before and after pics of the clock. Maybe a short video of the process of using that thing. Fascinating. Congratulations.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View SPalm's profile


5325 posts in 4056 days

#6 posted 01-19-2012 03:38 PM

Very nice.
I love homemade machines. It’ll be fun to see what you do with it.

And the lambs tongue makes me smile.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View StumpyNubs's profile


7674 posts in 2975 days

#7 posted 01-19-2012 04:51 PM


Thanks for posting!

-Jim; aka “Stumpy Nubs”
(The greatest woodworking show since the invention of wood- check it out!)

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View shipwright's profile


8132 posts in 2972 days

#8 posted 01-19-2012 04:57 PM

That’s one lovely Chevy Tom, Congratulations !
As Mat said, Welcome to the club. You’re in for some really gratifying accomplishments for sure.
I like your little accents and I love the fact that like mine and Mat’s yours is built from what you could scrounge up around the shop.
I look forward to seeing the projects that come from this fine piece of shop furniture.

One suggestion would be to take a look at the tumbler sliding bearing modification that I came up with when I built my second one. I’ve now modified the Az one in the same way. You can find it in the second part of this blog. It is the answer to the trickiest part and works a treat.

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

View Schwieb's profile


1871 posts in 3636 days

#9 posted 01-20-2012 05:35 AM

I just think this is really great that you took the time to build this machine. I have followed Shipwright (Paul M’s) posts on this device with great interest. Marquetry has fascinated me for many many years and I think it’s complexity hold me back from”getting into it”. I need a stronger want to. Thank you for posting this and I hope I will get the motivation I need to do something I have for a long time wanted to do. I have a commission job to build a couple of humidors and I would love to do some marquetry as a part of it. Keep posting your progress.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

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