Double Bevel frustrations

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Project by Philip posted 944 days ago 1920 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Double Bevel frustrations
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These are test pieces to try and hone the double bevel technique.

I have a plywood birdsmouth set at an 8 degree angle and I cut out the design with a .016” blade in a fretsaw.

For some reason I can’t seem to dial it in. The maple inset in walnut is too loose and visa versa. The instructions I have are to shim one way or the other but that seems like it would only go to one extreme or the other and I want to be able to use both pieces.

Is this problem caused by the thickness of my pieces? (about 1/8”) I should probably build a birdsmouth that can be adjusted to any angle…then again I may as well give up double bevel and use the boulle technique with Shipwrights chevalet!

-- If you can dream it, I can do it!

12 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


112010 posts in 2203 days

#1 posted 944 days ago

Interesting design , I hope you get it worked out.

-- Custom furniture

View KnotCurser's profile


1812 posts in 1695 days

#2 posted 944 days ago

Good start – the idea, as I understand it, is that you won’t be able to use both pieces.

The piece on the top will slip into the piece underneath it with no gaps. Try a 2-3 degree bevel for a quarter inch thick piece and see what happens.

BTW, the bevel should ALWAYS face towards the center of your piece.


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View shipwright's profile


4900 posts in 1424 days

#3 posted 944 days ago

You can’t use both parts with double bevel.The price you pay for one set fitting perfectly is that the other set will have a two x kerf gap.
If you want to use both, your best bet is Boulle style where you will get a “perfect” fit but you will have a one x kerf width all around. This is often useful with a contrasting filler as a “trap line” or can be completely lost with a neutral filler.
Membership in the chevalet club is open if you decide ;-).

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

View SteveMI's profile


848 posts in 1921 days

#4 posted 944 days ago

This is on my list of things to try. I would think that the angle would be different for each thickness.

For 1/4” material, I have seen it recommended to use 2 – 3 degrees.

Fine Woodworking had an article May/June 1995 on it and that author recommended “a jeweler’s saw or a scroll saw, use size 2/0 (2/0, not 2).” and “If I’m cutting 1/16-in.-thick veneer… I tilt.. 8°”.

Hope that helps.

View Cozmo35's profile


2198 posts in 1662 days

#5 posted 944 days ago

I use a scroll saw for my double bevel inlays. If you decrease the angle, it will recess the inside piece down further into the outside piece. If you increase the angle, it will raise the center piece up. You have to cut in a clockwise rotation on every piece. If you start out on a counter-clock wise motion, continue it. DO NOT SWITCH! I usually set my scroll saw table at about a 2 to 3 degree angle. I use a 2/0 double skip blade. The angle of your cut depends on the thickness of your wood. Make several small test cuts to ensure that you have the correct angle. I hope this works out! Take a look at my projects. I have done a number of these. Also, look at this blog.

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View mauibob's profile


180 posts in 1694 days

#6 posted 944 days ago

Hi Philip. For 1/8” pieces, your bevel angle is much too large. I typically do all my double bevel marquetry designs with 3/32” veneers, and use a bevel angle of 4 degrees. For 1/8”, you will need to go slightly below 4 degrees. Just remember, that even a tiny change in angle at 4 degrees can be a LARGE percentage change!

I would try 4 degrees, and then fine tune in 1/8 degree increments below 4 to get the final fit. Also, remember that the angle measurement device on most scroll saws is pretty inaccurate, so a little trial and error will definitely be needed.

One of the problems with 1/8” veneers (and I have also tried these) is that very tiny changes in angle make a huge difference. If you have a drum sander, take your pieces down in thickness to 3/32” and you will find that the tolerances are nowhere near as critical. I have never been happy working with 1/8” thick pieces because of the tolerance problem.

Anyway, in summary, you definitely need to decrease your angle and, to ease the burden on tolerances, try using a slightly less thick veneer (3/32” I have found to be nearly optimum).

Good luck!

-- Bob, Potomac, MD

View Woodenwizard's profile


1068 posts in 1681 days

#7 posted 944 days ago


I do the double bevel on a shop built saw. See my posted video. I use very thin veneers and use a 6/0 blade. the angle on the saw is 12 degrees. The saw is easy fairly easy to build and it is amazing how easy it makes cutting the veneer.

Good luck

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

1653 posts in 1548 days

#8 posted 944 days ago

I do a lot of double bevel inlays. Sometimes 10-12 a day. I use 3/8” stock and use a FD #5 polar blade at 3 degrees. Arrived at this angle using the trial and error method. I use a Wixey angle gage to set it up and I then leave that scroll saw set to that angle and do straight cuts on my other saw.

-- In God We Trust

View MrsN's profile


939 posts in 2152 days

#9 posted 944 days ago

When I do double bevel I always test my angle by cutting circles of the same material. After I cut a circle i check the fit adjust the angle and try again. Usually the angle is between 2 and 4 degrees. I know with my scroll saw it is important to keep from pushing the wood sideways and bending the blade, or the angle can change a bit. I can’t cut straight with a fretsaw, so I admire your efforts. Is anything like blade flex or changing angles adding to your difficulty?

-- ----- ----- --

View Philip's profile


1090 posts in 1165 days

#10 posted 944 days ago

Everyone, thanks for your comments- they are very helpful!

I cut these by hand with my fretsaw, and it sounds like I should make a birds-mouth that is adjustable. I don’t have a scrollsaw or drum sander (someday). In the meantime I rip the thin pieces to width on the tablesaw.

Shipwright- how do you apply the filler to just the kerf?? Do you use the filler as the glue and then sand? That has always seemed sketchy to me since marquetry is done with such thin veneers and oftentimes glued up with surface glue and a veneer hammer.

-- If you can dream it, I can do it!

View shipwright's profile


4900 posts in 1424 days

#11 posted 943 days ago

Gluing marquetry should (almost) never be attempted with the hammer veneering technique. It would all come apart and make a horrible mess. I know this :-(

The filler is applied to the glue side of the marquetry after assembly of the marquetry but before it is applied to the substrate. This piece has been filled with a dark filler to add detail (trap line) and is about to be applied to the piece on the left.

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

View Philip's profile


1090 posts in 1165 days

#12 posted 943 days ago

Looks great! I will have to try this sometime.

-- If you can dream it, I can do it!

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