Chevalet Number Three........... "Bob's Chevy"

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Project by shipwright posted 10-01-2012 10:35 PM 6789 views 22 times favorited 39 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my third chevalet de marqueterie. I should be getting it down pat soon.

There is a difference this time however, this one is a commission for a friend, a fellow Lumberjock in fact. He is a fine marqueteur already and I can’t wait to see what he does with a chevalet in his hands.

The material is spaulted Garry Oak with accents in Paduk, Wenge, Arbutus and Bubinga. The finish is Minwax Jacobean stain and antique oil.

I won’t go into much detail as the details are covered in my other two chevalet posts (here and here) but one notable improvement is the blade clamp system. By switching from steel to aluminium I was able to do a much better machining job without metalworking tools. They don’t work any better but look much more professional.

The last photo shows what Patrick Edwards would call the “pre-industrial” corner of my shop with two chevalets, my screw press and my new bench.

I did a small video to show the accuracy test used to assure complete squareness between the blade and the packet clamps (therefore the packet). You cut a keyhole shape from a piece of material as thick as your packet will be. If the cut out piece slides easily out of the hole either way without binding you are square in both vertical and horizontal planes. If the ball binds, you are off on the vertical plane and if the tail binds, you are off on the horizontal plane. There are built in adjusters to fix any problems. The good news here is that with all adjusters at zero the cut was perfect on the first try.

Thanks for looking.

Questions, comments and critiques are always welcome.


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

39 comments so far

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 2351 days

#1 posted 10-01-2012 10:38 PM

Tools that are furniture quality…Very nice Paul…You can always tell a boatbuilder by the round (porthole) window in your door

View Roger's profile


17667 posts in 1847 days

#2 posted 10-01-2012 10:48 PM


-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View DocSavage45's profile


6607 posts in 1885 days

#3 posted 10-01-2012 10:50 PM

I’m with Greg on this…and WOW! Time ,labor and materials??? Then ad your creativity and craftsmanship.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Boatman53's profile


902 posts in 1239 days

#4 posted 10-01-2012 10:51 PM

Nice job Paul. I’ve often wondered about those machines/tools. It looks very easy to control. I haven’t done much fret sawing, just some mother of pearl for instruments. I’m pretty much used the blade going up and down not sure I could do it front to back.

-- Jim, Long Island, NY home of the chain leg vise

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

14018 posts in 2148 days

#5 posted 10-01-2012 10:59 PM

Sweet tool, Paul!!!!!!!!!!!!...........Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

8445 posts in 3095 days

#6 posted 10-01-2012 11:05 PM


That really has a narrow kerf doesn’t it?

Yep… truly AMAZING!

Thank you!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View mmh's profile


3647 posts in 2765 days

#7 posted 10-01-2012 11:10 PM

Beautifully made chevalet! I think I need one, or at least I know I WANT one!

My shaving mule made from pine 2×4’s is being put to shame . . . alas, she’s a working mule too.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View SPalm's profile


5174 posts in 2925 days

#8 posted 10-01-2012 11:39 PM

Very nice. A true machine of art in its own right.

I watched the video several times and you never raised your feet. I had always figured that a lot of foot/hand coordination was needed. But I guess you just keep the vise kind of closed and then just a really small foot movement is needed?

You just amaze me,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View rance's profile


4196 posts in 2203 days

#9 posted 10-01-2012 11:50 PM

Aqui, aqui. And a perfect key at that. I too was watching for foot movement. I see that it is your heels that you keep pressure.

I want to build one of these so bad, but alas, no place to put it and nothing to use it on… yet.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View a1Jim's profile


113738 posts in 2620 days

#10 posted 10-01-2012 11:53 PM

Impressive as always a great job Paul.

-- Custom furniture

View shipwright's profile (online now)


6192 posts in 1841 days

#11 posted 10-02-2012 12:41 AM

Steve and Rance The feet initially clamp down on the packet, You can see that easily in the video. After that it is more or less a constant light pressure that allows easy movement of the packet but allows no rattle or vibration between the jaws, Does that make sense? It’s really a very relaxed thing once you get it down.

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

View Karson's profile


34987 posts in 3443 days

#12 posted 10-02-2012 12:44 AM

Beautiful job.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Jim Sellers's profile

Jim Sellers

360 posts in 1378 days

#13 posted 10-02-2012 01:02 AM

I was impressed with this machinery when I saw your first video a while back. Would love to try one and may even try a build further down the road. I’m getting more interested in marquetry and I hate using power tools on something I can do by hand. Thanks for the pics and video.

-- J.C.Sellers, Norcross, Ga. Just cut it right the first time. The best carpenters make the fewest chips.

View BertFlores58's profile


1648 posts in 1965 days

#14 posted 10-02-2012 01:51 AM

There a more improvements coming. I can still wait for the 4th, 5th, or maybe 7th… before I make my own.

-- Bert

View Mauricio's profile


7062 posts in 2194 days

#15 posted 10-02-2012 02:07 AM

Man this is freaking amazing, especially for me since I never even heard of a Chavelet! Great work!

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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