Simple Jigs and Techniques #14: Fast Accurate Louis Cubes

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Blog entry by shipwright posted 12-31-2017 06:04 AM 2674 reads 4 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 13: Making Fine Dust for Marquetry Mastic Part 14 of Simple Jigs and Techniques series Part 15: Hot Pipe Bending »

Louis cubes have been around for ever and with good reason. They are just a great 3D illusion.
I was making some this week for a couple of parquetry panels in my current project and took some pictures of the way I do it.
Maybe someone can use the ideas.

First I rough ripped the strips of ribbon Bloodwood veneer on my sled with a covering piece of 3/4” plywood.

Then I trued them to exact width with a simple shooting board.

On to the guillotine to chop the trapezoids.

If you get the pieces accurately cut,assembly is dead easy. The only thing to watch is that you get the small amount of tearout (from the bottom of the pieces as they cut in the guillotine) to be the glue side. The tops will be perfect.

Bottom (glue side)

Top (show side)

Assembled panel. Start to finish a panel like this takes about an hour.

Thanks for looking


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

22 comments so far

View Druid's profile


1735 posts in 2727 days

#1 posted 12-31-2017 06:44 AM

Great to be able to see your technique Paul. Thanks for sharing.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2076 posts in 994 days

#2 posted 12-31-2017 07:16 AM

“Falling Blocks” have a name? “Louis Cubes?” New one on me.

-- Mark

View Woodwrecker's profile


4128 posts in 3507 days

#3 posted 12-31-2017 07:36 AM

Always a pleasure to watch how you do a process Paul.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

-- Eric, central Florida / Utor praemia operibus duris

View degoose's profile


7228 posts in 3286 days

#4 posted 12-31-2017 07:46 AM

Louis cubes were originally names after French King Louis XIV [not sure of the number] the pattern was then adopted by American quilters and called tumbling blocks…
As I understand it…It is a tessellated rhomboid..
Nice work…
And you might want to check out Robin Tucker who cuts his pieces with a bicycle power table saw…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View madburg's profile


197 posts in 774 days

#5 posted 12-31-2017 09:25 AM

Great method. Like the guillotine. Season greetings and a successful and prosperous 2018 to you and yours!

-- Madburg WA

View stefang's profile


15874 posts in 3265 days

#6 posted 12-31-2017 11:17 AM

You make it look so easy Paul. Perfect result.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View oldguy2's profile


153 posts in 1359 days

#7 posted 12-31-2017 11:48 AM

Thanks for the make it look easy when you see the parts shown well. Very good points. As a retired teacher, my compliments. Have safe travels in 2018.
My future Shop and home is in Glendale.AZ. Thanks again for the blog. Good to go with my Shopsmith and tool sets and planning so far.

View Schwieb's profile


1857 posts in 3392 days

#8 posted 12-31-2017 12:51 PM

I’m inspired, You make it look so easy as a master always does.

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

View drewpy's profile


783 posts in 1288 days

#9 posted 12-31-2017 02:13 PM

Great process and thanks for sharing the detail.

-- Drew -- "The greatest wealth is health".

View a1Jim's profile


117029 posts in 3508 days

#10 posted 12-31-2017 02:35 PM

Very cool thanks, Paul.

-- wood crafting & classes

View Roman - THE BOOTMAN's profile


926 posts in 2617 days

#11 posted 12-31-2017 03:34 PM

Nice work Paul. Reminds me of my days at school, learning geometry!
HAPPY NEW YEAR! All the best in 2018!
It;s minus 31 here this morning! Bah Humbug!

-- Author of POWER CARVING BOOTS & SHOES - Schiffer Publishing. Available online or your favourite bookstore.

View drewpy's profile


783 posts in 1288 days

#12 posted 12-31-2017 04:03 PM

Thanks for sharing your tips. I would love to try this sometime but I don’t think I have to proper equipment to make these accurate cuts. You help inspire me. Thanks!

-- Drew -- "The greatest wealth is health".

View htl's profile


3688 posts in 1090 days

#13 posted 12-31-2017 04:48 PM

Super nice job!!!

-- Learn More About Making Wooden Models. An Index Of My Model making Blogs.

View Jerry's profile


2573 posts in 1579 days

#14 posted 12-31-2017 05:46 PM

This is a great post Paul, thanks!

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View htl's profile


3688 posts in 1090 days

#15 posted 12-31-2017 05:53 PM

shipwright May I ask what type blade you used for you diy guillotine.

-- Learn More About Making Wooden Models. An Index Of My Model making Blogs.

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