OK, so we have a box and we have a base. The easy bit is over. On to the scary as hell bit. As I started to contemplate the possible pitfalls in these next steps I really started to wonder if I could carry it off at all without glaring errors that I would be unable to live with. As of this writing that feeling has abated only a little. Oh well if it wasn’t a challenge it wouldn’t be worth the time, would it.
Before Starting on the outside the inside veveering has to be done so, matching grain as well as the material allowed, I glued up the spalted maple interior. This is the back panel and as you can see the veneer here covers a good part of the hinge, adding considerably to it’s strength.
Gluing up the twelve pentagons uses up almost half of my larger bag.
Here, the top half veneers are laid out in their final arrangement. The background will be bubinga veneer with a little dye to bring out it’s full glory. The center pentagon will need very little bubinga so it has had the appropriate pieces added to a “sacrificial” piece.
I made a check here to be sure things were still laying out well and then cut the pieces of the photo into their respective sections for cutting of the individual pieces.
This is the leaf marquetry, all glued up. Any miscuts on this piece from here on in will be quite a problem to fix.
This photo shows the central concept of double bevel marquetry. The inlay piece, here the bubinga, is double sided taped on top of the field piece, here the maple, and the cut is made at an angle that will allow the top cutout to fit perfectly into the space cut in the bottom layer.
Now, with the center pentagon cut close to final size, the radial components are given a final check against the actual box parts to make sure that, when aligned with the now immovable center parts, they still fit on the backgrounds. This is where it starts to get scary.
The bubinga veneers are still oversize and the maple leaf is an amorphous thing so I’m thinking that I still have room for error. Not so much when you think about it. Once the inlay pieces are cut to index with the center piece You are pretty much tied into a zero tolerance for error situation through final assembly. This will include location of the veneers on the box pieces exactly, with no slip in glue-up. This is about where the “What was I thinking?” thing came up. It’s a lot tricker than a box.
I decided that I was asking too much here so I thought that I would to try to install a small escape route. If something were to go off a little in glue up (and it probably will) I could save it if the leaf edges all crossed the pentagon margins at close to 90 degree angles. Then I could shrink all the pieces the same amount but take a little more off one side than the other to re-align them…..maybe. Not much room for error but it may be enough. Here I’m indexing a side panel to the center before tracing the outline (with the above alterations).
One hurdle behind me now. The pieces are all cut and they align nicely (now). I’m really thanking my lucky stars for having dropped the idea of running the tip of one or two leaves over a side or the bottom of it’s panel and onto the next.
All sanded up and ready for dying. The fits are acceptable but I have the hugest respect for the great scrollers on this site. Make no mistake, this only looks good because the maple leaf is not a rigid shape that must be accurately replicated. I find sharp turns to be particularly challenging.
Next up will be a segment on the dying of the leaf. I’m trying to expand on what I did in “Cabinetree” and develop some solutions (no pun intended) to some of the “dye as watercolor” challenges. The leaf will be all one color, green this time, but I am trying to use subtle shadings to make it more realistic than the “fall leaves” on the other box.
Thanks for checking in.
I’m still having fun and I hope it’s still interesting some of you and I still hope that it’s encouraging some of you to help develop this dying technique. I’ve only scratched the surface here.
Thanks again, please comment, question, suggest or whatever.
-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglas boats he would have given us fibrerglas trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/