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Taking the Chevalet (no not Chevrolet) for a Test Drive. #1: Layout and Cutting... and a senior moment

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Blog entry by shipwright posted 03-06-2011 12:02 AM 2329 reads 5 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Taking the Chevalet (no not Chevrolet) for a Test Drive. series Part 2: Dying Veneers, More Practice and the Chianti Black Rooster. »

So the chevalet is finished and it’s time to take her for a test drive. Like any test drive, you want to really put her through her paces so first up is to find a challenging road, or in this case some intricate clip art.

Trace the artwork onto white paper. The veneers are home dyed with concentrated aniline dye in isopropyl alcohol.

Tape the backs to keep the tiny bits attached when cutting.

Stack the veneers into a packet and attach the pattern with spray adhesive.

And then the easy part. (who knew) This machine makes following these lines really easy compared to my struggles with the scroll saw.

The assembled pieces. Here’s the senior moment. I, for some reason, didn’t include two field veneers in the packet. That means that I have two sets of all the parts but I will have to re-cut all the same lines again to place them in their fields.

This is where I am now. If I had included the field veneers, all of this cutting would have taken (me, a beginner) about three hours and I’d have two complete sets, one with leaves alternating light – dark – light and one dark – light – dark. The way I did it it has taken six hours, isn’t as sharp, and I only have one. ... but I’m happy with the one and all the things I don’t like about the whole deal are related to my novice mistakes and not to the chevalet. The white leaves are actually dark green. They still have pattern paper stuck to them.

There are a couple more elements to this marquetry before I glue it up into, I’m thinking maybe a cheese and cracker serving board or such like, so I’ll keep you posted as the results roll in.

Until next time,

Paul

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/



16 comments so far

View Pawky's profile

Pawky

278 posts in 1454 days


#1 posted 03-06-2011 12:12 AM

Very cool. I’d be interested of seeing a video of you using it. Maybe not of the whole 6 hours but a section so I can see how you are using it :) Not sure if you are able to do that or not. Thanks for all you’ve shared

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

4955 posts in 1449 days


#2 posted 03-06-2011 12:15 AM

I have a friend coming over on Wednesday with a video camera so we’ll see what happens.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View HalDougherty's profile

HalDougherty

1820 posts in 1888 days


#3 posted 03-06-2011 12:26 AM

Wow, I bet an inlay like that would look good on something in my sailboat!

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com

View Dandog's profile

Dandog

249 posts in 1425 days


#4 posted 03-06-2011 12:42 AM

Paul this is a good series you got going. We’ll be looking for the video on Thursday. Ha ha .

-- life an woodworking is one big experiment

View BertFlores58's profile

BertFlores58

1646 posts in 1573 days


#5 posted 03-06-2011 01:13 AM

Hi Paul,
On your experience in using this, what is the thickest veneer or stacks of these that can be cut? I like most of my project to be at least 1/8 inch thick to give leeway for sanding and planing. I use most of the time recycled pieces from door jambs, frames and plenty of 2×3s. With my circular saw, I can rip this out to 1/4 up to 1/8 inch thick using zero clearance. Stacking and thicker wood might slow down a bit during cutting but in a long run and repeated pattern it would be much faster.

By the way, I will be following this. This will be another woodworking process that will test my skill in the future. Thanks for posting.

-- Bert

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

4955 posts in 1449 days


#6 posted 03-06-2011 01:25 AM

Bert All I’ve had a chance to use it with is standard thickness veneer. What I’ve been reading and seeing on the internet is that you can cut up to a dozen thicknesses plus backer. The machine’s really for that type of use but I see no reason why you couldn’t cut a few layers of thicker shop cut veneer. I like to use thicker myself. This is my first go with “store bought” ones.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4806 posts in 2533 days


#7 posted 03-06-2011 01:55 AM

That is so cool.

I am so ignorant at this. I guess this first try was at 90 degrees. (?) I know you have the ability to tilt, but do you only use that for thicker veneers?

How do you get the clear tape off the back of the little pieces?

Also, how the heck do you glue that all up? Tape it all up with standard veneer tape, and then glue that that subassembly to the substrate in a vacuum press?

Whew,
Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

4955 posts in 1449 days


#8 posted 03-06-2011 02:54 AM

Steve, This machine is about 90 degree cuts. I checked it out this morning and the adjustment is only good for about 2 or 3 degrees each way. That means that double bevel style cutting would require a significant alteration in design. The boulle style and the classic “several identical copies” style both require exact 90 degree cuts to produce several identical parts with each cut. I don’t think that a classic antique chevalet has any more adjustment than mine, from looking at the photos I’ve seen. I’m pretty sure the adjustment is there to tune it to 90 deg exactly.

Second question: with great difficulty

Third question: see second answer

Fourth question: No, hide glue and veneer hammer.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View BigTiny's profile

BigTiny

1664 posts in 1539 days


#9 posted 03-06-2011 05:50 AM

To see a machine designed for double bevel cutting complete with plan drawings, check ou the tutorials section at:

www.redbridgemarquetrygroup.com

It’s a very well designed machine and the plans show both a free standing and a table top version. Very highly detailed drawings with a full materials list and all dimensions.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Dave's profile

Dave

11168 posts in 1491 days


#10 posted 03-06-2011 07:04 AM

I have never seen one in action a video would be informative. Thank you for sharing.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

4955 posts in 1449 days


#11 posted 03-06-2011 07:37 AM

Tiny where did you see the full size one? I’ve been all over their site and seen the portable one, Which could be set up for double bevel but not a “stationary” one.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View BigTiny's profile

BigTiny

1664 posts in 1539 days


#12 posted 03-06-2011 09:26 AM

Sorry, Paul. It would seem they have deleted the floor model since I last visited the site. It is basically the same as the table top one but with legs that extend to the floor instead if just ending at the top of the table. Easy to redesign.

Either way, it is a nice machine and easily shop built for those into marquetry or inlay.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4367 posts in 1687 days


#13 posted 03-06-2011 11:38 AM

Works well, Paul. Things are so easy when you have the right tools.

As for the senior moments We all suffer from them as well. I’m only going to worry when mine all join up.

I think the only way I’d do a video is if I didn’t have to talk. More like an old silent movie. Good luck with yours and I look forward to seeing it.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com

View rivergirl's profile

rivergirl

3198 posts in 1489 days


#14 posted 03-06-2011 09:42 PM

I would also like to see a video of you using this bugger. :)

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

600 posts in 2480 days


#15 posted 03-07-2011 07:26 AM

Paul, how easy do you find it to make interior cuts with the chevalet? Could you describe the procedure you use to thread the blade through the hole and tighten it back up again? Do you have to turn that nice knob to ease the blade tension before you release the blade with the thumbscrews?

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

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