Taking the Chevalet (no not Chevrolet) for a Test Drive. #3: The Requested Video, Part One.

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Blog entry by shipwright posted 03-10-2011 06:07 AM 6018 reads 6 times favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Dying Veneers, More Practice and the Chianti Black Rooster. Part 3 of Taking the Chevalet (no not Chevrolet) for a Test Drive. series Part 4: Looking Back »

I had two LJ friends over today to do a test drive and we managed to shoot a surprisingly passable video. We started with my digital camera but its battery died so we switched to one of theirs. I was able to find a video editing program downloadable free and managed to clean up the part from my camera but the rest will have to wait a day or so. Anyway this should give you a pretty good idea of how it works. I’m a complete virgin at this video stuff (and the chevalet for that matter) so don’t laugh too hard.
A couple of points. I say it is comprised of three parts, then only mention two…. Oops. The other is the structural frame… You knew that. Many of you may find it long. I won’t be offended if you check out. I was trying to show the project in real time. It took about the same time as the video. the few edits are just minor clean up.

The remaining part will show how the four rowboats turned out (It’s boulle marquetry so if you have a four veneer pack you get four pictures.) and another piece with very sharp corners being cut.

Hope this answers the questions that many of you have had about this fine old tool.

EDIT: “Here are some much better videos done a year and a bit later, After I knew what I was doing. There’s quite a difference.


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

30 comments so far

View Chelios's profile


568 posts in 3093 days

#1 posted 03-10-2011 06:25 AM

I like this unplugged approach, you can probably cut some wicked joints with it.

View Dandog's profile


250 posts in 2801 days

#2 posted 03-10-2011 08:03 AM

You need your own show keep it up..

-- life an woodworking is one big experiment

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3142 days

#3 posted 03-10-2011 11:07 AM

thank´s for the vidio clip :-)
I like that you can use most of the blade to cut with
compared to the two scrollsaws I have try´d years ago that only cut with a half inch or so
and seems to cut pretty fast too :-)

thank´s for taking the time to make it

take care

View nobuckle's profile


1120 posts in 2788 days

#4 posted 03-10-2011 02:28 PM

So the whole thing acts as a scroll saw? I imagine that one could achieve amazing accuracy with such a fine blade. Very nice build.

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

View Maveric777's profile


2693 posts in 3104 days

#5 posted 03-10-2011 02:58 PM

Yet again I am introduced to something new and cool! Awesome video Paul and very informative…. You never cease to amaze me my friend….

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2916 days

#6 posted 03-10-2011 03:07 PM

As the inventors would say, “Magnifique!”.

How fine a blade were you using? It seemed to cut pretty fast.

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

View shipwright's profile


7992 posts in 2825 days

#7 posted 03-10-2011 03:59 PM

Thanks everyone.

I was using a 2/0 marquetry blade from Lee Valley. They have two 2/0 blades, one can be used in a power scroll saw and the other is not supposed to be. This was the latter.

As for the speed, I’m afraid I was rushing to get the video done but the saw will cut very quickly in experienced hands.

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

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3113 days

#8 posted 03-10-2011 05:27 PM

At first, I thought that was quite a bit of work to go to just to build a clamp for some veneer, but once
again you have proved that a good craftsman requires good tools and that good tools in the experienced
hands of a good craftsman result in a great project. You have done it again, while I may never try a
project like this, I know that if I practice enough and am careful enough, I can produce enough kindling
to keep me warm while I appreciate your workmanship,LOL. Thank you once again for sharing and

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3361 days

#9 posted 03-10-2011 09:22 PM

I am well aware of the chevalet, but I have never seen one actually in use before. Thanks for the video, it was very interesting.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Tony Strupulis's profile

Tony Strupulis

260 posts in 3151 days

#10 posted 03-10-2011 09:52 PM

Thank you very much for producing a video of your saw in action. I let my FWW online membership lapse, so I wasn’t able to see the previous video. I am very interested in building one of these, so the more detailed information you provide, the better.

I have a question about the overall design of the machine. Why are the “moving parts” so far away from the blade? Is it a capacity issue for doing really large veneer sheets? It seems like the distance between the saw blade and the linear bearings could be reduced by half. It seems like you would start to feel the effects of flex in the frame members and give in the various joints and connections.

-- Tony -

View dusty2's profile


323 posts in 3457 days

#11 posted 03-10-2011 11:53 PM

Tony, I will have to let Paul address your specific question as to why there is little or no flex but I can attest to the fact there is none. I used his chevalet yesterday; the first time I have ever seen one and it cut beautifully. Now I am very much an amateur at this but I was able to make what I consider some very intricate cuts and had no problems at all (except with my handicapped vision).

-- Making Sawdust Safely

View Tony Strupulis's profile

Tony Strupulis

260 posts in 3151 days

#12 posted 03-11-2011 12:10 AM

I hope we get to see the infinity rowboat posted to the projects section of the site (hint, hint).

-- Tony -

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3188 days

#13 posted 03-11-2011 12:48 AM

It is always good to see a video of something I’ve never heard of until this week. Thanks for posting. I too wonder why the arm is so long. From other chatter on these new Chevalets, I was thinking the foot clamp would be held tight as the blade is used, but it appears that you just apply really light pressure so you can constantly move the work around. Maybe an adjustable weight would suffice for the same? Still a bit confused. I’ll see if I can find other videos. And for goodness sakes, get that camera guy a tripod or a stick. :D Again, thanks for posting, it answered some of my questions.

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

View shipwright's profile


7992 posts in 2825 days

#14 posted 03-11-2011 03:00 AM

Thanks all.

Tony, The saw frame I have in place has a 22” throat. That is a slightly greater capacity than my DeWalt scroll saw.I have found that even this is not enough sometimes. If you look at the photos, you’ll see that the distance from the slide assembly to the cutting area is adjustable for different saw frames. You can get saw frames from 12” to 30” within the adjustment I built in. If you were doing only small work perhaps a shorter frame would suffice. rance, These new Chevalets? Are there others being built?

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

View patron's profile


13608 posts in 3368 days

#15 posted 03-11-2011 03:24 AM

thanks paul
i too never heard of this tool
and wondered how it could possibly make those inlays of old

very impressive hands on work
simple and effective

so how do you keep the veneers stable to each other
spray glue

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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