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How to Build a Chevalet From Scratch #4: Another Little Modification

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Blog entry by shipwright posted 03-22-2011 05:51 AM 5008 reads 4 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Some Chevalet Modifications A New Friend Part 4 of How to Build a Chevalet From Scratch series Part 5: Finishing Up, Refining the Prototype »

This is a bit of the fine tuning I knew awaited me once I started getting into the chevalet. My original (re-invention of the wheel) blade clamps worked very well, at least I thought they did until I did the “keyhole test” for checking the accuracy of your setup of the blade at exactly 90 degrees to the work. This square setup is essential to success in the boulle or classic cutting methods. The keyhole test is the standard test for accuracy. You cut down into a thickish piece of material, do a circle and cut back out near the entry point. I’f you’re perfectly set up the cutout will slide out either way. If you’re off square in the horizontal, the stem of the keyhole will hang you up in one direction. If you’re off square on the vertical, the circle will hold you up.

Here are my keyholes. #1 was held up by the circle. The stem was fine. In #2 I adjusted the vertical adjuster up about 1/16”+ and the piece came out both ways. The rest are just experiments with how the adjusters affected the keyhole cutout.

So much for the good news. My chevalet is very close to true right out of the chute. There is a serious problem that arises however. The way I originally designed the blade clamp allows the blade to be clamped against the vertical surface of the square bar anywhere on it’s 3/8” face leaving a large opportunity to have a very off square (vertical) blade after removing / re-setting it.


Patrick Edwards helped me out on this one and I re-designed my clamp accordingly. This is the new setup. Now when the blade is fitted into the clamp it is on the same side as the screw and can rest on the screw insuring that it occupies the same spot in the clamp every time. The best way to learn is to make mistakes, discover them and fix them. You live and learn.

I have one more modification that I need to do that I know of. It relates to the hinged side of the veneer clamping jaws. I’ll post it when I get it done. For now, I think tomorrow may be a golf day.

Later

Paul

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



9 comments so far

View BigTiny's profile

BigTiny

1664 posts in 1636 days


#1 posted 03-22-2011 06:17 AM

Golf?

I never met a little white ball I was that mad at!

(grin)

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

View William's profile

William

9270 posts in 1590 days


#2 posted 03-22-2011 10:05 AM

I’m not sure if this has been asked. I have tried to read all your posts on this. So I’ll ask anyway.
What type and length of blade does is use?
When I say type, I mean does it use coping saw blades? Scrollsaw blades?
If it uses scroll saw blades (what I’m most familiar with), couldn’t you theoretically use any type of scroll saw blades? For example, spirals? The reason I’m thinking this is that my blade of choice is spirals. I’ve been looking at this as a potential for building something with much greater throat depth than I have now though.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4935 posts in 2630 days


#3 posted 03-22-2011 02:34 PM

Hey Paul,
Good for you for testing. And thanks for sharing a solution.

I am amazed that you were able to cut that MDF with such precision. I am impressed.

Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1863 days


#4 posted 03-22-2011 04:05 PM

thank´s for the update´s you make everytime you find things to bee finetuned :-)
I´m looking forward to the next toturial

good luck with hitting the sandgrave tomorrow they say that´s were the fun is (grin)

take care
Dennis

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

5307 posts in 1546 days


#5 posted 03-22-2011 04:26 PM

William, The blades are essentially scroll saw blades, but very fine ones. As I understand it with scroll saw blades the larger the number, the larger the blade and with jewelers’ blades the opposite. By that definition it is actually jewelers’ blades (2/0 to be exact) that I am using but for some work as small as 6/0 are used.The most important thing in fine marquetry, especially boulle style where the kerf is usually seen, is to leave the thinnest kerf possible.

As for building this type of tool as a larger scroll saw for normal scroll work, I see no reason that it might not work. If I really wanted to build a saw for large scroll work though I’d look at building an “overhead jig saw” per the description in Pierre Ramond’s “Marquetry”. It is ceiling mounted above your table, sprung with a bow or leaf spring and has a throat as big as the distance to the nearest wall. It’s probably easier to build too.

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

View William's profile

William

9270 posts in 1590 days


#6 posted 03-22-2011 09:57 PM

Thanks Shipwright. I will be checking into that. I’ve got ideas for a much larger throat scroll saw. The largest I’ve seen on the market is around 30” I think, and it is way out of my price range.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View William's profile

William

9270 posts in 1590 days


#7 posted 03-23-2011 12:56 AM

I’ve been trying to research online about overhead jig saws and Pierre Ramond. Do you know of anywhere I can see a photo of what you’re talking about so I can possible get an idea if its an idea I may want to persue?

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

5307 posts in 1546 days


#8 posted 03-23-2011 01:36 AM

It’s in his book but that’s out of print and getting expensive. I’ll see what I can find for you.

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

View William's profile

William

9270 posts in 1590 days


#9 posted 03-23-2011 03:35 AM

Thanks.
And as for the book, from what I’ve found so far, it isn’t getting expensive, it already is. If I could find out more about it though and decided to build one, the price of the book would be well worth it, and I think I’d find other aspects of the book of great use as well. If I ever get the time in between my other projects, marquetry is one of those many things I want to try my hand at.
I will also keep researching it as I get the time. I thought maybe the local library may have a copy of the book. We have an amazing collection of arts and crafts books at the local library here.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

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