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How to Build a Chevalet From Scratch #5: Finishing Up, Refining the Prototype

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Blog entry by shipwright posted 1237 days ago 3145 reads 4 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Another Little Modification Part 5 of How to Build a Chevalet From Scratch series Part 6: New Improved Chevalet Sketchup »

When I started to build the chevalet from a few photos on the internet, I wasn’t at all sure it would amount to anything at all so in many places corners were cut to quickly achieve a prototype that would serve to test the critical parts and determine whether more detailed work was warranted. The resulting saw, although quite functional and in it’s own right a very usable tool, was a little rough around the edges and needed some refinement before I would be truly happy with it.

I have now completed most of the details that make this project more of a chevalet and less of a prototype chevalet …...... and here they are.

The first few have been touched on already but just to have it all in one place I’ll briefly allude to them again here. They were the seat, the modified clamp jaws, and the new blade clamp design.

Next up was to redesign the tumblers to be more stable and easier to align. The key here is to make parallel dadoes by referencing the same side of the piece for both cuts and then shaping the tumblers from there. This would have been nice to do on a router table with a 1/2” straight bit and a 5/8” core box bit. I could not, however, find a 5/8” core box bit in Tucson and as my time in Az. is growing short, I did them with a dado set. It works as well but doesn’t look as nice. The piece in the first photo makes all the parts. Other than that I think the pictures are self explanatory.

This one shows the new tumblers in place with the new, more robust saw frame.

The saw frame support has been made adjustable.

And an adjustment has been added to control the angle of the movable jaw to more precisely clamp varying thicknesses of veneer packets. The wing nuts are loosened and the shim is replaced to change the angle.

Lastly the front appearance was improved by adding a bit of marquetry, cut by the chevalet of course, to hide the nasty chipped out surface of the clamp front. The motif chosen was a Rising Phoenix to commemorate the discarded fir beam from which the chevalet frame was built and , just a little tip of the hat to my winter home in Az. The chosen bit of clip art was deliberately picked for it’s many sharp points. It was cut in boulle marquetry style so there is no “waste side” and the sharp tips were all cut by turning on the spot and cutting back. I could never do this on my DeWalt scroll saw.

Time for a couple of finished shots out in the Az. sun.

Now that it’s all finished, I’ll be leaving for home on Vancouver Island next Wednesday and since Alaska Airlines isn’t interested in letting me take it as carry on, I’ll just have to build another one when I get home. I’m all signed up for Patrick Edwards’ American School of French Marquetry course next February and I want to get lots of chevalet time in before I go.

Bye for now.

Paul

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



15 comments so far

View bhog's profile

bhog

2067 posts in 1314 days


#1 posted 1237 days ago

awesome

-- I don't drive a Prius.

View BarbS's profile

BarbS

2433 posts in 2709 days


#2 posted 1237 days ago

That is indeed, awesome, and you’re going to study under Edwards! That is very exciting. I’ve heard he is a great and personable teacher. Congrats on a fine build, but then, you are accustomed to those. :-)

-- http://barbsid.blogspot.com/

View sandhill's profile

sandhill

2117 posts in 2548 days


#3 posted 1237 days ago

I can’t seem to get time to work on mine. Time is a big issue for me right now so I will get done what I can as I can do it. Nice job and have a good trip.

-- Bob Egbert AKA Sandhill http://www.sandhillwoodworks.com/

View LittlePaw's profile

LittlePaw

1571 posts in 1702 days


#4 posted 1237 days ago

Not only is it a functional tool, you’ve made it into a great piece of carpentry art! Your attention to detail really show through on this. I am sure you will do very well in marquetry. I wish I have that kind of patience, Paul.

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View tdv's profile

tdv

1114 posts in 1694 days


#5 posted 1237 days ago

Paul you do beatiful work my friend, the marquetry panel is gilding the lily I’d be proud to stick that on a box let alone a bench/tool
Best
Trevor

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

View Dez's profile

Dez

1113 posts in 2701 days


#6 posted 1236 days ago

Great blog and build! Thanks and have fun.

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

590 posts in 2454 days


#7 posted 1236 days ago

Paul that Phoenix is really the icing on the cake… Now you get to do it all over again back home! Have a safe trip!

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

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4783 posts in 2506 days


#8 posted 1236 days ago

You have done very well indeed. And the phoenix is truly a fitting plaque for it. Both for the symbolism and the degree of difficulty.

I am inspired by your work,
Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View LittlePaw's profile

LittlePaw

1571 posts in 1702 days


#9 posted 1236 days ago

It is beautiful, Paul. It looks like an artist’s easel on steroids! (meant as a compliment!!)

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

4896 posts in 1422 days


#10 posted 1236 days ago

Thanks everyone,

It’s been a lot of fun. the next one will be better or a little different anyway.

Little Paw, “chevalet” is actually French for “easel” so “chevalet de marqueterie” = “marquetry easel”, so much better than the English name “Donkey Saw”

-- 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 1512 days


#11 posted 1235 days ago

When you build the new one, here’s a tip for the clamp adjustment. Make the gap where the shim goes tapered and use a truncated wedge to make the adjustment. That way it will fit many thicknesses of packet without having to change shims. Just slide the wedge up or down to change the space at the head.

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

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

4896 posts in 1422 days


#12 posted 1235 days ago

That’s a good idea. The truth is I didn’t have anything made for the spot when I took the photo so I stuck a piece of 1/4” brass I had in the gap. In reality it’s unlikely it will often, or ever, be adjusted.

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

View Schwieb's profile

Schwieb

1492 posts in 2085 days


#13 posted 1230 days ago

Paul, I wish I had your energy much less skill and talent. You do such really good work.

I am inspired and extend my highest compliments. I mean that sincerely.

Ken

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

View LittlePaw's profile

LittlePaw

1571 posts in 1702 days


#14 posted 1230 days ago

Well, Paul, I don’t know how you did it, but you inspired me to finally build a pyramid shaped clamp stand on wheels yesterday. It’s nowhere close to the chevalet you built in design and execution, but now I can find any clamp I need in one place! Thanx, Paul.

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View bilbaggins's profile

bilbaggins

97 posts in 1073 days


#15 posted 485 days ago

Brilliant project posts!!!

Many, many thanks for your efforts and sharing. Now I gotta go make one….

-- bilbaggins says: The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now. ~ Chinese proverb

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