The Black Rooster, My Latest Marquetry Project #3: Assembling the Serving Tray

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Blog entry by shipwright posted 01-07-2013 10:15 PM 3900 reads 3 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Sand Shading, Assembly and Some More Cutting. Part 3 of The Black Rooster, My Latest Marquetry Project series no next part

With the marquetry complete the next job is to find a place to display it, in this case a round serving tray. I started out by sawing curved sections of some 1 1/ 2” cherry I had to the inside and outside diameters I wanted and then assembled them with simple scarf joints cut freehand on the bandsaw.

When the glue was set, I smoothed the top and bottom to thickness with my drum sander.

Then after sanding the inside fair with the OSS and the outside with the ShopSmith disc sander, I did a corner round all around the top. All that is too boring for pictures so on to machining the bottom. This is the jig I set up to undercut the handles. It’s very simple, just two square scraps clamped to my SS mounted router table.

I used a 1/2” core box bit to get a radius from the handle to the frame…........

...and a mortising bit to clean off the outside edge.

All that leaves is a simple rebate to receive the tray bottom. Simple if you have a rebating bit. I was amazed to find that my extensive set of cheap router bits did not include one so improvisation (one of my very favorite things) would be necessary. This photo shows my idiot proof rebating jig solution.I think it speaks for itself…. and I won’t be rushing out to get a rebating bit.

Here’s the fully machined frame. All it needs now is a little finish sanding, some dye and a little shellac.

The dye is Color FX aniline from Woodessence and the color is a wash of red followed by thinned layers of burnt sienna until I got the color I wanted. The finish is all shellac, French polish on the bottom and not so shiny on the frame. Here are a before and after of the dye job.

That’s it . It should be posted in projects today.

Thanks for looking in and remember questions, comments and of course any critiques are always welcome.


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

20 comments so far

View Schwieb's profile


1858 posts in 3490 days

#1 posted 01-07-2013 10:54 PM

Really nice work Paul, except for the marquetry, I could do this.

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

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10123 posts in 4081 days

#2 posted 01-07-2013 11:00 PM

Very nice procedure / technique…

That really came out great!

Thank you.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20600 posts in 3134 days

#3 posted 01-07-2013 11:25 PM

Hi Paul. For some reason I did not get any of the photos to come through.

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Sodabowski's profile


2374 posts in 2862 days

#4 posted 01-07-2013 11:25 PM

The last picture speaks in leagues to my marquetry sweet spot. Thanks for sharing the art!

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 2951 days

#5 posted 01-07-2013 11:48 PM

Hi Paul,
As usual, a very organized and systematic way of doing things. I learned again from you… the joint on the circular molding. Zigzag cut… I can still see it in my provincial house buit 1958 where I was born same year. This kind of joint been used for long span wooden beam and thrusses.

Just a question, if you don’t mind. The shellac finish… I experience it whitenes when spilled with spirits, does the French polish good enough to protect it from spirits? Can you recommend other ways in top coating shellac finish. Thank you very much.

-- Bert

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10548 posts in 3457 days

#6 posted 01-07-2013 11:51 PM

Masterful work, as always.
Phyl said “My God, that’s Gorgeous.”
Keep it up my friend. You’ll get the hang of it sooner or later.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4106 days

#7 posted 01-08-2013 01:18 AM

very cool process!

Question: you put the frame on the bottom BEFORE dying…could you have done it the other way?

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2833 days

#8 posted 01-08-2013 01:22 AM

You are thee Marquetry Master

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View tinnman65's profile


1357 posts in 3443 days

#9 posted 01-08-2013 02:07 AM

Hi Paul, I was just wondering how the bottom is attached to the rebate in the frame? Love the jig also!

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3953 days

#10 posted 01-08-2013 02:26 AM

You make it look easy, Slick idea for the rebate jig.

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1132 posts in 2235 days

#11 posted 01-08-2013 03:25 AM

Again, brilliant work! I enjoy seeing your jigs and fixtures as well! Thanks for sharing!


-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View shipwright's profile


7996 posts in 2827 days

#12 posted 01-08-2013 03:59 AM

Thanks everyone.

Bert, That scarf is used a lot on boats too. Shellac is an alcohol based finish so pure alcohol will soften or melt it but a cured French polish finish is quite hard and resistant to most things.

Matt, The dying was done pre-assembly. It’s not glued in the first photo.

Paul, It’s glued in.

Thanks again.

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

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3189 days

#13 posted 01-08-2013 07:26 AM

Very nicely done Paul. I like the way you undercut the handles. Clever.

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

View ZED's profile


83 posts in 2387 days

#14 posted 01-08-2013 07:40 AM

Wait a sec you did this with a shopsmith?!!! That is awesome. I own a shop smith, but I did not know they had a drum sander atachment or a router insert. I have a bands saw and a lathe. Great job, followed the blog and realy enjoy your post. What was the finish you used?

-- A good craftsman is able to make it work with the tools he has, I still need more tools

View shipwright's profile


7996 posts in 2827 days

#15 posted 01-08-2013 02:05 PM

Zed, They don’t but You can make your own. Here' s my drum sander and here’ s my router insert.

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

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