This new project is an experiment in many ways. It is my first real venture into hand tools as the main instruments of destruction. It is also one of the trickiest marquetry fitting jobs I have tackled and to make it fun I’ve decided to fit it up with full blind dovetails. I have cut dovetails by hand before …..... once….. about ten years ago but they came out fine so I’m up for the challenge.
This is the marquetry that will adorn the sides of the box. The intent is a seamless ring of this guilloche that meets perfectly at all four corners. That’s going to take a miracle on its own.
(Making this guilloche pattern is explained here)
There are a lot of pictures here of me having a ball with my new workbench, vices and hand tools so I’ll keep the commentary down to a minimum. Who knew that quiet woodworking was this much fun?
Prepping the stock, cheap poplar.
Cutting the end rebate.
Clearing the waste
..and finishing to the line.
This is a pre-cut (to length) side piece of the guilloche. The box side must be marked exactly the same length.
With the pieces cut to length and both ends rebated, a couple of hours have gone by and all these tools were used. I could have done the same work in a few minutes in one setup on the table saw. ..... so why am I grinning like a fool?
Here is the work accomplished.
Now the pieces have been separated box from lid and I’m starting the hinge. The two pieces are clamped together in the leg vice for jointing.
Here the back piece of marquetry is placed under the box back to lay out hinge locations.
The lid piece and box piece are again clamped together for cutting. A veneer nail in the rebate at each end holds the alignment.
I rounded the corners off with my new silent router….
...and sanded them smooth with one of my fine abranet sanding blocks, a gift from a friend and fellow LJ, Jim Rowe. OK I cut the pin groove with the table saw. I did briefly consider making a scratch stock that would do the round over and the groove at once, but the madness passed.
Chop close to the line…
... and pare to it….
... and you’ve got a hinge.
In this shot I’m marking the hinge on the back of the marquetry because for some reason I think I can run the guilloche pattern right through the hinge …... we’ll see about that one.
This is the challenge. I will have to cut the marquetry on this line and then press it around the rounded parts of the hinge. I think it can be done ….. but if I knew for sure, it just wouldn’t be any fun at all.
I should be ready to post the dovetails tomorrow (if they work out). I will have to make one of those sneaky allen wrench router planes to do the rebate for the bottom though so I may be delayed. It’s all good. I’m retired and this keeps me off the street … and the golf course.
I have got to say, I’m having a ball playing with hand tools but I can’t imagine ever making money this way.
Fortunately, that’s not my priority any more. :-)
Thanks for looking in.
-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglas boats he would have given us fibrerglas trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/