OK, The French Veneer (at last) #13: 21st Century Painting in Wood

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Blog entry by shipwright posted 01-21-2015 01:15 AM 2433 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 12: Bump-out Verticals Part 13 of OK, The French Veneer (at last) series Part 14: The promised pretty pictures »

Up until now I had been laying out my painting in wood layers by hand using lines that extended beyond the edges of the veneer area and after placing the veneer on the drawing, redrawing them on it to indicate the cut out areas. This is basically the “old way” and it works very well …. most of the time. A drawing that has been used for this sort of layout looks like this.

As this one was going to be large and somewhat complex, I decided to try another way. I retrace all my patterns in Inkscape anyway to create colour separations from photos or, in the case of patterns from books, to “clean them up” to be actually cutable ........ so why not throw in a couple of extra layers and make layout patterns for the different colours of veneer.

At the bottom below you see the pattern for the top of the jewellery box and above it are the printouts of the layers with the colours indicated by numbers.

Here is a better look at how they work. The alignment and accuracy are perfect but unfortunately operator error is still possible. Even though clearly marked #2 on the pattern, the large square (lower left) seems to be marked #1 and I in fact made the packet up that way. If you look at the surrounding area on the layouts you will see that that makes for a lot of #1 (Araracanga) in that end of the motif. I did catch it when cutting and managed to fix the packet before any harm was done. I may show that when I do a segment on the cutting.

You can use the cutout holes to locate the insert pieces in the waster (basswood) and you can use the cut out waster to mark out the veneer inserts efficiently.

Here the layers are assembled

..and here they are ready to go into the packet along with a full layer of Poplar and a full layer of Ebony.

All the patterns and cuts were aligned with veneer nails located in holes at the corners of the original Inkscape layout.

I’m into the cutting now and it will be a while before that is finished so this is it for tonight.
Pretty pictures next time, I promise.

Thanks for looking in.


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

12 comments so far

View DocSavage45's profile


8589 posts in 2867 days

#1 posted 01-21-2015 01:26 AM

Paul!!!!!!Outstanding work!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

715 posts in 3854 days

#2 posted 01-21-2015 03:20 AM

Paul, I think this approach is brilliant! Inkscape is a great tool for doing these packet layouts accurately. That packet is huge, I can just imagine how difficult it was to make that first separating cut.

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

View salzer's profile


31 posts in 1251 days

#3 posted 01-21-2015 05:00 AM

Hi Paul,
from the Literarur I know this way of working.
I am glad to see it here just once. I’ve never cut the veneer. I cut all the pieces with a scalpel in window technology.
The machine for sawing is awesome and historically valuable. There are few artists who work with it. It is very good that you will receive this ancient technique for us.

-- Uwe,Thüringen,Germany

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3241 posts in 3737 days

#4 posted 01-21-2015 05:15 AM


This is all too complicated for my finite mind!


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10118 posts in 4077 days

#5 posted 01-21-2015 06:21 AM

... it makes my mind hurt…

Sure glad someone can do it… LOL

Thank you, Paul… Keep Going!

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

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3359 days

#6 posted 01-21-2015 01:22 PM

Brilliant Paul! Maybe this will inspire me to get better acquainted with Inkscape.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View kiefer's profile


5619 posts in 2691 days

#7 posted 01-21-2015 03:21 PM

This is painful for me to watch.
Planning this creation and staying focused on an intricate layout like this is amazing .
The cutting should be the easy part now and I am anticipating a great result when done .
I wish you success Paul .
BTW If you need help holding that panel let me know . LOL

-- Kiefer

View Patricelejeune's profile


375 posts in 1945 days

#8 posted 01-21-2015 05:25 PM

This is great Paul!

-- Patrice lejeune

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2828 days

#9 posted 01-22-2015 01:30 PM

I think you are Paul Picasso. :) the artist in wood.

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

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 2563 days

#10 posted 01-23-2015 02:29 AM

That looks awesome Paul, nicely done!

-- I never finish anyth

View tinnman65's profile


1357 posts in 3438 days

#11 posted 01-24-2015 02:34 PM

Great post Paul, Once again new technology meets old world wood working. I am definitely a fan of that inkscape program.

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

View JeremyPringle's profile


321 posts in 2498 days

#12 posted 01-25-2015 06:10 PM

I have been trying to save my comments in this series until the last one… but I cant keep it to myself anymore. This is awesome work Paul, and I cant wait to see the finished product…. and them make one for myself when I get up to speed.

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