Simple Jigs and Techniques #13: Making Fine Dust for Marquetry Mastic

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Blog entry by shipwright posted 02-11-2016 05:05 AM 1917 reads 1 time favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 12: Locating Critical Insert Nuts Part 13 of Simple Jigs and Techniques series no next part

This is a little videoI did last summer after having a “Doh!” moment. Very fine sanding dust is difficult to generate and contain in a clean, uncontaminated condition. The go to method has been hand sanding with ~220 grit paper.
This is just a little trick that came to me while I was sanding a spindle one day. I thought it was worth sharing.

Thanks for lookng in.


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

14 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


115171 posts in 2996 days

#1 posted 02-11-2016 05:09 AM

Good idea Paul,thanks for sharing.

-- Custom furniture

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

9325 posts in 3471 days

#2 posted 02-11-2016 05:20 AM


Makes perfect sense doesn’t it…
... it’s nice when a plan comes together with the help of the Light Bulb Finally going ON… isn’t it? :)

Very good!

Thank you!

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

View Jerry's profile


1709 posts in 1067 days

#3 posted 02-11-2016 06:38 AM

Good one Paul, I never thought of that, I’ve been collecting dust from my palm sander.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1692 posts in 482 days

#4 posted 02-11-2016 07:01 AM

How’s about going to your new DC, and linking in a dedicated “clean” container? Or, just clamping the wand of a handheld vacuum to the lathe, positioned to suck that dust into a clean bag, and shaking it out into a Ziploc bag?

Are you really making suggestions to the Great One?

It might not have occurred to him.

-- Mark

View Sodabowski's profile


2308 posts in 2251 days

#5 posted 02-11-2016 09:04 AM

Been doing that for a while with the green-spalted wood for the analytical studies, it seems so obvious…

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

View RonGoldberg's profile


43 posts in 1777 days

#6 posted 02-11-2016 11:06 AM

Paul, could you send another video or pictures of the next step. How you do fill in the marketry? Do you just put a bead of glue in the track and then sprinkle in the saw dust? I would think the powder that does not touch the glue would keep falling away. You can also just send a couple of photos to me at

Many thanks.

View DocSavage45's profile


7646 posts in 2261 days

#7 posted 02-11-2016 05:34 PM

An Oh Dah ! moment….Thanks! When I first attempted to make a filler it had a lot of big fiber. Now I have to take the dust off my lathe to make some fine sawdust. I might try my drill press?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Philip's profile


1275 posts in 1957 days

#8 posted 02-11-2016 06:46 PM

Brilliant Paul, great idea.

-- I never finish anyth

View DonSol's profile


186 posts in 660 days

#9 posted 02-11-2016 07:18 PM

Good idea, thanks.

-- Don Solomon, New Castle, IN; Quality is not an act, it is a habit. Aristotle

View shipwright's profile


7082 posts in 2216 days

#10 posted 02-11-2016 10:01 PM

Thanks all, it isn’t anything brilliant but I thought if it had escaped me this long …..

Ron, making and using mastic in marquetry is a somewhat complex process, more than a few photos. In brief it involves mixing thinned hot hide glue with fine extremely clean and uniform dust of the appropriate colour and pressing it into the voids in an assembled piece of marquetry. This is done from the back side prior to mounting the piece on its substrate. There are lots of subtleties in the temperature, consistency, and such.

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

View Schwieb's profile


1792 posts in 2880 days

#11 posted 02-12-2016 11:30 AM

I thought every woodworker knew that, LOL.

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

View Roger's profile


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#12 posted 02-13-2016 01:11 PM

Wow! Talk about brain dead….me… LOL. I’ve been emptying my orbital sander into a baggie….......this is way better. Thnx Paul

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

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 2753 days

#13 posted 02-14-2016 04:27 PM

Good idea Paul.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View mafe's profile


11061 posts in 2508 days

#14 posted 02-22-2016 09:54 PM

Next time I have the lathe up and running I will make some boxes of dust.
That’s a wonderful idea.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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