I won’t pretend that I can teach you marquetry guys anything, but I would like to share a couple of ways that might take some of the pain out of making patterns for your marquetry work, your scrolling work or any other pattern you might need, whether for small things or even furniture.
SIZING AND COLORING A PATTERN
I recently bought a program called Rapid Resizer from Amazon.com.
WHAT RAPID RESIZER CAN DO
1. It can make the image any size you want. Any image sized over a single page will print out on multiple pages.
2. You can print an outline and color it like in a coloring book for kids.
3. You can have the colored image and the outline in the program and a click determines which one is printed.
4. The outline can be printed in red which is great for scrolling, as you can better see where the blade is.
5. The program can make a lined image from a photo or illustration (sometimes too detailed).
For me the most important feature of this program is that it is very easy to use. The menus and options are very limited so you can learn it in minutes instead of days or weeks.
I love the coloring feature. If you are doing an inlay, intarsia or marquetry you can see what colors you have in stock and then color the outlined pieces with those colors to get an idea of what the finished work will look like and to show you what colors go where. You can then print out the colored image as a reference and then with a single click select the outline image to create your cutting pattern.
You can resize the image to as big as your house (or smaller) if you want and it will automatically print out multiple pages to cover the whole image. The individual pages will be automatically printed with small margins to allow for gluing them together.
Here is an example of an outline image that I colored with some wood colors I have in the shop and printed out.
I just bought a new color laser printer. I was tired of replacing ink cartridges all the time. I found out that laser printing is a lot cheaper per copy, but you have to invest in the machine and the toner (powdered ink) is expensive, but it lasts a long long time. I know not everyone is willing to make the outlay for a machine like this, but it will facilitate transferring images to directly your workpiece (wood, metal, plastic, etc.)
If you don’t have a laser printer and don’t want to buy one you can just print out your image, copy it in a copying machine and that will work because copying machines also use toner. This of course won’t work if you copy it using your inkjet printer.
HERE IS AN EXAMPLE OF THE FIRST IMAGE I TRANSFERRED
I did this just for fun in color, and I did it relatively quickly so it’s not great. Normally I would only transfer a cutting outline which could be transferred more quickly.
HOW TO DO THE TRANSFER
I have searched the net and found different ways to do this. The basic idea is to use heat to reactivate the toner with a regular iron or a purpose made tool that fits onto a wood burner. I used my wife’s iron following these steps:
1. Lay the image face down on the wood surface and attach it with a tape hinge at one end.
2. Set the iron at cotton or wool setting.
3. Use the tip on the pattern lines with pressure and also the bottom over the whole image to heat up the wood.
4. Pull the paper up occasionally to check progress. Ensure the pulled up area is hot before you do this or it will stick onto the wood!
5. The hinge will keep the paper properly in place. Don’t iron the hinge!!
The toner doesn’t release from a paper print very well (that’s what I used on the one above). Some folks are using transparencies because the the toner doesn’t sink into the plastic and therefore transfers easier. There are two disadvantages to this method. Firstly, it is not a good idea to use transparencies in a laser printer as they occasionally melt under the high temperatures and ruin the printer. Secondly, the iron can also melt it. It has been suggested that I use glossy photo paper instead. I haven’t tried that yet, so I’m not recommending it yet. Please be aware that laser printers require special printing paper (thinner than inkjet paper) and also special photo paper (not more expensive).
I inadvertently passed the iron over my scotch tape hinge and got the melt onto the iron. My wife wasn’t too happy about that! She did get it off ok, but she informed me that this can’t happen again or I am dead!
Remember, I’m not very experienced with this stuff myself, but I thought that many of you might find something of use here. Remember, you can use a copying machine instead of a laser printer, so that should open the door for almost everyone.
-- Mike, an American living in Norway.