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Blog entry by stefang posted 01-21-2013 08:21 PM 2296 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I started out the day in the shop full of optimism. The first thing I did was to tape a of piece poster board paper to the back of my main workpiece. Then I started cutting out from the pattern, which in this case is the original dragon picture. After cutting out as many nonadjacent parts as I could, I removed the poster board pattern from the workpiece to be used as pattern to trace the cutouts on to the infill pieces. Here’s a picture after the cutouts are done (in black) and another the 2nd photo of the resulting paper pattern also showing what I cut out today.

I tried using the paper pattern but it didn’t work well where there were pointed ends like along the back of the tail, because the paper tends to rip out on those. The flame pattern didn’t work either because it was large and unsupported in a big part of the cut which made it impossible to get an accurate trace.

That left me with only one option to get accurate traces and that was directly from the workpiece. I had to recut a little on the main workpiece, enlarging some areas to get better access with my pencil. The thicker the pattern the more difficult to get a pencil into the narrow areas. That is why I want to use a thin pattern which makes tracing easier.

Finally I was able to trace out the flames on top and the tail onto infill wood. The flames are Cocobolo and the tail is Ash like the rest of the body.

I Still like my idea of thin pieces attached to the bottom of the main workpiece while cutting out to create a tracing pattern for each infill part. I still think the poster paper could work out, but I think it needs some reinforcement. I’m thinking packing tap, but masking tape would probably work too. Alternatively, if I could get hold of some very thin fiberboard, perhaps a 1/16” thick, that would be even better. First I will try reinforcing the poster board and if that doesn’t work then I will have to look around for something better (very thin fiberboard for example).

It went pretty slow today, but at least it seems to have come out alright and I have a solution to make the paper patterns stronger now.

I managed to get the upper flame and the tail finished as you can see in the photo below. I hope to get a lot more done tomorrow. The photo below shows how it looks now with the tail section and flames added.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

14 comments so far

View patron's profile


13422 posts in 2432 days

#1 posted 01-21-2013 08:55 PM

if there are any mistakes here mike
you can’t prove it by me

this is very intricate
and stunning
to say the least

looks great !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2533 posts in 2683 days

#2 posted 01-21-2013 09:00 PM

Yes, I agree with Patron. It is very intricate, when looking at the picture it is very impressive. I’m Looking forward to the finished pictures!

-- Dennis Zongker

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2013 posts in 1279 days

#3 posted 01-21-2013 09:00 PM

Howdy Mike, You are a few light years ahead of me when it comes to Marquetry. Beautiful work sir.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View lanwater's profile


3105 posts in 2025 days

#4 posted 01-21-2013 09:17 PM

You would really have to outline the mistakes for me to see it. I don’t see any.

I think it’s looking great.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


16740 posts in 2767 days

#5 posted 01-21-2013 09:18 PM

This is a interesting trail you are blazing Mike.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Roger's profile


17851 posts in 1895 days

#6 posted 01-21-2013 09:30 PM

I believe the only mistake here is that I’ve never done anything that awesome Mike. haha

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View a1Jim's profile


113833 posts in 2668 days

#7 posted 01-21-2013 09:31 PM

Wow Mike it’s been a little whiles since I checked in on your blog. I’m totally blown away,it’s just amazing great job.

-- Custom furniture

View stefang's profile


14969 posts in 2425 days

#8 posted 01-21-2013 09:37 PM

Thank David, Dennis, Mark, Ian, Bob and Jim. There weren’t any mistakes on the cutting, but trusting my paper pattern was a mistake. Luckily it didn’t get translated to the actual work because I used the main workpiece as my tracing pattern. I hope to get the rest of the cutouts shown above filled in tomorrow. I am planning much more detail.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View grizzman's profile


7633 posts in 2394 days

#9 posted 01-21-2013 09:43 PM

im always excited to see a post come to my in box from you mike, and they are always welcome, this is going just fine, and im enjoying seeing you learn this and work things out, its always inspiring to see someone strive to do something they have never done…and this is really going well…keep at day this will be a beautiful piece and one that will represent your strong efforts..grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View stefang's profile


14969 posts in 2425 days

#10 posted 01-21-2013 10:14 PM

Thanks Grizz, and the feeling is mutual. My optimism is soaring. I’m even thinking about an appropriate frame for this project.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View NH_Hermit's profile


394 posts in 2187 days

#11 posted 01-21-2013 10:38 PM

Very interesting work Mike. and like lanwater, you need to point out the mistakes because I can’t see them.

-- John from Hampstead

View shipwright's profile


6280 posts in 1889 days

#12 posted 01-21-2013 11:52 PM

Just excellent cuts and fits Mike.
You are doing this very well. It’s such a good idea to start right off with a difficult piece.
What a bonus when it works out and looks good at the end.
This one will.

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

View tomd's profile


1955 posts in 2861 days

#13 posted 01-22-2013 05:03 AM

I am watching and learning with you. Great work.

-- Tom D

View stefang's profile


14969 posts in 2425 days

#14 posted 01-22-2013 10:45 AM

Thanks John, Paul and Tom. The cutting seems to be going ok. My main concern now is to finish this piece in way that will be pleasing to the eye and appropriate to the design and colors. I am hoping the choices will be obvious once I have progressed a little further. Some would find this project too time consuming the way I’m doing it, but I am just taking my time and keeping my focus on doing the best work I can do with it. One of the fun parts is figuring out how to get some delicate detail into it.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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