Slowly But Surely

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by stefang posted 02-01-2013 06:47 PM 1938 reads 1 time favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The upper and lower belly sections are done (excepting remedial work), the claws have been added together with some other small bits and pieces here and there, The eyebrows are finished except for the yellow to be added, and the walnut outline to the head and lips are in place. The walnut in the head will only be an outline after the final Ash piece is inserted in the middle.

The three photos below show the original artwork, the last update and where we are now.

I’m not happy with the lower belly. The dividing walnut is way too thick. This will have to be redone. No big deal, but it does take a little extra time. So what? I’m retired and get paid no matter what I do.

I rough planed the whole thing down today as some of the infill pieces were a bit thicker than the background piece. That went well, but then I decided to sand it a bit too. That didn’t go well. The saving dust from the African Blackwood and the Cocobolo smeared into the Linde wood background making quite a mess of things, so I had to plane again lightly to get it clean again.

Unless someone knows a better way, the finished piece will have to be fine planed and maybe card scraped to the final surface before finishing. No sanding! Ok, I knew this problem was a possibility beforehand, but I thought it worth trying to sand anyway. I have never before worked with any tropical hardwoods, so now I know.

Contrary to my bragging at the start of the project that there would be no gaps, there are a few, but I’m happy and relieved to say that there aren’t any significant gaps and most of them are in high contrast areas, so a little mastic fill for the dark wood here and there and Bob’s your uncle!

Most of the gaps were in areas where my poster board pattern failed me. This was due to the paper not having strength enough for pointy thin cuts (where the point hangs out in the middle of hole for example). Other cuts with relatively simple outlines worked fine. I guess cutting some extra veneer for this purpose isn’t really a big deal.

I plan to finish with the mouth, and do the eyes,plus put the face in again. I also plan to redo the lower belly tomorrow.

I’m getting close to adding the finishing touches, that is the yellow together with the black on the beard, legs, and ears. I’m a little worried about this step. The technical part is easy enough, but I want the project to be enhanced, not overdone or ruined. Please wish me luck!

I think this is the most enjoyable project I’ve done to date, bar none! A lot of time has been wasted with the tracing pattern business, but no regrets. I am now beginning to wonder if I will continue with this form of marquetry, or graduate to veneer marquetry work. I’ll let my heart decide, not my head.

Thanks for joining me in my journey!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

26 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3301 days

#1 posted 02-01-2013 06:58 PM

holy cow mike, you have done it, your really close to being done with gosh, it looks so good, im really happy for you mike, i really had some doubt , not much just a little, i really knew better, i know your skill level and have done it…the nails look great…and the belly…wow…keep on truckin mike, im wondering what your going to do with it, you going to frame it, or on a box…what do you think you will do with proud of you mike..a really really great job…grizz

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

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

5949 posts in 3351 days

#2 posted 02-01-2013 07:06 PM

Mike, It’s beautiful!
Marquetry is an art I have never tried. I don’t have the patience or the talent for this type of work but I do look up to people that can do this. It amazes me how this all come together. It’s way over my head but I like looking at your great work! Retirement! You got to love it!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3332 days

#3 posted 02-01-2013 07:06 PM

Thanks much Grizz. I still have quite a bit to do. I am planing to frame it. This is mainly due to finding a very suitable frame design. The frame will take some time too, so it will still be quite awhile before I can post it as a finished project. More important than the finished product has just been the sheer joy of doing it. But before framing it I plan to resaw it to get two for the work of one. I hope you are also enjoying yourself in the shop these days.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3332 days

#4 posted 02-01-2013 07:14 PM

Thanks Tony. With your woodworking skills I’m quite sure you could do this and probably a better than me. I’m not sure this work requires patience. This piece has taken a lot of time, but that was due to the learning curve and problems I encountered underway. I guarantee the next one will go a lot faster, although speed isn’t important to me.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3301 days

#5 posted 02-01-2013 07:17 PM

wow your going to resaw it, i would be so afraid of it failing and ruin all your good work, are confidant enough that you can cut this in two…really…...gosh i could not watch when you do that…well regardless of how much more im with ya watching…let me know and ill be your runner, get ya some hot chocolate..some sweet rolls…some coffee…and when your all done and have stopped cutting, then a nice soft recliner…lol…grizz

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

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3332 days

#6 posted 02-01-2013 07:20 PM

I’m a born gambler Grizz, as long as there is no money at stake!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 2932 days

#7 posted 02-01-2013 07:46 PM

“I’m a born gambler Grizz, as long as there is no money at stake!”

I love that line Mike. I gambled once, a long time ago; never again

It’s looking good!

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Brit's profile


7376 posts in 2841 days

#8 posted 02-01-2013 10:08 PM

It is really coming to life now Mike. I’m looking forward to seeing it with the yellow added.

-- - Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2802 days

#9 posted 02-01-2013 10:44 PM

oh man, stefang…. that’s sure lookin so kool

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

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3332 days

#10 posted 02-01-2013 11:33 PM

Thanks Ian, Andy, and Roger. I’m really looking forward to working on it again tomorrow.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View shipwright's profile


7980 posts in 2796 days

#11 posted 02-02-2013 12:50 AM

This is looking great Mike. ... and you are right, it doesn’t take patience… I can do it and contrary to popular belief I do not have much patience.

Here’s a thought for you to ponder. If you were to sand, plane, scrape or whatever to the point where the piece was nice and flat on both sides, and preferably uniform thickness, you could then press it onto a substrate piece on both sides before re-sawing. It would stabilize the whole issue and give you mirror image dragons.

BTW I have had the black sanding dust in the light colored pores several times too. With 1/32” or 1/42” veneer you are in a little more trouble. Anyway, my observation is that most often you can get away with a coarse sanding to level without problems because the dust is bigger that the pores in the lighter wood. It’s when you get into the finer grits that the problems arise.

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

View sras's profile


4797 posts in 3127 days

#12 posted 02-02-2013 02:56 AM

You are truly having an excellent adventure! Thanks for taking us along on the ride!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3922 days

#13 posted 02-02-2013 05:07 AM

All I can say is Wow! We work all our life for this time to do what we love all the time.

View Rob Drown's profile

Rob Drown

789 posts in 3831 days

#14 posted 02-02-2013 06:15 AM

Your Dragon is really beautiful. Very very cool!! Nice work!

-- The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. Confucius, 经过艰苦的努力的梦想可以成真

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3332 days

#15 posted 02-02-2013 10:14 AM

Thanks so much Paul, Steve, Sandhill and Rob. Your encouraging comments are very motivating and appreciated. This is a perfect kind of work for me to do now that I can’t be on my feet so much anymore, so I’m happy it is going well enough for me to think I should keep at it. The scrollsaw has been my backup plan for quite a while.

I am thinking more about trying veneer marquetry because of the broad selection of colors and grains which would expand the possibilities for more varied and interesting work. I would then need a Chevalet. That could be an interesting project in it’s own right. If I do this, it may be necessary to sacrifice something to get more room in my shop for it. I would probably chuck my router table as I don’t use it much and it takes up a lot of space. I hate to do it though as I built it myself and I am therefore rather fond of it. However, I know the Chevalet would bring much more joy.

Paul Thanks for the resaw tip. I had planned to attach it to a substrate on the outside, but I hadn’t thought about making a sandwich. That sounds like a good idea which I will do. As far as the sanding goes, I had forgotten that t I did do a little cleanup with 80grit for the last blog just to clean it up a bit, and I didn’t have any problem with the black (although it did rough up the Cocobolo and Blackwood badly). This time I tried 120grit and that’s when it went wrong. Thanks much for mentioning this point, as I now know I can at least sand with the 80 grit if I want to.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

showing 1 through 15 of 26 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics