NO DRAGON TODAY, HOORAY!
I have ordered some veneers, both burls and some regulars. I also ordered a nice little veneer saw which I learned how to sharpen from Joewoodworker site HERE and for which I am grateful for mention of this site to Shipwright and others (can’t remember who now).
MY 2ND EXPERIMENT CUTTING MARQUETRY WITH THE BOULLE METHOD
While awaiting delivery of my veneer, I thought it might be fun to try some boulle work just to get a feel for it. I might wind up doing some other marquetry method, but as you might know, I like to experiment a little. So I cut some veneers at 3/64” thick to make a couple of stacks to cut in my scrollsaw, one 6 pieces thick and the other one which isn’t cut yet with 10 pieces. Then I glued on part of a pattern to cut.
As many of you know, the Boulle method is basically a stack of veneer of different colors. A design is cut out and the cutout pieces are then reinserted in the holes, but using pieces from the other colors. Interchangeable is the keyword. You then wind up with many exact copies of the same pattern, but all with different colors.
For my first attempt I used only 3 veneers that were about 1/16” thick. This didn’t work too well as I found it very difficult to keep control of my #2 blade in the turns. That is why I tried a somewhat thicker stack this time to get better cutting control. This succeeded pretty well. The pattern is just clipped from a larger patten, so it won’t make any sense. Just think of it as two slugs having a cuddle.
HOW DID IT GO?
Pretty good this time. I was able to follow all the pattern lines and details quite well, though still a tendency for the blade to wander a little. I used only one color veneer as I wanted to preserve my stash of the good stuff. The background wood is the same, but with sawdust darkening it.
The gaps seem small to me around the randomly reinserted pieces I cut. There is a small discernible gap, but I expect that these would be reduced or maybe even eliminated with gluing.There aren’t any sharp corners on this pattern, but I will have them on my next stack for experiment #3 with 10 pieces. I hope the thicker stack will add even more control.
The first photo is shot with my dirty fingers just to give you an idea of the size of what I did. The 2nd one gives a better idea of the gaps. I’m not sure if these gaps are about normal or a lot wider than normal marquetry work, as I don’t have enough experience to know.
I do like that many copies can be made with one cutting. That makes it a lot easier to make Christmas and birthday gifts for people who don’t know one another or who at least live a long way apart. Of course I can make copies with other marquetry methods as well.
I posted this to show that you don’t need to do a big project and spend a lot of time and money to learn something new.
-- Mike, American in Norway The four steps towards competency: 1. unconscious incompetence, 2. conscious incompetence, 3. conscious competence, 4. unconscious competence