One thing that has been bothering me about starting up with marquetry using thin veneers which are about 1/32” thick, is being able to control my scroll sawing with a single thickness of veneer. This is not a problem if I stack the veneers to make a thick workpiece, but I think it could be an advantage to be able to work with a single veneer, so I have been experimenting to find out how. Lucky me! Elaine’s great new blog gave me the answer. I may suggest Elaine change her LJ name to ‘Justintime’.
- I used a 2/0 blade. This somewhat finicky blade is about as small as I ever want to use.
- Masking tape was used to cover the back of the veneer, overlapping the tape strips slightly as Elaine did.
- The top of the veneer was covered with clear plastic self sticking shelf lining to have something easily removable to glue the pattern to (someone else’s idea). It also further protects the veneer, a belts and suspenders approach.
- The pattern was taped on top of the shelf lining.
- The veneer package was then taped around the edges to a cardboard backing. The cardboard was from some cheap ring binders I bought (23 of them) for just this purpose. It is about 3/32” thick and pretty stiff.
- A hole was drilled through the pattern to insert the blade for cutting.
To my surprise, blade control was no problem, in spite of the pattern having a lot of points just for the test. As the cut progressed I put small pieces of tape on top of the already cut area just to keep the veneer from raising on the saws upstroke. Another of Elaine’s little jewels. It worked perfectly! The cuts were imperfect in some places due to my own inexperience, but now I know it can be done!
Here are some photos showing the cutout, after reinsertion of the cutout and a comparison of the cardboard thickness compared to the veneer.
Not perfect, but good enough for the test. I will get better.
The veneer thickness compared with the cardboard thickness.
I know that all of this may seem inconsequential to many of you. You might well ask, ok, so what’s the big deal!
My only answer is that craftsmanship is founded on the basis of many small, but important skills. Each skill learned is a small triumph leading toward success. This small step opens the door for me to do small scale, one-off marquetry projects. I still have a long way to go, but I feel now that I have passed at least one milestone.
My thanks and gratitude to Elaine for sharing her knowledge and also inspiring us with her wonderful work!
-- Mike, an American living in Norway.