My First Attempt at Marquetry...A Collaborative Effort....

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Forum topic by Gene Howe posted 04-04-2012 03:06 PM 1885 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Gene Howe

10535 posts in 3454 days

04-04-2012 03:06 PM

...or A Ford guy takes a Chevalet for a test drive.
Paul Miller (Shipwright) invited me to his home in Green Valley, AZ to see his shop built Shopsmith/lathe based thickness sander. A really neat, useful and precise tool. His build blog starts here Sander It’s so simple to build….and inexpensive….that anyone with the need for a thickness sander should seriously consider building one like Paul’s.
But, after taking a gander at the sander and viewing it in operation, Paul sprung a surprise. He had drawn out a desert scene on a 4 piece packet of veneer, which he handed me and said he wanted me to cut it on the Chevalet de Marquetrie. I think he mentioned it might take a half hour or so to cut. WRONG! Well, maybe total cutting time for him might have been a half hour or less. For me, closer to one and a half hours…With breaks to steady the nerves, I spent at least 2 hours at it.
Here’s a picture of what passes for total concentration for an old man.
To correctly operate the Chevalet, one must coordinate a foot (to clamp and release the work) while continuously cutting with the right hand on the saw and the left hand guiding the work. Heck, I can’t even walk and chew gum! It took some getting used to, for sure.
After getting all the pieces cut, Paul took the hide glued packet apart and reassembled the pieces to form four differently colored scenes.
Later, after the wife and I had left, he sand shaded some of the pieces, reassembled and glued them. Finally, he veneered them onto a box he had constructed.
Here is the result. I just received it yesterday.

I want to thank Paul for his hospitality and for pulling an old man out of his comfort zone. And many thanks for taking the time to put this piece together and send it to me. Phyllis and I will treasure it forever.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

11 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4244 days

#1 posted 04-04-2012 03:08 PM

Stories like this are why I love Lumberjocks!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3602 days

#2 posted 04-04-2012 03:17 PM

That’s great to see LJ members having good visits and working on fun projects together. very cool looking marquetry box. great Gene and Paul

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View DeputyDawg's profile


196 posts in 3990 days

#3 posted 04-04-2012 03:28 PM

Beautiful work and a wonderful story. Thanks Gene

-- DeputyDawg

View patron's profile


13606 posts in 3366 days

#4 posted 04-04-2012 04:08 PM

two great guys
doing way cool things together

very impressive
and inspiring

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

View helluvawreck's profile


31393 posts in 2892 days

#5 posted 04-04-2012 04:17 PM

Congratulations, Gene. The scene looks great in either color scheme and from the looks of it you learned a lot. He’s a pretty good artist. I suppose that he makes these sorts of things all the time and if he sells them I bet that he does quite well.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View eddy's profile


939 posts in 3390 days

#6 posted 04-04-2012 04:20 PM

cool story wish i was there
PS: if you get real interested in making a drum sander get with me i made 1 a few years back still using it
works great i posted it back when i made it

-- self proclaimed copycat

View shipwright's profile


7992 posts in 2823 days

#7 posted 04-04-2012 04:26 PM

It truly is great to make new friendships and exchange ideas online but the real payoff for me is the friends I am able to meet in person and get to know better. I first met Gene on the ShopSmith forum and it was on his recommendation that I joined Lumberjocks. Since then we have met a few times and always enjoyed each other’s company.

On the topic of his marquetry, I have to say that his cuts were excellent (never mind for a beginner) and I don’t think it took him as long as he says.

Another bit he left out of the story is the gift he gave me when my wife and I met him and his family for dinner the night before.

Thanks for the box and the friendship Gene, and enjoy your first piece of marquetry.

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

View degoose's profile


7234 posts in 3380 days

#8 posted 04-04-2012 08:34 PM

Fabulous… and the bandsaw box is pretty special too…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2715 days

#9 posted 04-05-2012 02:13 AM

2 great examples of the types of people who populate this site! Wish I lived closer to Az so I could impose on Paul for a few lessons. He has taught me (and others) a lot on this site.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3329 days

#10 posted 04-10-2012 07:33 PM

what a great time with such beautiful wood working , and the making od friends, ive met several lj myself, and its always nice to make new friends…great job you two…you both do beautiful work…

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

View Woodenwizard's profile


1331 posts in 3068 days

#11 posted 04-11-2012 03:03 AM

This is what its all about. Great people, Great projects, and Great memories. Too bad I am not closer, I would be first in line for the class. Thanks for sharing with us all.

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

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