Seeking Advice When Gluing Up A Marquetry Panel

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Forum topic by Woodbridge posted 03-07-2015 01:30 AM 519 views 1 time favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3451 posts in 1841 days

03-07-2015 01:30 AM

Topic tags/keywords: marquetry hide glue

This week I have been working on a marquetry panel for another “Make a Chair from an Oar” project.

Here is a picture of the essentially completed panel that I rubbed with some paint thinner to pop the grain a bit.

It is an iconic Canadian image. (answer at the end of this post)

For the most part, all went well. But I did encounter some challenges with the glue up.

I’ve got some questions and I’m hoping to get some advice from those of you who are more experienced with marquetry.

I’ve read some books, watched some U Tube videos and read various blogs when posted. Some of my questions may have already been covered in a blog or post but there is so much info that it can get overwhelming. If you can point me to a specific post or resource that may cover my questions that would be helpful and appreciated.
My process was as follows.

Once I had finished cutting etc. I covered the show face of the panel with moistened veneer tape. Then I carefully removed the blue masking tape from the back side of the panel.

I find that the veneer tape does not adhere to all parts of the panel and as I remove the blue tape pieces pull away. To address this I rub white glue on these parts to stick then back down. Am I not wetting the venner tape enough, wetting it too much?

Question 1: I recall reading somewhere that hide glue is applied to the face side of the veneer then covered with paper. Is this an alternative to using veneer tape? Does it stick more evenly? Can it be down with “liquid hide glue”

Once all the blue tape was removed I prepared to glue my marquetry panel to two other pieces of veneer, each piece with the grain running in opposite directions. I applied white glue to each of the backer pieces and stuck my marquetry panel on. On either side of the assembly, I placed wax paper, then a couple sheets of a heavy bond paper. I put this between the cauls of my my veneer press.

When I removed the assembly from the press black spots had developed on the lighter coloured veneers. Fortunately I was able to sand most of this away.

Question 2: I have read that this may be mould caused by leaving the assembly in the press too long. Is this the case? I had it in there about 4 hours.

Is it also possible that the black (dyed?) veneer border bled into the lighter wood?

So what should one do to prevent this from happening again?

Question 3: I’m not sure I’m ready to go the full hot hide glue route. However are there advantages to using liquid hide glue over white glue for this glue up. Can you point me to a good resource on how to do this with liquid hide glue?

Question 4: At the top of the lighthouse there is supposed to be a railing. I was not comfortable cutting in such fine lines with the fret saw or with a knife. Would it be advisable to cut the lines in with a small V-gouge (or knife) and then with coloured epoxy fill in the the grooves created? I would like to add this detail, but I can live without the railing if there is a high probability of ruining the picture by trying to add it.

Any advice you can offer is very much appreciated.



Answer: The lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove Nova Scotia.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

4 replies so far

View shipwright's profile


7094 posts in 2220 days

#1 posted 03-07-2015 02:10 AM

Lots of questions Peter.
First off I got Peggy’s Cove, not bad for a west coaster.

1) the veneer tape was not likely too wet. Maybe not wet enough but it will stick better, especially on varied thicknesses if you brush it down with a (finger)nail brush.
-Stop using white glue! Commercial veneer is too thin to be dealing with the finishing grief PVA adds to the project (among a host of other reasons)

The mounting with paper is done by applying hot hide glue to stretched butcher’s paper and then assembling the marquetry on this mounting board.
Unfortunately this requires a special paper only available at ASFM.
If you reinforced your veneer, the face should already have paper on it and veneer tape should stick well.
You may want to use PSA shelf liner instead of the tape in the first place.
Check this blog out.

2) Not mould. Black dye should not be the problem either.
My guess would be some impurity that got in the mix.

3) I would encourage you to go the HHG route but for pressing the marquetry LHG works very well. Check Patrice Lejeune's blogs for info on this.

4) Just cut them as saw kerfs (they’re called I graving lines) and use an appropriate colour of mastic when you fill the are. It is a commonly used technique for veins in leaves and flower petals etc. make your mastic from (sorry) HHG and very fine sawdust.

Hope this helps. You can always PM me. :-)

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

View DocSavage45's profile


7656 posts in 2265 days

#2 posted 03-07-2015 03:24 AM

Wow! A daunting learning experience. Looks like Paul made some suggestions. looks like another great chair on the way.

Best of luck. I’ll try to keep Murphy busy in my shop[. LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View shipwright's profile


7094 posts in 2220 days

#3 posted 03-07-2015 02:19 PM

Here’s a link to Patrice’s hide glue blog featuring lots of work with Old Brown Glue. (LHG)

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

View nakmuay's profile


17 posts in 776 days

#4 posted 03-07-2015 02:51 PM

I was at Peggy’s cove a couple of months ago. Your picture is a whole lot prettier than the real thing at the moment. It looked in real rough shape….......

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