I managed to get a few pieces done today so I’ll begin by showing the steps needed to begin the intarsia process. This photo shows the set-up to trace a section from the pattern onto sticky back label paper. I have taped the pattern down and have slid the carbon paper and label paper under the section I am tracing.I use a fine point mechanical pencil to do the tracing because it gives a crisp consistent line. Use a straight edge to trace any frame border lines.
Once the tracing is complete I cut the section of label paper out and peel off the wax paper on the back and place the section onto the wood blank paying attention to the grain direction as indicated on pattern detail. Next photo
This next photo shows a simple zero clearance jig that I use on the bed of my saw to cut small pieces. Simply a piece of 1/4” plywood run thru to the center of the jig. As the hole becomes wallowed out I just make a new cut and am good to go again.
In this next photo I’m cutting out the section on the scroll saw.I’m using a #5 double tooth blade which is a good all-around blade for the thicknesses of the woods used for this project. Where the bush is, I drill a 1/8” pilot hole to insert the blade ,always cutting on the center of the lines.
Next 2 photos Once a piece has been cut out of the blank it needs to be sanded along the edges to remove any burrs and to give it a more finished look. For this I use a 3×18” belt sander and lightly work it along the edges just enough to round over. On pieces that are too small to use the belt sander I use a 1/4” or 1/2” drum sander mounted on my rotary tool with a 36” flex shaft. I finish by hand sanding with 220 grit sandpaper and apply a coat of spray-on satin poly and wipe off. This lets me see the true color of the wood plus shows if any more sanding needs to be done to remove scratches.
Using 1/2” drum sander to round edges.
I like to assemble the pieces into the frame from the bottom; fitting, sanding and first coat finishing as I go. As you can see in the next photo, having the pattern in the frame makes it pretty easy to see the progress of the intarsia and to make any necessary adjustments in fitting ,sanding or contouring.
Woods used so far: grass-heart poplar, road—mahogany, bush—blue mahoe.
-- Mike --www.midlothianwoodworks.com