Creating Intarsia-The FINALE

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Blog entry by wdkits1 posted 04-10-2009 04:28 PM 2882 reads 4 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well so far you have seen the progress of this project from the beginning. From the subject photo,to the making of the pattern, to the tracing and cutting and sanding and contouring and tricks and techniques that I use in the creation of intarsia. After cutting and sanding and fitting and cussing a few times I have finally got all 175 pieces from 13 woods in place and am now ready to finish it up. As you will remember I left the pattern in the frame to better keep track of the pieces so now it is time to remove the pattern and glue everything in. I begin by removing several pieces from the top of the intarsia and pull the pattern out,being careful not to disturb the rest of the pieces. [photo]

Now that the pattern has been removed and while the few pieces are still out I spread glue on the backboard then replace these pieces. I’m using CA glue so I remove only enough pieces that I can easily put back in 2 or 3 minutes as the next few photos show.

This is where making pre-glued units becomes important.

EUREKA—all the pieces are glued in ,so after cleaning any dust from the surface of the intarsia and also cleaning the frame it is time to apply the finish.

I like to use a spray on satin poly . Setting the finished project on a flat surface in a dust free area I apply 3 coats using a sweeping motion coming in from all 4 directions to insure that all areas are covered including the sides of the frame.{photo]

Once the finish is dry I sign it and date it then install the custom name plaque. This was a fun project.

This is the list of woods used—Bush and tree ,Blue Mahoe—Bumper, running board, maple—tires ,wenge—grill and wheelwells, ebony—truck body, pau amerillo—grass, poplar—fence, cherry—treetrunk, fishtail oak—truck seat and windmill ,walnut—headlights, holly—barn roof ,bloodwood—road, mahogany—sky, tulipwood
My next project will be a commissioned piece of a 1968 Porshe 911. That should be fun.

-- Mike --

9 comments so far

View spanky46's profile


995 posts in 3385 days

#1 posted 04-10-2009 04:43 PM

Very nice Mike! Look forward to seeing that Porshe.

-- spanky46 -- Never enough clamps...Never enough tools...Never enough time.

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1285 posts in 3732 days

#2 posted 04-10-2009 05:44 PM

Mike, It was quite enjoyable watching your progess and completion of a work well done. Thanks for sharing.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3553 days

#3 posted 04-11-2009 12:07 AM

Thanks for posting this blog on intarsia for us Intarsia won a bees…...................LOL I learned a lot and hope to make an attempt at on soon.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 3708 days

#4 posted 04-11-2009 03:45 AM

Great blog, i enjoyed every segment and the intarsia is outstanding. thanks for the lessons.

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4155 days

#5 posted 04-21-2009 11:20 PM

extraordinary result and I, too, thank you for the lesson!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1106 posts in 2969 days

#6 posted 05-30-2010 05:18 PM

Sorry to be dragging up an old posting.
This is fantastic craftsmanship and extremely well documented project.
I have to research the difference between Artesia and Marquetry.
Thank you for taking the time and effort to photo and describe this technique. Superb work :)

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3572 days

#7 posted 05-30-2010 07:24 PM

wonderful blog great job very interesting project.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1106 posts in 2969 days

#8 posted 05-31-2010 03:39 AM

whoops I spelled that wrong….Inartsia, not artesia. I think the latter is well water that Coors uses for it’s beer:)
Did the Porsche ever come to life???

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3329 days

#9 posted 04-07-2012 06:16 PM

Hi Mike. I saw this wonderful piece of yours posted as a project but I didn’t realize you had also done a blog on it. I am just starting to experiment with intarsia. I intend to use some of the patterns I’ve gotten with my Scroll Saw Mags. to get some practical experience before trying to do my own designs.

I admire your work very much and I have a deep appreciation for the fact that you design your own work. That is my goal, though I doubt I will ever come anywhere near to your skill and artistry level.

Thanks very much for posting this tutorial and sharing some of your knowledge with us. I’m sure it will save me a lot of grief and a make for a faster learning curve.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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