Clipboard #2: Old Friends

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Blog entry by BritBoxmaker posted 09-30-2010 11:57 AM 3313 reads 10 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: WHERE'S ME CLIPBOARD! Part 2 of Clipboard series Part 3: Tumbling Dice (blocks) »

Before I start. All the pictures in this blog (and all my blogs for that matter) are left handed. I suggest all you righties out there copy the pics and flip them, as I do with your’s.

Continuing the ‘atomic’ theme I now introduce you to Manhattan

This is the cutting board I use for parquetry. Made in 2001 and still going strong. Its basically like a bench hook, as used for hand sawing, with a couple of differences. Its made from a piece of MDF 350×300 x 6mm with a couple of strips of 12mm Birch ply attached(one at top back, the other at front bottom). To extend knife blade life the face of the MDF can be covered with self adhesive vinyl tile.

The piece of 3mm Hardboard (Masonite, could also be vinyl tile) attached at the right side is a 60°/30° right angle triangle which is a special mod’ (modification) to this jig to allow easy cutting of diamonds for Louis Cube patterns.

In addition there are two identical spacers used to set the piece width

Before I start cutting there’s one thing to attend to which veneers and people with long hair have in common. Split ends. I tape mine with veneer tape (very thin paper tape with a gum backing, which you have to wet, like old postage stamps), ‘because they’re worth it!’

Time for cutting the diamonds for the pattern. First I cut all the pattern veneers into strips (this time 20mm wide). Butt the veneer edge up to the back ply strip. Knife cut is the side of the ruler closest the ply strip.

The handy spacers making sure all the strips are exactly the same width. Once I’ve cut all the veneer into strips I move on to the second operation which is to cut the diamonds. Aligning a strip to the sloped side of the triangle guide I first advance it until the square end is all the way under the ruler and trim off the triangle of excess. Then I butt the sloped end of the veneer up to the ply and cut off a diamond.

I’ve used the same spacers for a perfect diamond.

When the strip becomes too short to reliably keep the 60° angle (by alignment to the triangle)

just move it over and bring in the next strip to align it against

After a couple of hours and aching muscles in the lower arms I’ve cut all the diamonds. Time for tea and custard creams ( biscuit of choice for me ).

Be seeing you.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

22 comments so far

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 4379 days

#1 posted 09-30-2010 12:02 PM

Here is a pic of the first cube

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View degoose's profile


7286 posts in 4697 days

#2 posted 09-30-2010 12:05 PM

Should I take up the fine are of veneering I will keep Manhattan in mind..nice bit of kit…
Looking forward to more atomic moments…

I have quite a bit of veneer and even a vacuum bag setup… one day…maybe..

-- Be safe.

View littlecope's profile


3136 posts in 4845 days

#3 posted 09-30-2010 12:42 PM

Positively Nuclear Thinking, Martyn…
Looking forward to this one-of-a-kind Clipboard!!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 4263 days

#4 posted 09-30-2010 12:49 PM

Now this is one I may have to try soon! I love seeing this! It is a wonderful way to get such perfect and uniform pieces. Thanks so much for showing us and sharing it with us.


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Triumph1's profile


938 posts in 4422 days

#5 posted 09-30-2010 01:02 PM

Ever think of going to a high school/university and teaching a woods class? You are one hell of a teacher. I am thouroughly enjoying your first two installments!

-- Jeff , Wisconsin Please...can I stay in the basement a little longer, please!

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5225 days

#6 posted 09-30-2010 02:04 PM

Very nice, and simple. I like it.

You seem to do a lot of pre-thinking to your projects. I can really appreciate that. A nice way to spend idle moments in life.

Always watching,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 4379 days

#7 posted 09-30-2010 03:04 PM

You may get promoted with such a nice clipboard. :-)

You always do great work Martyn!

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View lumberdustjohn's profile


1263 posts in 4509 days

#8 posted 09-30-2010 03:21 PM

I sit quietly in the back of the room.
Thanks for sharing

-- Safety first because someone needs you.

View mpounders's profile


1013 posts in 4238 days

#9 posted 09-30-2010 05:33 PM

Wow! I have always thought veneering was beyond my humble skills, but your illustrations have provided some valuable knowledge. I have always admired fine veneer work, especially your fantastic pieces, but now I might have to try some. Maybe my own clipboard! Thanks mucho.

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 4379 days

#10 posted 09-30-2010 06:10 PM

Thanks Mike, have fun.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 4379 days

#11 posted 09-30-2010 06:19 PM

Steve, I like to plan ahead as much as possible, thinking my way out of what pitfalls I can predict. That way the problems that always do occur are easier to cope with and fewer in number. I wonder what the cock-up is going to be on this one?

Jeff, I think I’ll stick with correspondance work here at LJ’s. I find face to face teaching a little nerve wracking.

Sheila, give it a go it really is easy. Just make sure not to leave too many gaps. I’m famous for that.

Mike (Coz), if I get promoted I won’t need the clipboard anymore. Dilema!

Mike (littlecope) and Larry , lol

Part 3 will show the pattern build-up and features ‘Little Boy’

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 4296 days

#12 posted 09-30-2010 06:22 PM

Many thanks for this blog. I am learning from you, and I appreciate your sharing nature. I’ve been pondering how parquetry can be used in my own work, and have yet to settle on just how to use it, but your work is hugely instructive. I always look forward to your posts, as they are inevitably insightful and helpful. My compliments. Keep on boxing!

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 4379 days

#13 posted 09-30-2010 06:40 PM

Thanks Roger. Nice to know the ‘how to’ before the ‘what’. I’m afraid I usually do it the other way around but then I do like a challenge. I am a great admirer of your work and look forward to seeing what you might do with this.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Ampeater's profile


442 posts in 5090 days

#14 posted 09-30-2010 11:58 PM

That is a great cutting jig. I have been working on a serving tray that has a base made up of 175 pieces, mostly cut at 60*. They were all 3/8” thick. I had a difficult time getting the cuts accurate. I plan to adapt your technique to my crosscut sled. It will make my next serving tray much easier to build.

Thanks for posting this.

-- "A goal without a plan is a wish."

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4458 days

#15 posted 10-01-2010 02:25 AM

great little jiig you have there :-)
thank´s for thaking you time and sharing so much
nearly always a pleassurre to learn from you,have you ever thought on how nervewrecking
it is to bee a student in your classroom with that shittystick in the corner Proffessor…. :—O

have a great safe day


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