Decorative Parquetry, "The Window Method"

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Dennis Zongker posted 08-22-2008 08:52 PM 5189 reads 11 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Parquetry is a geometrical form of Marquetry. Most Parquetry has squares, triangles, and diamond shapes. Other forms of Parquetry such as, circles and ellipse were not used as much thought out history. It might be because the circle or ellipse is more complicated to cut and maintain a clean cut without any waves, where as the square, triangle and diamond can be cut easier with a saw or straight edge by using a knife.

Here are some practice pieces that I just made using, “The Window Method” This pattern is one of the same as a 54” diameter dinning room table that I am currently working on for a customer. Which I should be completed with in three to four week.

The window method is one of the best methods for cutting out circles and ellipse’s. It does take some practice to perfect this method, but once you get a grip on your technique it is quite rewarding.
Here is a list of tools needed to practice a 3” diameter circle:

A. Compass
B. Blue masking tape (because it is less sticky)
C. Exacto knife or scalpel
D. Two small pieces of veneer: one 5” square and one 4” square, they should be two different types of wood.
E. Veneer tape

Here is a list of steps to achieving “Decorative Parquetry”

1.First draw a 3” diameter circle on the 5” square piece of veneer
2.Then with your knife, follow the center of your pencil line and make two or three light cuts about 1/2” long. (Don’t cut through the veneer just score about half way through the veneer, and always cut lighly towards your body) With each cut you will put a groove into the veneer and your knife will fall into the groove each time you cut deeper. Once you have scored around the diameter of the circle, then you can start the next step.
3. Again with your knife repeat the same technique in step 2 but, this time go all the way though the veneer. After this cut your circle should pop right out. The circle is the waste piece: it is the outer part of the circle that is your finished piece. This outer piece will be your next template.
4. Turn your outer part upside down and tape your 4” piece of veneer to the finished outer part, now flip both pieces back over.
5. Now by using the finished outer part as a template use the veneer edge as a guide and go back and repeat step 2.
6.Now take off the tape and finish cutting out the circle the same way as step 3 and the circle should pop right out.
7. Now fit both pieces together, they should go together with just a very small cut line, which can be filled with glue when you are gluing to your sub straight.
8. Now with both pieces together, with the blue tape, tape the circle line, this is just to hold them in place. Then flip the piece over to the back and tape the glue side.
9.Now flip the pieces back over and take off the tape on the face side. Then by using venner tape, tape the circle line on the face side. Next take off the blue tape on the back side.
10. Your Parquetry piece is know ready for gluing to any sub straight of choice. ( I like to roll on my glue with a small roller to both the veneer and the sub straight.

Here are some pictures of the table I’m working on, showing some stages.PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

-- Dennis Zongker

13 comments so far

View Ampeater's profile


442 posts in 5030 days

#1 posted 08-22-2008 09:07 PM

Thanks for posting. I want to make a panel with a Quilt pattern on it that is similar to one that my wife used on a quilt that she made. This looks like a good way to do it.

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

View savannah505's profile


1882 posts in 4869 days

#2 posted 08-22-2008 09:40 PM

Right on Dennis, doing the chainlink design in the headboard I have posted was difficult for most, but doing curves can get tough, and depending on the wood, can be very difficult. You have done a great job on this, and look forward to seeing the dining table and of course anything else you make.

-- Dan Wiggins

View Bigbuck's profile


1347 posts in 4946 days

#3 posted 08-22-2008 10:24 PM

Very nice, thanks for the info. I would really like to try this at some point. Too many things to do and not enough time. Nice job.

-- Glenn, New Mexico

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 5027 days

#4 posted 08-22-2008 11:41 PM

Thanks for the info, Dennis. I’ll definitely save this for later. If I can get some extra time this winter, I’ve already got a pile of veneer waiting for a project. Looks really good.

View SteveKorz's profile


2140 posts in 4997 days

#5 posted 08-23-2008 07:14 AM

Very Cool…. Thanks Dennis- I’m going to have to try this sometime.


-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View woodnot's profile


50 posts in 4897 days

#6 posted 08-23-2008 01:22 PM

Thank you for the step by step info. great job ! ! ! I love your coffee table and end table ! ! I am finishing up the walnut burl table top I posted. I will give your method a go on my next redwood burl project thats on the drawing board.


-- NW wood worker

View jeanmarc's profile


1899 posts in 4999 days

#7 posted 08-24-2008 12:15 AM

Nice job.Very Cool

-- jeanmarc manosque france

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2859 posts in 4875 days

#8 posted 08-24-2008 12:40 AM

Thank you everyone. This is my first blog, I diden’t know how it would turn out.

-- Dennis Zongker

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6875 posts in 5262 days

#9 posted 08-24-2008 06:23 AM

Hi Dennis;

Excellent work.

Very nice design, too!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2859 posts in 4875 days

#10 posted 08-24-2008 09:11 PM

Hi Arianna,
Right now I’m righting a how to book on the griffin table. Should be competed in about a year. It will be my first book.

-- Dennis Zongker

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 5050 days

#11 posted 08-25-2008 01:21 PM

Great information Dennis. Thanks for sharing.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View Grumpy's profile


26812 posts in 5134 days

#12 posted 08-25-2008 01:54 PM

A great blog Dennis. Thanks

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Karson's profile


35279 posts in 5683 days

#13 posted 08-26-2008 05:10 PM

Great technique Dennis. Thanks for the info.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics