Marquetry Projects #1: The Dipper

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Blog entry by Mathew Nedeljko posted 08-20-2011 08:23 PM 3668 reads 4 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Marquetry Projects series Part 2: Self Portrait »

With a lot of help and inspiration from fellow Lumberjock Shipwright, I recently completed my own chevalet de marqueterie. I took a lot of pictures to document the build, and I will be posting a blog series on that topic soon. In this blog I will share my progress as I learn to use this the new tool.

A scan from Lawrence Threadgold’s book Beginning Picture Marquetry shows what I will hopefully end up with. The artistic process begins with the selection of the veneer. Included in this picture are Mahogany, Maple,Bloodwood, Zebrawood,Walnut, and others selected for their color and grain pattern.

From The Dipper

Once I have chosen the veneers, the face side is reinforced with marquetry tape, and the individual pieces assembled into a packet which will be cut by hand using a 00 blade on the chevalet.

From The Dipper

Here is the pattern which gets attached to the packet with spray adhesive. It works much better if you spray the pattern and then place it on the packet, vs the other way around.

From The Dipper

Cutting the pattern on the chevalet is a very pleasant experience. No noise, very little dust and absolute control. Starting the center and working out to the edges keeps the packet stable and the veneers inside the packet in position.

From The Dipper

Coming along nicely, pieces which are part of the picture get placed show face down in position on the reverse pattern.

From The Dipper

All the other pieces which were cut at the same time but are extra are put off to the side. There are a lot of pieces which are left over. Keeping track of what pieces are needed and which ones are extra is important!

From The Dipper

Cutting took a couple of hours and was very enjoyable. I am using the Boulle method, where all the pieces are cut at once on the chevalet, which is properly adjusted to keep the blade at 90 deg to the packet. All pieces fit together exactly with just a very small kerf around their edges.

From The Dipper

At the end of the cutting, nothing but the edges of the packet remain on the chevalet.

From The Dipper

Picture assembled from the back with Scotch Blue tape – the Delicate Surface type is best for this type of work. The regular blue will work, but you have to be very careful it doesn’t break the veneer away from the veneer tape when you remove it.

From The Dipper

Assembly complete after Marquetry tape applied to the front to hold it all together and blue tape removed.

From The Dipper

Small gaps between pieces will be filled in with a mastic made of sawdust and glue when the picture is applied to a future project. I’m pleased with the the way it turned out. I think it will make a nice box top in the future.

From The Dipper

Thanks for looking and all feedback is appreciated.

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

9 comments so far

View Rustic's profile


3256 posts in 4077 days

#1 posted 08-20-2011 08:49 PM

Nicely done

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View SheriDi's profile


147 posts in 3784 days

#2 posted 08-20-2011 09:30 PM

Wow, that’s your first piece? I’d say you nailed it. It’s beautiful!

Did you also make the chevalet?

-- A Veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America for an amount up to and including their life. That is beyond honor

View shipwright's profile


8357 posts in 3279 days

#3 posted 08-20-2011 09:35 PM

Great first project Mat.
So good to see another chevalet on LJ’s.
Even better to see the projects start rolling out. They are a fine thing to build but they are after all tools and the real joy comes from using them to create beautiful things like your Dipper.

Congratulations on the new chevalet and on the first work of art to come from it.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2789 posts in 4073 days

#4 posted 08-20-2011 10:52 PM

Super Job and for your first time, which even makes it better!

-- Dennis Zongker

View hairy's profile


2908 posts in 4013 days

#5 posted 08-21-2011 12:24 AM

Way to go, Matt!

-- Genghis Khan and his brother Don, couldn't keep on keeping on...

View tomd's profile


2210 posts in 4251 days

#6 posted 08-21-2011 07:53 AM

Very interesting techinque, nice work.

-- Tom D

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 4405 days

#7 posted 09-30-2011 05:22 AM

Very nice follow through. My tools and equipment are still packed away and ready to move to a new shop but unfortunately the owner of the building backed out of our deal. I was going to give him one years rent up front but after waiting 6 weeks and packing everything up he changed his mind and is not making the guy move out that is in the spot now and has not paid him rent in 9 months???? I don’t get it but its his choice and now I need another location. I started to build my chevalet but I am so cramped it was to frustrating to have to keep moving everything out and back in.

View KayBee's profile


1083 posts in 3727 days

#8 posted 09-30-2011 06:15 AM

Maybe he’s planning on putting a landlord’s lien on the guys stuff. It a clause written in most leases that lets the landlord seize everything in the property for not paying rent.

Sorry you’re having to play musical shops.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

View stefang's profile


16717 posts in 3815 days

#9 posted 01-31-2013 07:16 PM

Great blog Mathew and and a beautifully done project too.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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