Treasure Box III - Post #4: Cutting Marquetry

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Blog entry by Patricelejeune posted 09-29-2018 01:55 AM 1607 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: New Marquetry Workshop Part 4 of Treasure Box III - Post series Part 5: Chêne de Tronçais - Tronçais' Oak »

So with a bit of tardiness here is an “account” on cutting the marquetry panels our Treasure Box III

As you know, I now do my marquetry in LA with a reduced but sweet set up.

On a piece by piece project the drawing is paramount to the final quality of your marquetry. No change can be made afterwards so I usually work my drawing until Patrick and Kristen pry me away from it.

Once this first stage is complete. We usualy have a good idea of what wood will be used where but there is always a bit of change and it is fixed at that moment. Each number correspond to a wood. We currently have a palette of more than 50 different woods and colors in sawn veneer.

There is always a possibility of change by re-cutting the pieces if you are not happy with the colors, but it is a waste of wood and time.

The pieces are cut on paper first and placed in an exploded view

I leave enough space around the papers for easy handling

On projects with a lot of pieces I cut one side at a time.
Here is the tray for one of the sides

Each piece is transfered in a numbered square following the guide.

Then the pieces of paper are glued to the corresponding veneer packet. Each of our pack are 4 layer thick, so we will end up with 4 boxes.

The pieces are cut on the chevalet.

Ans are laid on a tray

Some of them are really small

Some are pretty intricate

Some need a particular attention to accuracy so they nest nicely into each other

The process is repeated for each panel.

The trays fill up

At this point I check the pieces that I marked as possilby not good enough while cutting and decide which needs to be recut.

Once all the pieces are cut and approved, it is time for sand shading.

I have been using gas and actually found it better than electric plate.

On traditional marquetry, I like to give to each piece a bit of shading. It gives volume.

Once all the shading is done it is time to cut the backgrounds, one at a time.

The picture is build face down on paper Using hot hide glue

For those backgrounds, there is a lot of “islands” isolated between pieces. We use bridges to keep them pefectly located.

Those bridges are removed as we go.

Here are, prior to mastic, the 2 sides

The front

And the top

Here we go for the marquetry!

-- Patrice lejeune

9 comments so far

View TheFridge's profile


10863 posts in 2727 days

#1 posted 09-29-2018 02:20 AM

Awesome work. I hope you are rewarded well for it.

Is it typical to scrape the surface prior to finishing? If so, do you use a regular card scraper?

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View shipwright's profile


8751 posts in 4039 days

#2 posted 09-29-2018 02:24 AM

Absolutely perfect!
I have no other words.

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

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3660 posts in 4954 days

#3 posted 09-29-2018 04:03 AM


Exquisite! Do you use magnification to see what you are doing? My eyes hurt just thinking about trying to see all those tiny pieces and get them into the correct locations.

These boxes will be incredible. Thanks so much for sharing your journey once again.


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View 000's profile


2859 posts in 2140 days

#4 posted 09-29-2018 04:22 AM

Not bad for a days work. What are you going to do tomorrow?

Incredible talent!

View robscastle's profile


8265 posts in 3445 days

#5 posted 09-29-2018 08:53 AM

I am with you LWLL too much of a strain on my eyes these days and I am only looking on th PC !

Where is my white cane?

Agree Shipwright has it down to just two correct words!

-- Regards Rob

View Sodabowski's profile


2401 posts in 4074 days

#6 posted 09-29-2018 11:02 AM

Man, these boxes are going to be phenomenal! Great idea of the bird looking at the viewer. Jeez I’m at a loss of words actually.

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View Redoak49's profile


5388 posts in 3230 days

#7 posted 09-29-2018 11:07 AM

Thank you for the pictures and explanation.

Such beautiful and superb work.

View tinnman65's profile


1416 posts in 4655 days

#8 posted 09-29-2018 11:44 PM

Truly amazing work! Thanks so much for sharing your process with us.

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View htl's profile


5576 posts in 2400 days

#9 posted 06-01-2019 04:58 AM

Beautiful Just beautiful!!!

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

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