Treasure Box III - Post #6: Frisage / Parquetry

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Blog entry by Patricelejeune posted 12-03-2018 12:52 AM 1608 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Chêne de Tronçais - Tronçais' Oak Part 6 of Treasure Box III - Post series Part 7: Veneering »

Lets talk a bit about the inside of the box.

When I worked on the intention drawing I had in mind the Getty coffer for the shape and marquetry, but we wanted to create something functional. My first idea was a dropfront and Patrick was dead set agains it. After months of turning around, looking at other projects but always comming back to that one, we compromised on : a dropfront… Eheh

An intent drawing is always a great start for me, as I try to present what the object will be function and “look”. Apart from different possible color scheme, there was also the debat of till or no till. The only thing we agreed on, this box was going to need a bunch of custom hardware, but THAT will be for another episode.

As we opted for a dropfront, the compass arm had to be attached to the front and slide into the sides. First thing we looked at was, do we have a plate for the attachment or just a slot

And what kind of “frisage” / parquetry would make it elegant and/or integrated?

And sometime you just get lucky and find the solutions in a book, when you are looking for something else.

Now we had our “theme”, with the diamond pattern, we chose our woods and got to work.

Finding sawn veneer string inlay the color you need is not easy, so we always end up making our own.
I start on the shooting board making a clean edge on the sawn veneer, then cut with a veneer saw a little bigger than I need (ap. 0.5mm). Then I run the veneer strip through Lie Nielsen Thicknessing Gauge to make it clean and the right thickness/width.

For the dropfront, I used the radius cutter by glueing the veneer to a assembly board

but switched to cutting all the radius by hand on the chevalet, as I can be precise enough and it is easier to manage for me. I can also cut 4 at a time.

The bandings are sawn tulip and sawn boxwood string inlay

The curving of the string inlay is done on that thingy, that I believe is made to bend musical instrument sides, or warm your shellac repair tools.

For tighter radius I have usde my holdfast tail in the past. Just stick it in the oven!

4 way match in kingwoodin the center and in the corner a ,ice olive crouch. Ready to veneer.

I will not be able to show this frisage/parquetry finished as we incorporated some private calligraphy in marquetry in the central diamond for our client.

We decided to have a lid on the till to get at the same time a silk velvet sruface and a tray. We made it simpler with just some rounded corners, leaving more room for the lucious surface.

Then, the mirror inside the top was interesting. It will be a secret compartment on pivot hinges, so I adjusted it and marked the placement for the frisage/parquetry. You can also see the diamond pattern in the drawer front olive wood frisage.

I started by cutting the cavity for the mirror and lined the inside edges with a thicker piece of veneer we cut ourself on the bandsaw. We left this boxwood piece proud in the front to be part of the final frisage/parquetry.

Then I built and glue the first stage of the frisage/parquetry

I cut the corners with the radius tool from Lie Nielsen and made the rest of the frisage/parquetry

I chose to do it in 3 steps because sometimes sawn veneer is hard to tame and glueing it down in sections simplify your life quite a bit.

All right! Done with that part. Next!

Thank you for following

-- Patrice lejeune

8 comments so far

View Julian's profile


1637 posts in 3803 days

#1 posted 12-03-2018 12:56 AM

Wow, that looks incredible. Beautiful work.

-- Julian

View shipwright's profile


8726 posts in 3910 days

#2 posted 12-03-2018 01:13 AM

Your fraisage is great but your diplomatic and negotiating skills are even better apparently. Maybe YOU should be president. :-)
Seriously …. what Julian said.

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

View Redoak49's profile


5271 posts in 3101 days

#3 posted 12-03-2018 01:58 AM

Amazing and stunning work.

View Longcase's profile


102 posts in 2559 days

#4 posted 12-03-2018 02:31 AM

As always Patrice , your work looks outstanding

View tomd's profile


2222 posts in 4883 days

#5 posted 12-03-2018 05:22 AM

Fantastic work, thank you for the post informative and interesting.

-- Tom D

View Sodabowski's profile


2400 posts in 3945 days

#6 posted 12-03-2018 11:17 AM

That’s already quite the eye-candy! I love the palette so far. The kind of level I wish to be able to attain one day!

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

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4447 days

#7 posted 12-03-2018 01:49 PM

Wonderful design and craftsmanship Patrice. This will be another piece worthy of your talents.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View StephenGiderson's profile


18 posts in 927 days

#8 posted 12-21-2018 04:16 AM

This is something new that I have seen which takes the form of a treasure box. Usually the storage area only runs deep, but this unique design offers drawers instead. I guess you need to know what you’d be storing in there before designing one.

-- Stepen Giderson,

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