Marquetry Serving Tray #7: Nearing the end

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Blog entry by jmartel posted 06-12-2014 05:57 AM 2354 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Making some pegs, changing the design a bit, and disaster Part 7 of Marquetry Serving Tray series no next part

On Monday night, I was able to finish all of the lettering on the re-do panel. Once again, the small letters kept breaking. That’s one of the biggest downsides to cutting veneer with a knife. With a scroll saw or a chevalet, you don’t pull on the veneer. When you cut cross grain with a knife, I’ve found that I need to take super shallow passes on anything that is thinner than about 1/4” wide or else it will just break the veneer. I.e., I need to take 4 or 5 cuts to cut through the veneer rather than my normal 3ish. After cutting out half of the letters once, about another third of them twice, and a couple of them 3 times, I was able to get a full set of letters that would work.

At that point it was just the standard taping down with clear tape, tracing with the knife, cutting out the background, veneer taping it in place, and moving onto the next one. Once I got into a rhythm, it didn’t take long to finish.

I won’t bore you with a photo of tape on the background again, but after I laminated it to some 1/4” MDF and sanded off the tape, this was the result.

Not perfect, but it’s a heck of a lot better than last time. If I would have had more time I’m sure I could have gotten it better, but it will do for this piece.

Last night I was able to glue the backing onto the mdf piece, trim it to size, and sand everything down. I ended up with some air bubbles on the backing, unfortunately, which had to be fixed by slicing them open, injecting glue, and putting it back into cauls. The result is less than desireable, but given that it’s on the bottom of the tray, I can live with it.

Once that was dry and sanded again, I was able to assemble the frame and panel together. I opted to use dowels in the joints to make it stronger, which you can still see some poking out that weren’t trimmed flush for the photo.

That brings me to tonight’s work. Using a chisel, I was able to pare all the dowels down flush with the sides of the frame to prepare for the decorative pegs. From there, I drilled out the pegs roughly 3/8” down and then squared the hole up with a mortising chisel to accept my decorative square pegs. Again, since I was working quickly, the results are acceptable, but not perfect.

Once that was finished, some sawdust+glue wax mixed into the gaps, and everything was finish sanded, I fired up my compressor and was able to spray a couple coats of lacquer onto it before finishing up for the evening.

This is not the final finish, as it still needs to be leveled and then a few more coats added. Additionally, the finish wasn’t completely dry yet on either photo so it looks a little different at the moment.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

7 comments so far

View sras's profile


5192 posts in 3636 days

#1 posted 06-12-2014 07:53 AM

That last picture really shows off the color! Makes all the effort worth it.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View stefang's profile


16722 posts in 3841 days

#2 posted 06-12-2014 01:48 PM

Super result on this. Glad it isn’t ‘perfect’ as it would then look machine made and lose all it’s value.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View kenn's profile


813 posts in 4226 days

#3 posted 06-12-2014 06:31 PM

I’m glad you changed from the rope circle, this one “fits” better, keep going.

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 3287 days

#4 posted 06-13-2014 09:39 PM

Very nice work, worth the trials etc !

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View changeoffocus's profile


467 posts in 2124 days

#5 posted 06-16-2014 12:32 AM

Great looking project, Very nice series, I hope you post the story of the reaction to your gift.
I admire your work and the fortitude that you demonstrated by telling the story.
I hope you continue to post.

View Ken90712's profile


17741 posts in 3695 days

#6 posted 06-16-2014 01:59 PM

Great work, I need to read the blog as I just glanced through it this morning. Very interesting….

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Kristopher's profile


78 posts in 2820 days

#7 posted 08-22-2015 12:39 AM

Great job! I’m glad I found your blog. I plan to build a blanket/Military Shadow Box/Chest (all in one) for someone in the style of Greene and Greene. And you my friend, have shed some light on how the pegs are made. Thank you!

-- Kristopher, Westminster, SC - May you always believe in the magic!

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