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Marquetry Serving Tray

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Blog series by jmartel updated 06-12-2014 05:57 AM 7 parts 16718 reads 25 comments total

Part 1: Introduction/Design

05-24-2014 11:50 PM by jmartel | 1 comment »

My mom approached me about doing something for my father for Father’s day. Only requirements were that it was to be something for their boat, and that it have the boat’s name on it. Other than that, I had complete creative freedom. I came up with the serving tray idea since they frequently prepare food down in the galley and have to bring it to the back deck for eating, and they currently just use some plastic serving tray. For the design, I decided that a prominent Compass ...

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Part 2: Lets get started

05-25-2014 12:05 AM by jmartel | 1 comment »

First things first was to size things up. I decided on a 14”x18” size, based off of some general dimenions pulled from several commercial available trays. It is small enough to ship easily, but should still hold enough to be worth it. From there, I created the background by “jointing” 2 pieces of Sapele veneer to get straight edges, and then used veneer tape to hold them together. There isn’t any photos of this step as I completely forgot. Plus, it’s som...

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Part 3: Cutting the Border and inlaying it all

05-25-2014 12:37 AM by jmartel | 4 comments »

Next up comes the tedious task of cutting all of the pieces to make up the rope. Somewhere north of 60 pieces for the border alone. I found a pattern online with the right diameter I wanted, so I printed out a couple copies, cut them up, and taped it down to the veneer I want to cut it from. After cutting it all out, you are left with this: While that would look all well and good on it’s own, I decided to give shading a try. This is the first time I’ve attempted it, ...

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Part 4: Small design change, Construction of the frame, and cutting out letters

06-04-2014 05:44 AM by jmartel | 6 comments »

Last night, I set on the task of cutting out all the letters. I ended up just printing out the photo and using that as a guide for cutting them, which worked well enough. Only problem was that I split some of the letters. I’m going to be re-doing the M, A, S, W, T, and I still need to cut the B (it was obscured by the flag in the photo). This is one major drawback of using the X-acto knife method for cutting veneer. It has a tendency to pull too much on the veneer when cutting cross-...

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Part 5: More construction on the tray frame

06-06-2014 04:17 PM by jmartel | 2 comments »

2 night ago, I was able to re-cut some of the letters in an effort to not have any broken pieces. The S and W continued to split on me, but I was able to get a nice M, A, and B so I will count it as a success. Last night was fairly productive. I was able to use my router with a 1/4” bit to cut a dado in the 4 sides of the frame to accept the plywood bottom. The 2 shorter sides had to be stopped dadoes so that they would be hidden when the frame is assembled. Once I cut the dad...

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Part 6: Making some pegs, changing the design a bit, and disaster

06-08-2014 08:52 PM by jmartel | 4 comments »

To keep with the Greene and Greene style theme, I decided that I wanted to use some black square pegs on the finger joints. Headed over to Rockler hoping to find a turning blank of Ebony, but the only things they had was Salt & Pepper sized and about $80. I ended up spying a piece of African Blackwood that was 1.5”x1.5”x6” that would work out perfectly. Took it to the bandsaw and resawed a 1/4” wide piece off, and then sawed that piece up into 1/4”x1/4...

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Part 7: Nearing the end

06-12-2014 05:57 AM by jmartel | 7 comments »

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...

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