It’s All About Donating! #5: Rustic Intarsia

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by justoneofme posted 07-29-2019 02:45 PM 1178 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Rustic Intarsia Part 5 of It’s All About Donating! series Part 6: Rustic Intarsia »

After a 3-week painting marathon to beautify our dwelling, then reclaiming my workshop again … I’m finally back to this Rustic Intarsia art piece. Even though it had been put on hold, constant thoughts of shaping the design parts kept momentum driving me forward in anticipation!

Experience has taught me to prepare for a projectile or two! When it comes to rough sanding tiny pieces it’s definitely necessary to have a firm grip on things! But … when only the slightest brush against the belt sander is needed to do the job before it becomes too much … I sometimes focus more on that, and end up in a panicked search! Prevention is the best cure!!

Here’s a sample of rough shaping in progress on the belt sander.

And right there (sticking out like a sore thumb) is the reason I’ll be painting the design parts rather than leaving them in their natural state. The very noticeable contrast between those neighboring panels unfortunately follows throughout the entire design, and a lacquered finish would enhance that starkness to unwelcome distraction.

Once rough shaping is complete, it’s time for finer things!

The block of wood with double-faced tape applied, comes in handy as a 3rd hand! Those small pinch clamps are used to hold the tiniest of pieces to be worked on, and occasionally to hold glued up broken parts together. However, dealing with 1” thick cedar, I was pleased that nothing broke … not even a skinny stem!

With the use of multiple sized Dremel sanding drums, sanding sticks and sponges … many intense hours are spent turning a ‘sow’s ear into a silk purse’!!

It took approximately 12 hours to complete this entire stage of the Intarsia … really, a drop in the bucket of hours already spent. But plenty long enough to develop a kinked neck or cramped hand. And because of that, I keep my timer set for 1 hour of work, mark down my time, and take a 15 minute break before going at it again.

This handy-dandy vacuum attachment allows me to remove all signs of dust without sucking up little parts!

With everything put together again, I gave the whole surface a quick spray of sanding sealer … for more than one reason. First off, I really wanted to see how the natural cedar would look once some lacquer hit it, hoping I was wrong about too much contrast. But this only reconfirmed what I expected.

Now … with thoughts turning toward painting … this lacquer coating will help protect all the shaped surfaces during the next process. Acrylics, being water-based, could easily swell the wood without this protective coat. One or two swollen pieces are acceptable, but when there are many sections comprising one element (such as a flower) combined swelling could present a real problem! I have no desire to bang things back in place with a mallet to make them fit!!

The last reason for this protective layer of lacquer … I’ll explain in the next blog! My mind has been working overtime on an idea I really hope will work … so pleas stay tuned :)

-- Elaine in Duncan

11 comments so far

View shipwright's profile


8727 posts in 3913 days

#1 posted 07-29-2019 03:10 PM

I’m sure your plan will be brilliant Elaine. The project is looking great so far.

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

View pottz's profile (online now)


17500 posts in 2100 days

#2 posted 07-29-2019 07:15 PM

that is some beautiful intarsia work,cant wait to see that completed.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Druid's profile


2205 posts in 3911 days

#3 posted 07-29-2019 09:20 PM

Looking good Elaine. Well done description . . . and warnings. ;)

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View GR8HUNTER's profile


8528 posts in 1828 days

#4 posted 07-29-2019 09:33 PM

this work is so beautiful i as larry am starting to get very excited about the finished piece :<)))))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View Celticscroller's profile


1286 posts in 3188 days

#5 posted 07-30-2019 02:32 AM

This is looking fabulous Elaine. Your explanations are wonderfully detailed – good teacher! Looking forward to the next stage.

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3654 posts in 4828 days

#6 posted 07-30-2019 05:10 AM


You’re making me really anxious to see the “big picture.” It’s really coming along nicely.


-- “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 DocSavage45's profile


9049 posts in 3958 days

#7 posted 07-30-2019 06:10 AM

Hey Elaine,

Wondered where you went. Guess I’m going to remember to stay away from waterborne finishes if I ever get to My Intarsia CauHaus sign!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4449 days

#8 posted 07-30-2019 02:43 PM

Pretty amazing what some artistically done shaping can do. I can’t recall seeing it so well done on any other intarsia works I’ve seen. I’m sure glad that you are back at it and showing us what is possible Elaine! Very inspiring work.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View justoneofme's profile


859 posts in 3595 days

#9 posted 07-30-2019 03:15 PM

Wow good buddies! ... I got carried away in the workshop and just now, before another full day of fun, tapped in to read all these wonderful and greatly appreciated comments. Many thanks for keeping me company all the way along!!

-- Elaine in Duncan

View ~Julie~'s profile


623 posts in 4150 days

#10 posted 07-31-2019 01:27 AM

Great stuff Elaine!!

-- ~Julie~

View justoneofme's profile


859 posts in 3595 days

#11 posted 07-31-2019 04:03 AM

Thanks Julie :)

-- Elaine in Duncan

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics