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Imperial Dragon Marquetry

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Project by mauibob posted 08-01-2010 03:34 AM 4650 views 8 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Imperial Dragon Marquetry
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Here’s a Chinese imperial dragon—you can tell it’s an “imperial” dragon by the 5 toes! The technique is double bevel marquetry and the woods used were ipe, Chechen rosewood, purpleheart, maple and holly. The dragon’s eyeballs were made with a red Mixol colored 5 minute epoxy inlay. Not sure what I’ll do with this fellow—probably the top to a box.

-- Bob, Potomac, MD





6 comments so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

24543 posts in 5130 days


#1 posted 08-01-2010 05:00 AM

Nice job. You could send it to me if you don’t know what to do with it ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View RonPeters's profile

RonPeters

713 posts in 4335 days


#2 posted 08-01-2010 07:01 AM

I am continually amazed at the talent here at LJ!

Double bevel marquetry – I’m going to have to read up on that to understand what it is exactly. It sure looks cool…

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View mauibob's profile

mauibob

258 posts in 4522 days


#3 posted 08-01-2010 02:59 PM

Hi Ron, check out some of these sites:

http://www.americanmarquetrysociety.com American Marquetry Society
http://www.marquetry.org/ Marquetry Society of Great Britain
http://www.marquetrysociety.ca/ Marquetry Society of Canada (Great tips on parquetry & marquetry)

Some of the photo galleries on these sites will blow you away with what can be done with marquetry. Talk about cool!

If you’re out in the Northern California area, also check out the course by David Marks (http://www.djmarks.com) up in Santa Rosa on double bevel marquetry.

-- Bob, Potomac, MD

View Woodenwizard's profile

Woodenwizard

1369 posts in 4497 days


#4 posted 08-02-2010 05:11 AM

another great project. I too use the double bevel method but use a shop built marquetry saw. It is operated by hand which allows me to better control the cutting. I have tried to do this on the scroll saw but I just can’t control the saw. It cuts too fast. What saw do you use? I have a Dewalt and even at the slowest speed I have trouble controlling the cutting especially in the detail.

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

24543 posts in 5130 days


#5 posted 08-02-2010 07:56 AM

That is good to know in case I ever try this :-) Instead a sprin pole lathe, I’ll make a spring pole marquetry saw :-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View mauibob's profile

mauibob

258 posts in 4522 days


#6 posted 08-02-2010 02:15 PM

Hi John. I had the same problem with controlling the scroll saw until I learned a trick—actually shown to me by David Marks (DIY “Woodworks”) out in Santa Rosa, CA. I was using commercial veneers (usually pretty darn thin, around 1/30” to 1/42”). When the blade would hit the grain direction just right, the saw would zoom ahead as if cutting through butter and ruin the piece. (If you take a look at my other project, the Hokusai wave, I must have started that one at least 5 times, each ending in the same disaster.) The other problem with thin veneers is that the bevel angle has to be quite large (around 12-15 degrees or so), and when cutting closely spaced pieces, the blade would undercut the veneer creating a “V” in the material which would, in the best case, weaken the piece at that point, or in the worst case, turn your pattern section into dust. Thin veneers are great for some marquetry pieces, but they just don’t work with the scroll saw on fine details. I even went the route of using a jeweler’s saw, but the second problem didn’t go away.
So, the “trick” if I can call it that is to use thick, bandsawn veneers. For the dragon, I sliced some 7/64” veneers. This has two effects—the thicker stack (now 7/32” for double bevel) cuts much slower (I also use a Dewalt), and the bevel angle (now around 3-4 degrees) makes it a pleasure to cut tightly spaced objects—no more blowing through the grain and undercutting the bottom object. (By the way, David Marks has a great DVD on tuning the bandsaw for making very precise veneer slices. Check out his site at http://www.djmarks.com.)
Sounds too simple, but it really works! —Bob

-- Bob, Potomac, MD

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