Marquetry practice

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Project by Jeff Vicenzi posted 01-08-2021 07:51 PM 963 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been trying to teach myself a bit of marquetry and here are a couple of practice pieces I just completed by a couple of different methods. The hummingbird was done by the “window” method with a #11 scalpel. Pretty straightforward and accurate but quite slow, taking about 6-8 hours. The flower was done by a variation of the “PAD” method with a scroll saw and #3/0 blade and this was at least twice as fast. I used a method similar to that described by Craig Thibodeau in this book “the craft of veneering” (though I simplified the taping sequence, taping once rather than four times!). I was a bit surprised by the relatively large gap between the pieces (compared to Window method which had almost no gap), but after glue-up, the gap was filled by the light brown glue and was not very noticeable. I used commercial ~1/40” veneer for this work.

I have previously tried using the “double bevel” method, and obtained nice gap-free results, but was a bit frustrated with difficulty in accurately following the pattern due to overly aggressive cutting with just 2 layers of 1/40” veneers in that method (even though scroll saw at slowest speed and #3/0 blade). Part of the issue might be my Dewalt DW788 scroll saw which I understand has relatively aggressive cutting action. If any of you marquetry experts out there have any advice to offer, please do!!

12 comments so far

View GnarlyErik's profile


344 posts in 3216 days

#1 posted 01-08-2021 11:35 PM

I applaud your courage to tackle such a difficult venue. I’d highly recommend you take a look at some of ‘Shipwright’s projects on this site. He is a marquetry master and even teaches it. Here’s a link to him:

-- "Never let your dogma be run over by your karma!"

View rustynails's profile


952 posts in 3610 days

#2 posted 01-08-2021 11:59 PM

Paul Schurch out of California has a great set of DVD’s that are a must watch if you ask me on how to do marquetry if trying to learn from home. I have a set and have taken a class with him. I have also done other classes on marquetry and there were also great and informative but you had to take the class. So from home Paul is a great learn.

Also I forgot to mention your two practice works look great!

View pottz's profile


16852 posts in 2066 days

#3 posted 01-09-2021 12:06 AM

wow for a beginner thats pretty impressive work,cant wait to see what you will do when your “good”.beautiful work.

-- 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 Bobsboxes's profile


1667 posts in 3745 days

#4 posted 01-09-2021 04:59 AM

Very nice work, lots of detail. Looking forward to seeing more.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View PaulDoug's profile


2549 posts in 2785 days

#5 posted 01-09-2021 02:56 PM

Beautiful… I would love to learn marquetry, but getting too old and shaky…. You are doing great!

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View BurlyBob's profile


8849 posts in 3347 days

#6 posted 01-09-2021 04:24 PM

Looks like you’ve pretty much got it figured out. Both are wonderful. Keep at it. I’d like to try that one day.

View Lazyman's profile


6990 posts in 2469 days

#7 posted 01-09-2021 05:09 PM

Looks nice. Some marquetry is also on my someday list. I recall Shipwright (or community marquetry expert) saying that he only uses 1/16” veneer for his work because life is too short for the paper thin stuff available in most places. I think he said that one of his sources for the good stuff is Certainly Wood.

+1 for looking at Shipwrights projects and blogs on the subject. Also checkout his website where you can arrange online classes: The Canadian School of French Marquetry .

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View OnhillWW's profile (online now)


303 posts in 2314 days

#8 posted 01-09-2021 08:05 PM

I wish my first attempts at anything were as successful as you were here. Very nice work and attractive subject material.

-- Cheap is expensive! - my Dad

View Calmudgeon's profile


479 posts in 2509 days

#9 posted 01-10-2021 05:51 AM

I like how you’ve achieved some shading in the flower with your wood choice.
Nice work.

-- "As are the things we make, so are we ourselves." - Lin Yutang

View swirt's profile


6191 posts in 4053 days

#10 posted 01-10-2021 06:04 PM

Very impressive. They both look great, but the humming bird is my favorite.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Jeff Vicenzi's profile

Jeff Vicenzi

70 posts in 471 days

#11 posted 01-12-2021 04:06 AM

Thanks for the kind words and advice everyone. I checked out Shipwrights projects as suggested and wow!

View ugoboy's profile


143 posts in 4115 days

#12 posted 01-19-2021 08:19 PM

nicely done

-- ~ Guy Woodward, Pflugerville Texas

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