Chevalet de Marqueterie

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Project by shipwright posted 03-04-2011 03:41 AM 20121 views 56 times favorited 59 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So I was thinking….If I’m going to get serious about marquetry, I really need a chevalet. I’ve been thinking about them ever since the last time I was in Europe and saw them still in use. Unfortunately there aren’t a lot of free plans around so I sort of designed my own from the photos I was able to find on the internet, not too hard really. The important thing is that as soon as it was finished and I started to use it I was able to cut far more accurate pieces than I ever would have achieved with my scroll saw…..right off the bat. It really gives me the feeling that there’s almost nothing I couldn’t do with it after a little practice.

The whole thing was built with my ShopSmith 510 that is my shop here in Green Valley and for the SS nay-sayers it only took about 40 hours. Most of the material is fir from an old beam I had to replace in my patio roof support structure because one foot of it was rotten. The rest is a little mesquite and bois d’arc both generously donated to the cause by LJ Gene Howe. Thanks Gene!

Counting the $37 I spent on linear motion bushings and a precision shaft, I’m in it for around $50 or $60.

Photo #2 The veneer packet clamping device
Photo #3 The handle knob from mesquite
Photo #4 Cutting position
Photo #5 A little border of grape vines I’m doing as a test.

Let the marquetry begin !

The Blog is up:


Chevy II blog is here:

Group of four build blog here:

Updated: Operating videos here .

New dimensioned sketchup here

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

59 comments so far

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 3805 days

#1 posted 03-04-2011 03:49 AM

Ah yes, the infamous “marqueteer’s donkey”. I’d build one for myself if I had room for it, but as it is now I set up my scroll saw, band saw, disk/belt sanding center or drill press on top of my table when I want to use them.

Nice job. When do we get to see some of the work from it?

Attached is a picture of my first marquetry piece, an occasional table top.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Dez's profile


1172 posts in 4994 days

#2 posted 03-04-2011 03:56 AM

Very Cool! Any chance of a blog on the build?

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View Dandog's profile


250 posts in 3691 days

#3 posted 03-04-2011 04:17 AM

That is so awesome. I too Have the 510 with the table upgrade I luv it. I would like to see a video on the Chevalet de Marqueterie to see that bad boy in action. Great job shipwrite.More ! more!

-- life an woodworking is one big experiment

View peteg's profile


4436 posts in 3740 days

#4 posted 03-04-2011 04:22 AM

Hey Paul, this looks a pretty tricky build, well done, obviusly didn’t sit around gathering dust. never had a go at marquetry but do marvel at thoes who have conqured it.
when do we see the real action from it ? :))

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View larryw's profile


335 posts in 3579 days

#5 posted 03-04-2011 04:23 AM

Well you did it!, wow!,thanks for posting.

-- "everything is beautiful, but not everyone sees it" ~confucius-551-449 b.c.~

View PurpLev's profile


8601 posts in 4565 days

#6 posted 03-04-2011 04:25 AM

very nice construction and finish. looks very comfortable to use.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View tinkertwist's profile


12 posts in 3607 days

#7 posted 03-04-2011 04:26 AM

knuckles on the shopsmith, I need to research your chevalet, it looks cool and fun to build, great job!

-- even a kick in the caboose is a step in the right direction

View SteveMI's profile


1166 posts in 4211 days

#8 posted 03-04-2011 05:09 AM

I’d like to see a short video too. It seems like the ultimate coping saw fixture with an awesome clamping system for what is being cut. I like that what you are cutting is right in front of you.

The Galoots would be proud, except they couldn’t use a SS to make one.


View lightweightladylefty's profile


3590 posts in 4629 days

#9 posted 03-04-2011 05:18 AM


I have a chevalet, too, but I’m thinking about trading for a Ford . . . Oh, that’s Chevrolet ;-)

You have to be a genius to figure out something like that, but having seen your work, you’re only re-confirming that fact for us now! Can’t wait to see the results. We’d love to be able to see your “chevy” up-close-and-personal. And we’d love to read a blog series on it also. Besides Europe, where can someone see one of these in action?


-- “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 William's profile


9950 posts in 3759 days

#10 posted 03-04-2011 05:21 AM

See what you done!?
Now I gotta do research because I don’t know what it is but I want one.


View PCM's profile


135 posts in 3962 days

#11 posted 03-04-2011 05:57 AM

Great effort. Looks like a success.

View BarryW's profile


1016 posts in 4824 days

#12 posted 03-04-2011 06:06 AM

just when I thought I’d seen every woodworking tool…..amazing piece of equipment…

-- /\/\/\ BarryW /\/\/\ Stay so busy you don't have time to die.

View ianlee74's profile


153 posts in 3865 days

#13 posted 03-04-2011 06:06 AM

Looks great! I still have no idea what the heck it is… Looking forward to a video of it in action!

-- Ian, Tennessee

View rance's profile


4274 posts in 4077 days

#14 posted 03-04-2011 06:16 AM

Yeah, I drive a Ford too. Nice looking machine.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View mickyd's profile


31 posts in 4055 days

#15 posted 03-04-2011 06:30 AM

Great job Paul. It looks FANTASTIC.

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