"Discovery" - A Mosaic in Wood

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Project by Mathew Nedeljko posted 11-20-2011 10:08 PM 4456 views 17 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This work is inspired by fellow lumberjock Robin Tucker (WoodMosaic) and the fabulous projects and tutorials he has posted here. This is a hexagonal Lazy Susan approx 12” wide and 1.5” high, made of .150” thick shop sawn Walnut, Mahogany, Maple and Poplar veneer, and laid onto a plywood base. The geometric pattern just kind of came into being of its own design – hence the name. Being my first attempt at this form of work, I decide to treat it like art and sign it and date it for posterity sake.

Robin cuts his pieces using a foot powered table saw, I decided to build a jig so that I could hand cut the pieces. There are 414 individually hand cut pieces, 210 in the top, 150 in the sides, and 54 in the base.

The finish is multiple coats of an oil/varnish blend, sanded between coats with final polishing up to 2000 grit. It is silky smooth and very pleasing to the touch.

My favorite part of this project is the way the light reflects off the the individual pieces, and the chatoyance of the wood as the lazy susan spins.

This was a fun project. Thanks for looking!

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

22 comments so far

View degoose's profile


7258 posts in 3865 days

#1 posted 11-20-2011 10:34 PM

You certainly have something there to be very proud of… and I am sure that Robyn would agree..
My only critique would be the one Robyn gave me when I made my first… check the grain orientation.. always have each piece at angles to each other piece… ie don’t have the grain run the same direction in adjacent pieces…I have always remembered that and tried to comply…
Other than that … one very nice piece … and the fact that is it hand…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View sras's profile


5199 posts in 3640 days

#2 posted 11-20-2011 10:42 PM

Nicely done! Those diamonds take a bit of work to keep aligned – looks like you did a great job!

Thanks for sharing.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View motoman's profile


143 posts in 3862 days

#3 posted 11-20-2011 10:58 PM

Have made a few of these myself,and can’t imagine cutting all those pieces by hand.Good job.

-- Mike Wix

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 4435 days

#4 posted 11-20-2011 11:08 PM

I love Robin,s work you honor him.

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3547 days

#5 posted 11-20-2011 11:16 PM

Nice work, Mathew. Looks beautiful.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View woodworm's profile


14475 posts in 4101 days

#6 posted 11-21-2011 02:15 AM

Neat & beautiful work. I don’t think I have patient to do the glue-up job.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View 58j35bonanza's profile


395 posts in 3203 days

#7 posted 11-21-2011 03:36 AM

Beautiful work. It certainly is a piece of art.

-- Chuck

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4576 days

#8 posted 11-21-2011 03:40 AM

Well done Mathew. I’m in the process of making my first Mosaic style piece myself. I applaud you hand cutting all of those pieces. Hopefully my project turns out as well as yours. I will have WoodMosaics and degoose to thank for it if it does turn out nice.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View shipwright's profile


8381 posts in 3309 days

#9 posted 11-21-2011 04:53 AM

Sweet job Mat.
You have got optical illusions going on all over the place in there.
I see new ones every time I look at it.
Bravo !!

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

View SeaWitch's profile


149 posts in 2905 days

#10 posted 11-21-2011 06:54 AM

Really nice. Very inspiring.

-- When you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, 'Certainly I can!' Then get busy and find out how to do it.”   Theodore Roosevelt

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 3445 days

#11 posted 11-21-2011 07:32 AM

Looks great.

Wonderfull job.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3701 days

#12 posted 11-21-2011 09:38 AM

Great work….you used a hand saw to cut all of the parts???

Wow, you are a patient wood worker!!!! But it paid off because

your work is very beautiful.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

715 posts in 4340 days

#13 posted 11-21-2011 02:35 PM

Thanks for all the nice comments everyone. I really approached this as a study in Parquetry and used some of the techniques I have learned on the marquetry side to make this assembly manageable. I believe in the old days they would call this type of work “Frisage”.

I assembled the entire top using blue tape to hold it all together, then flipped it over, taped the entire assembly, then glued it to the substrate all in one go. Robin glues his pieces on one at a time with hot melt glue, using my technique I was able to do it all at once.

Also, yes hand cutting each piece did take a while, but I felt it was the only safe way to work with small pieces. Of course, I used the machines in order to prepare the thin strips that the diamonds and triangles are cut from. Each piece also needed to be scraped with a utility knife to remove the small burr at the trailing edge of the cut that despite the jig acting as a zero clearance support I could not seem to eliminate.

If anyone is interested, I have a picassa web album that contains a lot more photos of construction details.

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4729 days

#14 posted 11-21-2011 04:32 PM

Very impressive piece. I admire your patience and precision with the hand saw.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3377 days

#15 posted 11-21-2011 05:16 PM

This is beautiful work and fine craftsmanship.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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