Chasing Cattails

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Project by Woodenwizard posted 03-16-2013 11:50 PM 3111 views 18 times favorited 34 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first attempt at using marquetry on a piece of furniture. It took me longer than I expected but I wasn’t sure how to accomplish some of the items. I made this to replace a Wal-Mart set of plastic drawers in my office.

The case was made out of red oak plywood and the top and drawer fronts were veneered with walnut and some walnut burl. I enjoyed working with the burl as you look at the pattern you can often see animals or other creatures. I called this chasing cattails because I could see a bull dog behind the cattails in the burl. Can you see it?

The drawer fronts were done with a single sheet of walnut veneer. It was a challange to get the grain and the boarder to line up. But I think it was worth the effort.

The last picture is the plastic drawers that were replaced. I know it is difficult to tell the difference but I like the new drawers a tad better.


-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

34 comments so far

View Pete Jansen's profile

Pete Jansen

250 posts in 3335 days

#1 posted 03-16-2013 11:56 PM

Fantastic. I have to try my hand at it I have a kit, just haven’t opened it. Love your pattern.

-- Lovin' sawdust in beautiful Fort Collins, Colorado

View Lenny's profile


1627 posts in 3941 days

#2 posted 03-17-2013 12:22 AM

Now John, I’m sure you have heard the expression, “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.” Why would you change from that gorgeous set of storage compartments? Seriously, this is a beautiful piece of furniture you have created. The craftsmanship is top-notch and the marquetry is wonderful. Outstanding! [By the way, I do see the bulldog.]

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View Max's profile


56000 posts in 4687 days

#3 posted 03-17-2013 12:35 AM


Show off!!!!!!! Just kidding…. That is one fantastic piece of craftsmanship. I too like the new drawers just a tad better…. As usual very nice….

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View TomTinkerSum's profile


226 posts in 4249 days

#4 posted 03-17-2013 12:37 AM

That is fricken’ awesome!! Great job—very inspirational :)

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic.... :)

View shipwright's profile


8318 posts in 3212 days

#5 posted 03-17-2013 12:53 AM

Come on John …. that’s a badger!
Now you’ve done it you know.
You had one piece of office furniture that wasn’t up to the quality of the rest … now you have a whole bunch that aren’t up to the quality of the one. You see where I’m going with this?

That is some very nice veneer and beautifully planned and cut, just a sweet piece of work. back to the shop to bring the rest of the office furniture up to the new gold standard.

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

View HickoryHill's profile


228 posts in 4560 days

#6 posted 03-17-2013 01:05 AM

Wow, that top is really cool. Love the cat tails!

-- Jim, Michigan

View Roger's profile


21006 posts in 3218 days

#7 posted 03-17-2013 01:08 AM

Oh… !! That is super nice. I thought I was gonna be ill when I seen those plastic drawers….

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Woodenwizard's profile


1356 posts in 3457 days

#8 posted 03-17-2013 02:04 AM

Pete; Thanks for the kind words. I enjoy marquetry and it has opened a whole new world to my wood working. I would encourage you to give it a try.

Lenny; I agree but my wife said she wanted some nice furniture in the basement so I guess the high end plastic goes to the basement.

Paul; I do get your drift. Now that you mention it I think that is one of my problems as each piece gets better you are faced with replacing earlier works. Does it ever end? Thanks for the kind words and are you sure its a badger?

Jim; Thanks, I have always liked the look of cat tails.

Roger; I know what you are saying. I nearly cried when I had to move them to the basement.

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View shipwright's profile


8318 posts in 3212 days

#9 posted 03-17-2013 02:17 AM

Just looking at the stripes John.
Seriously though , Great Work!

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

View bobasaurus's profile


3599 posts in 3598 days

#10 posted 03-17-2013 02:22 AM

This came out really nicely, John. I like how the marquetry flows up the drawer panels. Big improvement over the plastic set.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3464 posts in 3523 days

#11 posted 03-17-2013 02:51 AM

I see the badger. I also see some stuff that I want to do, elsewhere here, and bought the veneer so long ago that it is now warped (but I bet that can be fixed) to do some marquetry. But work has kept me busy and away from any nice stuff. I’d like to be up there with Paul M., some other guys around here and you, but I’m miles away from that. I just need some time. Hope I don’t die before I get it…

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View oakwood's profile


327 posts in 2484 days

#12 posted 03-17-2013 03:20 AM

Lovely work! It is quite an improvement over it’s predecessor.

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3355 posts in 4127 days

#13 posted 03-17-2013 03:48 AM


What a nice reproduction of its predecessor! LOL The cattail design looks just great. It’s wonderful how you repeated the design down the front. Keep up the marquetry!


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Takara's profile


20 posts in 2748 days

#14 posted 03-17-2013 04:42 AM

This is a great example of why we are proud of you and I’m so excited to be learning everything you know. Paul is right when he said that the rest of the furniture in the office just seems sub-par now.

-- Danielle -

View shipwright's profile


8318 posts in 3212 days

#15 posted 03-17-2013 05:10 AM

OK, I’ve figured out where Danielle gets the marquetry talent from.
I’d been wondering about the grown up watching her father in his woodshop part of her profile.

... talented family.

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

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