Oeben Boxes #2: Shading and Border Assembly

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Blog entry by shipwright posted 03-22-2017 11:44 PM 3433 reads 0 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Getting the top marquetry done Part 2 of Oeben Boxes series Part 3: The First Actual Box Begins »

In the first segment I covered a few months work to the point of assembled top marquetry. Things will slow down dramatically now as you will be up to date with my progress.

Usually all the shading is done after cutting but this piece has a little twist. I noticed when I studied the high resolution representation of the original appearance that the feature Tulip and several other flowers actually used subtly different veneers to imply light and shadow. A closer examination of the article indicated that the veneers were Holly and Boxwood. I have done the same in my motifs. Look at the lighter and darker petals in the tulip and the turned up tips of the petals in the other holly flowers.

You can download the PDF of the article here:

The effect works well and the tulip needs no further shading to appear three dimensional. The other parts were however shaded in hot sand in the conventional manner.

With the shading done attention turned to the Tulipwood border and the bone purflings.
Some of the easier curves in the bone stringing can be bent after soaking the bone pieces in a 50% solution of vinegar to soften them. Other parts are just too sharply curved and were cut on the chevalet from 1.5 mm bone veneer.
I used my little trim router and some very fine bits to do the installations.

That’s a lot of pictures but it was an interesting ride and I now know a lot more about bone inlay than I did before. That has to be a good thing, no?

Thanks for looking in


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

26 comments so far

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5123 days

#1 posted 03-23-2017 12:00 AM

I am at a loss for words.
That is just fantastic. Thanks for including us on the ride.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View NormG's profile


6508 posts in 4244 days

#2 posted 03-23-2017 12:28 AM

Gorgeous work

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Boxguy's profile


2901 posts in 3508 days

#3 posted 03-23-2017 12:40 AM

Paul, if this keeps up, you were born in the wrong century. What wonderful work. Thanks for taking us along.

-- Big Al in IN

View Grumpymike's profile


2497 posts in 3556 days

#4 posted 03-23-2017 12:42 AM

Paul, You are the most amazing craftsman I have ever known … Your work is far beyond simply beautiful.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View Longcase's profile


102 posts in 2687 days

#5 posted 03-23-2017 12:53 AM

Very nice work indeed

View Redoak49's profile


5388 posts in 3229 days

#6 posted 03-23-2017 01:17 AM

Absolutely amazing….thanks for posting and all the pictures.

Out of curiosity, how long does it take to cut some of those pieces?

View sras's profile


6345 posts in 4370 days

#7 posted 03-23-2017 01:45 AM

I always enjoy watching your creations come together!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2847 posts in 4924 days

#8 posted 03-23-2017 04:30 AM

Really amazing work Paul, thanks for sharing the photos and taking us on the journey. Craftsmanship at it’s best
and you must be real proud of the end result. Thanks again for sharing.

-- RIP Bob C, Australia. Your best teacher is your last mistake.

View Druid's profile


2205 posts in 4036 days

#9 posted 03-23-2017 05:30 AM

Beautiful work as usual Paul. Thanks for sharing.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View Dutchy's profile


4189 posts in 3409 days

#10 posted 03-23-2017 06:40 AM

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2949 posts in 2304 days

#11 posted 03-23-2017 10:04 AM

One of these days, Paul, I really want to just sit downwind of you.
Thanks for keeping the ancient craft alive and fresh in my mind.

-- Mark

View MontanaBob's profile


874 posts in 3924 days

#12 posted 03-23-2017 11:57 AM


View dclark1943's profile


270 posts in 3428 days

#13 posted 03-23-2017 01:04 PM

Paul, Thanks for sharing this wonderful work of marquetry!

-- Dave, Kansas City

View builtinbkyn's profile


3031 posts in 2181 days

#14 posted 03-23-2017 01:53 PM

Wow! Truly masterful Paul!

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Julian's profile


1656 posts in 3931 days

#15 posted 03-23-2017 02:18 PM

Looks awesome.

-- Julian

showing 1 through 15 of 26 comments

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