Thick Veneer from France...and other places #6: Gold in the Garden

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Blog entry by shipwright posted 04-15-2017 01:02 AM 7166 reads 2 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Ever Seen $500 Worth of Cow Bones? Part 6 of Thick Veneer from France...and other places series no next part

For the past few months I have been tracking down members of the Barberry family (Berberidaceae) for its amazing yellow wood. One member (Berberis vulgaris I think) was the material used for the yellow flowers in classic French marquetry.
Anyway, last fall I was able to get a few small pieces of Agarita (Mahonia trifoliolata) from LJ Jerry (nubsnstubs) in Tucson and I used it in the marquetry I did over the winter. It was an amazing colour and just to top it off, it was luminescent under black light.

The problem was that I was only able to get a small bit and wanted to find a better supply so I searched the internet and found one hardwood supplier that could supply me with some “sticks”. I bought them. They will be just fine dispite the fact that they are small. It is a shrub after all.

The next development in the journey was the discovery that Oregon Grape, a common landscaping shrub and native to my home area was in fact a member of the same genus as Agarita. ...... and we have Tall Oregon Grape in our garden! The first day home I had a look at what we had and found it to be bigger than the pieces I had bought. The next day I cut a stick to look at it. Needless to say, I’m very happy with the results of my search.

This is one of two Tall Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolia) plants that we have. They are both over six feet.

This is the 1/16” veneer sawn from one six inch section. It will edge glue very nicely into pieces big enough for marquetry packets.

Gold in the Garden!

Thanks for looking in,


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

27 comments so far

View gbear's profile


544 posts in 5339 days

#1 posted 04-15-2017 01:45 AM

Nice find Paul…it’s amazing what we have in our own yards!

-- gbear, Carmichael, CA

View tinnman65's profile


1416 posts in 4654 days

#2 posted 04-15-2017 01:50 AM

Nice find Paul, Do you stack the little pieces to dry before you glue them up? I’m guessing you treat it just as you did the veneer that sat in liquid dyes for several days.

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5292 days

#3 posted 04-15-2017 02:45 AM

Very good Paul!

By the looks of it, you sell some of your forest and make a nice little sum… maybe enough to pay for the other veneer lumber you bought… :) Is it sold by the Ounce? :)

Yep, you struck Gold!

Good for you!

Sure is a pretty Yellow!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26778 posts in 4345 days

#4 posted 04-15-2017 03:32 AM

Hi Paul. I had some of that yellow shrub but when I turned it, it cracked a lot. I don’t know if it is the same bush, but it sure looks like it. it looks like you veneer ti staying crack free!!


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View larryw's profile


335 posts in 3902 days

#5 posted 04-15-2017 04:07 AM

It’s amazing what you can find in your own back yard. Some of the most beautiful cherry I’ve ever worked with was growing right on my property line. By the way, the marquetry is beautiful Paul, and also I’ve heard that there are other wood species that glow under black light , one being sumac.

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

View DocSavage45's profile


9069 posts in 4082 days

#6 posted 04-15-2017 04:23 AM

Paul, Its great to find native grown woods that can be used in your work. Maybe there is more to find? As always a master at work! Happy Easter if you are so inclined.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Dutchy's profile


4188 posts in 3408 days

#7 posted 04-15-2017 06:04 AM

A story to learn something from and about how amazing things can be. Such wood in your own backyard.


View Druid's profile


2205 posts in 4035 days

#8 posted 04-15-2017 07:24 AM

larryw – You mentioned having heard that Sumac is another species that will fluoresce. That is true, but for readers who may be new to species such as Sumac, there is a caution that I will mention. There are 2 types of Sumac that I am aware of (depending of where you are located in North America)... Staghorn Sumac is the type that you want to work with, but learn to avoid Poison Sumac which is usually found in the eastern areas, and is as unfriendly as Poison Oak or Poison Ivy. Here is a link to a bit more info . . .

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5122 days

#9 posted 04-15-2017 11:18 AM

Wow. The stuff I learn from you is just amazing.
That is so cool.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4044 days

#10 posted 04-15-2017 11:46 AM

Wow! That is yellow! Some fine slicing, Paul

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

View Pete_LJ's profile


115 posts in 1985 days

#11 posted 04-15-2017 11:50 AM

Nice work. I always learn something here.

View chippewafalls's profile


69 posts in 2555 days

#12 posted 04-15-2017 11:57 AM

Very nice, amazing what you can find in your own yard.

View EricTwice's profile


248 posts in 1773 days

#13 posted 04-15-2017 12:12 PM

beautiful, just out of curiosity, have you tried osage orange?

-- nice recovery, They should pay extra for that mistake, Eric E.

View English's profile


693 posts in 2717 days

#14 posted 04-15-2017 01:18 PM

How do you square up, joint, the edges for glue up. When I was a young Lad, I worked in a plywood factory. There we had a machine that took two strips of veneer and edged, glued and taped them together. Just wondering how you would do that in a home shop.

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

View dclark1943's profile


270 posts in 3427 days

#15 posted 04-15-2017 02:21 PM

Paul, you never cease to amaze me ! from boats to marquetry to your never ending knowledge of “things” . Thanks for sharing!

-- Dave, Kansas City

showing 1 through 15 of 27 comments

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