Marie's Table... A Marquetry Adventure #6: Oooooh, Nice Legs!

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Blog entry by shipwright posted 07-25-2012 11:18 PM 3392 reads 3 times favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Getting the Legs Started. Part 6 of Marie's Table... A Marquetry Adventure series Part 7: Pretty Apron to go with the Nice Legs »

Ok, next step is to get some leg blanks out and prepare them to accept the ringed balls. This was just a matter of dimensioning some big leaf maple of which I have a nice stock and routing half holes on center in all the halves before gluing them up. Here are the pieces all ready to glue up.

And here they are all glued up and fitted with the balls to check for fit and alignment.

In this photo I’m using my Veritas radius-master to create a high precision curve pattern for the leg detail. This is a very versatile tool. I also use it to heat sand in for shading. You could probably even bake a cake in it.

The curves were cut on the bandsaw and tuned up on the top of my stationary belt sander.

I made up a spherical sander from the prototype ball to see how a fitted leg / ball joint would look.

The sander worked fine but I didn’t like the look of the joint. It just didn’t look as clean as the one in the sketch. (So there’s your answer Rance.)

Next I moved on to the leg marquetry. There were to be fourteen separate pieces of marquetry on each leg. (Something like 480 pieces, but who’s counting?) As the initial marquetry in the medallion had been a mixture of music and floral themes, I decided to carry both on to the rest of the table.

These pieces will go above the ball.

The dark on light ones are by-products and may be used elsewhere, maybe, sometime???

And these ones will go below the ball.

This is the glue-up jig for the leg tops.

And the veneered tops. At this point the balls are not glued in.

A lot of hours later and after a lot of scraper work and lot of sanding I was finally able to glue up the legs. The trick here is to be sure they glue up straight. As far as I can tell this glue-up jig did a pretty good job. I’ll know when final assembly happens.

Sorry there are no photos with the bottoms of the legs finished but you are as of these next few photos, right up to date with me, at least on the legs. These are a few pics of the glued up, fully veneered legs with a first coat of thinned shellac sprayed on. I think they just may look really nice with that table top.

The treble clefs are on the front and back of the table and the bass clefs are on the ends.

I apologize for the length of this segment but if you think this was long you should have been in the shop for the last two weeks. ;-)

You are now up to speed on the legs but I’m still ahead on the table so the next installment will deal with the marquetry for the aprons.

Thanks for dropping in. I hope you enjoyed the ride.

As always comments questions and critiques are welcome and encouraged.


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

33 comments so far

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10784 posts in 4593 days

#1 posted 07-25-2012 11:31 PM

Just Speechless…


Great work!

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

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23549 posts in 3646 days

#2 posted 07-25-2012 11:33 PM

Paul, you are absolutely amazing! that is some very fine work and you are doing it so well!
That will be a very expensive piece of art when you are finished!!
Thanks for sharing the process…...................Jim

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

View cwdance1's profile


1160 posts in 3800 days

#3 posted 07-25-2012 11:40 PM

How do you come up with such cool designs?
I could not even think up something like that let alone build it.
My hat is off for you and I bow down to your craftsmanship.


View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 3463 days

#4 posted 07-25-2012 11:41 PM

Amazing work. The result looks like a solid piece with inlayed clefs and leaves. Also, the ball becomes integral to the wood. How I wish I could do this? The curves on the neck did not affect the flatness of the marquetry… The curvature will tend to compress the leaves inset on the neckline, was the leaves a little bit undersize or specially cut (beveled)? I am trying to make a template for a cylindrical lateral surface and I found that during the glue up, I need to oversize a bit to cater with the curve and angle cut is required… otherwise there will be a gap. Just curious about it because your work above is perfectly fitted.

-- Bert

View sras's profile


5244 posts in 3670 days

#5 posted 07-25-2012 11:51 PM


Sorry – that’s all I got… Stunning!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Frank Strazza's profile

Frank Strazza

10 posts in 3107 days

#6 posted 07-25-2012 11:53 PM

Paul, that is soooo inspiring. Wow! Thanks for taking the time to document it. I can’t wait to see it all together.

-- Heritage School of Woodworking

View Roger's profile


21013 posts in 3345 days

#7 posted 07-25-2012 11:57 PM

You are just amazing Paul. I really like that high buc radius tool… Man, what I’d give fer one o them… Beee-uuu=teeee-ful legs fer sure. You’ve got gr8 balls….................on those legs. :)

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

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3844 days

#8 posted 07-25-2012 11:57 PM

just amazing paul…i can imagine the shop time length , and seeing your work is always a treat…this will be added to your already fantastic line of sir paul’s furniture line…now that you know how to stay afloat from making boats…your furniture business will do just as well i think…lol….you could even do a line of lucy wares…kitty home on the go…..meow in style…...grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View shipwright's profile


8399 posts in 3339 days

#9 posted 07-26-2012 12:01 AM

Thanks guys, it is appreciated.

Bert, this veneer is very thin and the curvature is not extreme so it isn’t a problem. I can see it presenting a problem if you were using shop cut veneer of greater thickness though.

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

View Karson's profile


35207 posts in 4941 days

#10 posted 07-26-2012 12:05 AM


Tongue dripping fluid. Cheeks wet with the eyes pouring forth with liquid, and my heart is skipping a beat because of the dehydration of my body.

You need to be careful of these kind of posts. I feel like a Husky that just ran the Iditarod, My body is just quivering for the final installment.

What design, what execution, a true Master at work.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View tinnman65's profile


1393 posts in 3955 days

#11 posted 07-26-2012 12:39 AM

Fantastic !!! You have us all on the edge of our seats!

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

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 3155 days

#12 posted 07-26-2012 12:43 AM

Thanks Paul for sharing its stunning build you are doing ,i have picked up a lot with your posting ,you masters at this i would like to thank you and the other masters that take the time to share and inspire us less skillful wood workers thank you

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View Schwieb's profile


1895 posts in 4002 days

#13 posted 07-26-2012 01:01 AM

Unglaublich! Incroyable! Incredible! Thanks Paul, for continuing the fantastic story about Marie’s Table and the wonderful work you are doing. I am really impressed by your abilities and talent. These legs are beautiful, the marquetry, incredible, and the design impeccable. Can’t wait to see where this goes.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3778 days

#14 posted 07-26-2012 01:15 AM

Wow! Your work is fantastic so far. When it is finished, it needs to be displayed in a museum somewhere.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3231 days

#15 posted 07-26-2012 01:26 AM

Those legs are a match for the perfect top you created! You exist in a whole different dimension than the rest of us mortals. I remain in awe of your skill and artistry. No worries about me copying this one!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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