Marie's Table... A Marquetry Adventure #10: Delicate Moldings

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Blog entry by shipwright posted 07-30-2012 12:50 AM 3315 reads 3 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: A Couple of Chevalet Videos. Part 10 of Marie's Table... A Marquetry Adventure series Part 11: Finishing and Polishing to Music »

I always knew that the scrolled edges of the aprons were going to need some kind of trim to define them but I kept putting off designing them because I wanted to see the pieces first and then decide what would suit. Each solution I had thought about had its drawbacks but the one I really wanted seemed to have the most…... so I decided to try and figure out a way to do it.

To put the cart before the horse, this is what I envisioned, a delicate 1/8” x 1/4” half round molding the same shape as the scroll cut and mounted on the surface to give a three dimensional “finish” to the edge. The material would be arbutus like the rings on the balls.

Envisioning it was the easy part. Now I had to make it. Here’s what I came up with and you will have to excuse me for feeling more than a little proud of myself here….. sorry.

1) If you scroll cut the piece out of 1/8” stock, it will explode when you try to rout it.
2) If you scroll cut it at a greater thickness and then do the routing, how do you cut the 1/8” off ? ...................and it may still explode.


First scroll cut a pattern from 1/2” baltic birch ply. The multi-ply pattern should resist breakage that could be expected with short grain areas of a solid piece.

Next rip some 1/8” arbutus stock

and fasten it to the pattern with double sided tape. A few judicious whacks with a hammer will greatly increase the tape’s holding power.

Scroll cut the piece away from the stock within 1/8” of the pattern, closer is better.

This is my favorite part. I will digress here a moment to reference the next tool to be used.

About a year ago (OK exactly 423 days ago….. thank you Lumberjocks ), I posted a little overhead pin router idea that I had for the drill press. At that time I was still fooling around with router type marquetry and wanted to see if a pin router could make that easier….. it didn’t work on the very small pieces I was hoping to get so I put it aside and it has never come back out …... until now.

With a 1/8” brass pin in the drill chuck and a 1/8” spiral bit in the trim router the setup cleaned the piece exactly down to the pattern perfectly.

With the pattern still attached I was able to rout the 1/8 corner round easily with no chatter or explosions.

Of course there were areas where the bearing on the router wouldn’t fit but then that’s why God gave us carving tools and sandpaper right?

After a little tuning and sanding while still on the pattern / handle I removed the molding with a knife.

and tried the fit. There is a little fine tuning with sandpaper left to do but I’m very happy with the results. The color will darken to match the rings when the finish is applied.

Spurred on by yesterday’s success (above) I went out this morning and got the end moldings out in one piece.

I may have actually glued some of them up this afternoon but alas, there were whitecaps in the bay….. so I went sailing. Thanks for looking in.

Questions, comments, etc… welcome.


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

25 comments so far

View Roger's profile


21011 posts in 3315 days

#1 posted 07-30-2012 12:58 AM

You are unbelievable Paul!! Wowza.

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

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23384 posts in 3616 days

#2 posted 07-30-2012 01:08 AM

Very good job on such exacting work.Thanks for showing the method. That pin router sure came in handy!!

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

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3201 days

#3 posted 07-30-2012 01:11 AM

Your drillpress pin router saved the day! What a neat solution to a tough problem. I have followed this project from the start and I’m still in awe of your skill. Your videos yesterday gave me several ideas and the confidence to try them using my jeweler’s saw and saw anvil. I hope you had a great sail today (you deserved a break).

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

View sras's profile


5199 posts in 3640 days

#4 posted 07-30-2012 01:18 AM

Awesome! The beauty of the final piece is only part of the story. Your creative ability to fabricate the parts is the hidden part (well except for this blog…)

Thanks for sharing!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10737 posts in 4563 days

#5 posted 07-30-2012 01:27 AM

Yes, Paul, you are De’Man!!
When I think I’ve seen it ALL, you WOW me (us) again & again!

Great Work!

Thank you very much!

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

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3748 days

#6 posted 07-30-2012 01:59 AM

Wow, that’s incredible. Both your skill, and your patience.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Schwieb's profile


1894 posts in 3972 days

#7 posted 07-30-2012 02:02 AM

I’m in awe. Great work Paul. The fact that it has been done (by you) shows it can be done, but I’m sure most of us could never do it.


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

View rance's profile


4271 posts in 3671 days

#8 posted 07-30-2012 02:04 AM

More wow is all I gotta say! That trim really sets the aprons off.

“fraisage”, “arbutus”... I’m really learning a lot with this project. I’m getting some culture. Of course I have to go look them all up. LOL.

Keep up the great work Paul.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4490 days

#9 posted 07-30-2012 02:06 AM

Don’t you hate it when the bay gets involved?

Great work Paul.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 3433 days

#10 posted 07-30-2012 02:10 AM

Great method! Why is it that you have all the resources sorted out to fit into your mind doing the extra-ordinary. A drill doing the trimming, the pattern made from scrollsaw with the magic of ds tape, and the secret of them all is your brilliant idea and skillful hand. Thanks for the idea and it will be restored in my memory bank.

-- Bert

View kenn's profile


813 posts in 4231 days

#11 posted 07-30-2012 02:29 AM

I am just shaking my head in amazement , what a great solution, and thought you did not need that tool.

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View Gumnut's profile


95 posts in 2668 days

#12 posted 07-30-2012 03:04 AM

I hope we meet some day, you are an inspiration to so many.
I have been lurking in the back ground watching this project and I now want to get into something simmilar.
Awesome! Paul.

-- Peter, member of the Fine Woodwork Association

View shipwright's profile


8381 posts in 3309 days

#13 posted 07-30-2012 03:38 AM

Rance, arbutus is what we (Canadians) call what you call madrone.
Arbutus is actually its genus name.

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

View tomd's profile


2212 posts in 4281 days

#14 posted 07-30-2012 05:18 AM

Thanks for the great pictures and explanation. Very clever thinking on forming that piece. I’ve been following your project, now with such good pictures I’m starting to feel like I’m sitting in your shop watching you build it.

-- Tom D

View shipwright's profile


8381 posts in 3309 days

#15 posted 07-30-2012 05:23 AM

Thanks everyone

Tom, I take a LOT of pictures. Mostly I want to be able to go back and see how I did something but they do lend themselves to construction blogs. I don’t have to write much. I have almost 300 of this project.

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

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