Marquetry Cutting Styles #5: Conical Cutting on the Chevalet

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Blog entry by shipwright posted 12-22-2012 05:22 PM 5549 reads 2 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: "Painting in Wood" Part 5 of Marquetry Cutting Styles series Part 6: Repeating Patterns : Guilloche in Piece by Piece »

In the segment on conical or double bevel cutting, I was using the scrollsaw as it was before my discovery of the chevalet. Since I built my first chevalet I have concentrated on packet cutting where the blade angle is always exactly 90 degrees. While the tool was originally developed and is best suited to this square cutting, it can accommodate conical style.

This is accomplished by replacing the sacrificial jaw parts with new pieces cut at the desired angle. Obviously this has limitations in the area of veneer thickness. As the veneer becomes thinner, the angle becomes steeper and you can only go so far without the body of the chevalet getting in the way. The experiment here was done with 1/16” veneer so the angle wasn’t too steep.

Like square cutting a small adjustment can be made using the adjusters on the carriage.

Cutting is set up the same as for the scrollsaw and is cut on the chevalet as any other chevalet piece except that the usual stiff packet cannot be employed. That creates problems that in my opinion negate any advantages that the reduced kerf might offer.

This is the result of the experiment. The kerfs are gone but the final effect is no better IMHO and the process took longer. For anyone who read my Chickadee Tray post, this was the first iteration of the motif. My wife, for whom it was being made thought the background was too busy and neither of us could live with the “cartoon” chickadees. I copied them from a Christmas card and they’d be fine in a cartoon scene, but they just plain didn’t work here. This one will languish on a shelf in the marquetry shop until I throw it out…. Oh well.

That’s it for now, Thanks for looking.

Questions, comments and critiques are always welcome.


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

19 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117722 posts in 4087 days

#1 posted 12-22-2012 05:26 PM

Paul your work is great and to take the time to share what you know in a blog is a wonderful gift to give to others.
Merry Christmas to you and yours.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10737 posts in 4562 days

#2 posted 12-22-2012 05:32 PM

Looks good, Paul…

I’ve been meaning to ask… Not too long ago, I saw a cool article on Marquetry…
The style of the work looked very much like yours…
ShopNotes & WoodSmith does not include the Authors’ name…
(Crazy… 1st time I ever noticed it!)

Just wondering… Have you written any articles on Marquetry lately… or had one published lately?

Thank you.

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

View DocSavage45's profile


8865 posts in 3352 days

#3 posted 12-22-2012 05:37 PM

Putit on the shop wall? Nice tutorial! And showing that even a master’s work doesn’t always turn out! Merry Christmas.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2796 posts in 4101 days

#4 posted 12-22-2012 05:42 PM

Hi Paul, It’s great to see you creating marquetry. I love your passion for the craft and how you have evolved since I have known you here on LJ’s. I am looking forward to many years of your creations.

I’m finally done with my book and am moving on to new adventures. The book will be out in book stores in August 2013. I’m a little nervous and excited it still seams like forever until it’s finally out there.

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year to you. I wish you many happy years of woodworking.

-- Dennis Zongker

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

715 posts in 4339 days

#5 posted 12-22-2012 06:19 PM

There you go again Paul…blazing new trails for us and proving that conical cutting can be done on the chevalet. I personally quite like this piece, and would urge you to at least press it onto a panel and hang it on a wall. It’s far too nice to just sit on a shelf!


-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23374 posts in 3615 days

#6 posted 12-22-2012 08:22 PM

Hey Paul, if you throw it out, I’ll take it. That is some nice work that I’ll never be able to do!

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

View Sodabowski's profile


2388 posts in 3342 days

#7 posted 12-22-2012 08:31 PM

That’s a pitty because the overal scene is really good. I can give you a street address to which send it if it takes up too much room for you… ;)

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View Roger's profile


21011 posts in 3313 days

#8 posted 12-22-2012 11:43 PM

I too appreciate your time and the gift of sharing what you know how to do so expertly. You are the Marquetry Man. :)

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

View shipwright's profile


8381 posts in 3307 days

#9 posted 12-22-2012 11:59 PM

Thanks everyone. Always glad to share a little experience. I’m thinking I may over-cut the areas where the birds are with some leaves or something… maybe larger birds… eagles? hawks? maybe herons.

Dennis, I’m among the many awaiting the entry of your book onto the market.

Joe, Sorry that wasn’t me.

Merry Christmas all.

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

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3546 days

#10 posted 12-23-2012 11:47 AM

Splendid work, Paul. I particularly like the burl choice for the landscape.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Sylvain's profile


881 posts in 3009 days

#11 posted 12-23-2012 08:43 PM

Merry Christmas all.

Excellent work as usual.

Paul, I understand, once the vertical and horizontal adjustments are good you don’t want to change them.
(I must confess I did not really completely understood the trick of the keyhole cut to make the adjustments.)

Isn’t it possible to make conical cut by changing the horizontal adjustment a little bit instead of changing the jaws?

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View GnarlyErik's profile


321 posts in 2644 days

#12 posted 12-23-2012 09:30 PM

Paul,  dagnab it! Now I’ve gone and done it for sure. I made the mistake of checking out your blog entries on marquetry after reading a little about your work and now I am immensely intrigued. I have already greatly admired your ‘Oops!’ project. But first, let me say what an artist you are – my heavens, what talent! My feeble attempts at doing ‘artistic’ work look juvenile next to yours, such lovely and artistic things you are doing.

So . . . . . now, I have started thinking about trying my hand at some of this marquetry stuff too – and that likely means building one of those dagnab chevalet machines eventually, though I am not quite ready to go that route yet. I think I understand the concept well enough, and can see how these things can make very precise cuts if carefully built. I do a little intarsia now and then on the scroll saw, and some layered bevel cutting, but nothing on the order of what you are doing. The idea of essentially kerf-less marquetry is very intriguing. First things first though. I will order a book, some veneer and some piecing blades for my fret saw to give this stuff a whirl.

Wow! What a talent you have developed! By the by, there is a tug operating out of Ketchikan, Alaska named ‘Le Cheval Rouge’ with a big rearing, red horse painted on her stack. The marquetry machine name instantly called that to my mind!


-- "Never let your dogma be run over by your karma!"

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 3444 days

#13 posted 12-23-2012 10:00 PM

A lot of great things were said in the above comments and I fully agree.

This is simply beautifull.

Merry christmas Paul!

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View shipwright's profile


8381 posts in 3307 days

#14 posted 12-23-2012 11:24 PM

Sylvain, The adjusters on a chevalet are only for fine tuning.
They will only alter the angle by a degree or two.
These jaws are the gross angle for 1/16” veneer but can still be fine tuned by the chevalet adjusters.

Erik, Glad to hear you’re interested in marquetry. I hear ex-boatbuilders can be retrained to it reasonably easily.

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

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 3432 days

#15 posted 12-24-2012 02:37 PM

Paul, Merry Christmas! Everytime you introduce something, it is really worth to learn. Thanks.

-- Bert

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