Combining my Passions: Friendship Marquetry. #7: Shading and Assembly

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Blog entry by shipwright posted 05-08-2013 01:22 AM 2705 reads 1 time favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Look, .... a Shiny Thing ! Part 7 of Combining my Passions: Friendship Marquetry. series Part 8: Remember the Shiny Thing ? ... the saga of a senior moment »

Sorry to keep you in suspense Mike but I got a little busy with preparing the real Friendship for the water. I didn’t completely abandon the project however. It just got fewer hours. The last photo I posted was of the background for the right door all set up on the assembly board ready for all those little pieces to get glued in.

First a word about the process. The ground is glued down with hot hide glue and then more glue is applied to a small area at a time and the parts in that area are assembled. Working a few pieces at a time, the process goes on until it is complete. In the case of this particular piece, I won’t be adding the rigging lines until after the marquetry is assembled to its final substrate. The lines are cut but will be re-cut with a knife to clean them up and straighten any spots where it may be needed.

I got a little carried away and got the whole hull done before I stopped to take a photo so the first one shows the boat itself mostly complete and the jib being fitted. This is where it tried to go sideways on me.

I’m not going to go into sand shading here in general as I have covered it before as have better marqueteurs than I. What I will go into is the learning experience I had on this assembly. In the photo above the shaded jib is in place at the bottom but about a half inch to the right at the top. That’s caused by the drying and re-hydrating of the large piece of veneer. It looks bad but I’ve dealt with this before on “Little Cabinetree” and was half expecting it. The bottom line is that the piece was the right shape once and you just have to re-balance the moisture to return it to that shape. Sounds easy right?

In the photo below I have glued down the bottom and twisted the top into its proper place. Then with a little mist of water, a hair dryer and slight pressure from my hand I slowly brought it back to shape.

In this one the outer half of the main has been over-shaded (I’m going to replace it later) and has gotten really out of shape. With the same process in the next photos it is coaxed back into a fit.

The learning that went on was about why the shading went so badly. I’ve done a fair amount of reasonably good sand shading but still I did a very poor job on these pieces. I believe that the problem was that I didn’t have a large enough sand container with deep enough sand to shade these large pieces while maintaining adequate control over the process. I also think that 1/54” thick holly burns really quickly.

Enough with my problems. What you really wanted to see was if all these bits would fit inside those borders, right?

Well here they are.

I’m not all that happy with the shading on either of them but they will do. The important thing is that I get to do a better job with the other two (below). I think they will be wall art and as such will have to be better.

Thanks for dropping by.


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

22 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25735 posts in 4076 days

#1 posted 05-08-2013 01:24 AM

Very nice progress, Paul!!..............Jim

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

View a1Jim's profile


118153 posts in 4548 days

#2 posted 05-08-2013 01:26 AM

Beautiful work Paul ,fantastic art.


View DocSavage45's profile


9028 posts in 3813 days

#3 posted 05-08-2013 01:29 AM

Very Nice work sir!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Schwieb's profile


1914 posts in 4432 days

#4 posted 05-08-2013 01:35 AM

Simply amazing to me how you can do this. Really nice Paul. Looking forward to your progress reports.

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

View Patricelejeune's profile


386 posts in 2891 days

#5 posted 05-08-2013 01:41 AM

Nice one Paul

-- Patrice lejeune

View shipwright's profile (online now)


8638 posts in 3769 days

#6 posted 05-08-2013 02:07 AM

Did you notice Patrice…. Boat, mountains, ocean and (implied) trees. :-)

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

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

715 posts in 4800 days

#7 posted 05-08-2013 05:09 AM

Paul, I was thinking about this exact thing the other are shooting for a 4/4 on the Patrick American Marquetry rating scale :)

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

View Dez's profile


1172 posts in 5048 days

#8 posted 05-08-2013 05:09 AM

Sweet stuff Paul!

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4305 days

#9 posted 05-08-2013 07:34 AM

You did it Paul! Looks marvelous. Everything fit perfect in the end. I can see how challenging the sand shading can be. I’m thinking here about the shrinkage issue and rehydrating. Quite a challenge, but you pulled it off. As for the shading problems, My marquetry book says that shading well inside the edges is best done by spooning the hot sand on rather than dipping. Have you tried that? I can’t wait to see how this is going look all polished up. You did a great job on (your) face. It looks very lifelike and even though it is very small it adds a lot of character to the picture. Ok, I’m waiting for a wisecrack on this last sentence.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View SPalm's profile


5337 posts in 4853 days

#10 posted 05-08-2013 10:52 AM

Implied trees are much better than fiberglass trees.

Boy, it is amazing how much stuff there is to worry about. I guess that is part of the fun.

Looking good Paul,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Roger's profile


21047 posts in 3775 days

#11 posted 05-08-2013 12:02 PM

Someone already said it…........simply amazing

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

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10955 posts in 5023 days

#12 posted 05-08-2013 02:46 PM

I find it hard to see how you can cut all of those itty bitty pieces and put them together like that to create such masterpieces… BOGGLES my mind just thinking about it… LOL

Great work as usual…

Thank you.

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

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1980 posts in 2940 days

#13 posted 05-08-2013 03:13 PM

Mr. Paul, me being a new woodworker I have to say that you have to be one of my biggest inspirations on this site. Your knowledge and craftsmanship are truly astonishing. Fantastic read and amazing job!

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 3509 days

#14 posted 05-08-2013 08:19 PM

Looking great Paul!

-- I never finish anyth

View tinnman65's profile


1411 posts in 4385 days

#15 posted 05-08-2013 08:48 PM

Thanks for posting your progress Paul, I really enjoy seeing your process with all the ups and downs, now I know I’m not the only one who has problems LOL! Looks great and can’t wait to see it finished.

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

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