Marquetry Cutting Styles #6: Repeating Patterns : Guilloche in Piece by Piece

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Blog entry by shipwright posted 01-06-2014 12:16 AM 3558 reads 1 time favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Conical Cutting on the Chevalet Part 6 of Marquetry Cutting Styles series no next part

I was doing a piece by piece experiment today with an eye to a new project I have in mind and thought it would make an appropriate addition to this blog series. I have touched on piece by piece or classic style already I know but this is a little different application.

My project requires about 48” of guilloche about 2” high. (I am using one of the free patterns from To get the length I need I will require around 30 repetitions of the basic pattern. I assembled packets of eight layers each of Cherry and Holly and one of only four layers of Zircote. Cutting four pattern segments in Cherry and eight in Zircote will give me 32 pieces of each. The Holly is doubled in the pattern so I will need to cut eight segments, each eight layers deep.

This is the Cherry packet about to be assembled. On the left are the eight pieces of veneer and on the right is the 1/8” plywood backer and a sheet of grease paper. The grease paper goes next to the backer and then each piece of veneer gets individually taped on top.

When the last veneer is taped on (one short tab of tape on each edge), the edges are taped with one long piece each.
Here are the three packets, all assembled.

Next, pieces of the guilloche pattern are cut out and fitted on the packets.

The grain orientation is marked on one pattern piece, to be glued on first.

The pieces of pattern are glued on the packets with hot hide glue.

Then the packet is tightened and reinforced by adding strategically placed veneer nails.

These tiny nails are driven through, cut off and riveted on the back. The riveted over end should be very small so as not to interfere with the blade.

The great thing about this style is that after cutting one piece of pattern I have eight pieces of my guilloche. The top one is white because it has the pattern on it and you can see the backer and grease paper on the left.

It takes almost no time to cut all the pieces.

Here is where the day ended up. This is a dry fit on tape to check how I’m doing. I will be doing some sand shading before final assembly and I will orient all those little circles better then as well.

I may post about the project elsewhere but this is it for the part that is relevant to this blog so I guess that’s a wrap.

Thanks for looking in.


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

22 comments so far

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10859 posts in 4652 days

#1 posted 01-06-2014 12:32 AM


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

View tinnman65's profile


1395 posts in 4014 days

#2 posted 01-06-2014 12:32 AM

Looks great Paul, I look forward to seeing what this is going to be used on. Are these cut on 1/42 veneer or are they the thicker veneers?

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

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18781 posts in 4276 days

#3 posted 01-06-2014 12:33 AM

Always an interesting post by you Paul.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 4524 days

#4 posted 01-06-2014 12:57 AM

Nice work Paul, your light years ahead of me.

View shipwright's profile


8452 posts in 3398 days

#5 posted 01-06-2014 02:45 AM

They aren’t my thick veneers Paul, but they are .61mm (1/32”) so they aren’t the really thin stuff.

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

View tomd's profile


2216 posts in 4370 days

#6 posted 01-06-2014 04:01 AM

That’s some really accurate cutting, looks terrific already.

-- Tom D

View SPalm's profile


5334 posts in 4482 days

#7 posted 01-06-2014 04:03 AM

That is so cool. Never thought of using this for repeating pattern.
A light bulb is on top of my head right now.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View stefang's profile


17034 posts in 3934 days

#8 posted 01-06-2014 10:38 AM

Great stuff Paul. I’m really amazed at how well the pieces fit, especially considering that they were all cut from separate bits of the pattern. You are really good at this! The pattern is also a very good looking one. I’ll be watching this blog with great interest.

Meanwhile I’m busy building my chevy. I’m gluing up the main column today and cutting the joinery for the seat. I plan to glue up the column foot and the long horizontal arm tomorrow. It’s all fun work.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View kiefer's profile


5713 posts in 3267 days

#9 posted 01-06-2014 02:57 PM

Good to see you back cutting marquetry and our passion shows .
Now I wonder where this leads to, it’s a wonderful pattern .

-- Kiefer

View Patricelejeune's profile


383 posts in 2520 days

#10 posted 01-06-2014 05:53 PM

Nice going. This is on of the challenges that students face in there second or third year in ecole Boulle. You did very well, the filet seems very regular.

The way it is traditionally done is slightly different. I am just pointing it out as I know you are interested. As the veneer was expensive, and they wanted to save as much as possible, the filet where string inlay, also this provides automatically a regular width, so no crazy cutting involved.

But I like the challenge of a nice cut, and those cut “string inlay” look top.

-- Patrice lejeune

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 3139 days

#11 posted 01-06-2014 07:27 PM

Paul, that is amazing. Veneer nails, never would have thought…

-- I never finish anyth

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4579 days

#12 posted 01-06-2014 10:20 PM

As always, very nice work Paul.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View shipwright's profile


8452 posts in 3398 days

#13 posted 01-07-2014 05:34 AM

Thanks everyone,

Patrice, thanks. They aren’t as good as they look in the pictures but as an experiment to get the hang of repetitive patterns, I am happy enough. I can see how pre-bent string inlay would really clean it up. My mistakes are all in the area of slight unevenness (oversize) in the fillet. I hope to shade for three dimensional look and am using a Zircote background so my mastic should hide many sins.
When I think I’m good enough maybe I’ll try it with my thick veneer. I will bend some string then.

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

View justoneofme's profile


821 posts in 3080 days

#14 posted 01-08-2014 03:20 AM

It really does look totally cool Paul! Of course you see the discrepancies being so close and critical … but aren’t we all when viewing our own work?! It looks great!!

-- Elaine in Duncan

View oldnovice's profile


7516 posts in 3968 days

#15 posted 01-08-2014 05:38 AM

I have never done any Marquetry and I now know why, it is way out of my league! I don’t have the tools and/or skills that are required to even attempt this!

I like your work and I wish I had even your little finger nail of skill to do this!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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