Building Some Chevalets, a Class Action #8: More To It Than Just Pretty Chevalets

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Blog entry by shipwright posted 09-05-2015 12:15 AM 2518 reads 2 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: Saw Frames, Clamp Springs, and Adjustable Height Part 8 of Building Some Chevalets, a Class Action series Part 9: Rebranding, a Hide Glue Story »

When I last posted in this blog, I had almost finished the chevys and was feeling about ready for the classes to begin. Well ….... that may have been a little premature. It seems that teaching a marquetry course requires a little more hardware than just some pretty chevalets.

First I’ll update the construction part. All that really remained to do on the actual machines was to make the blade clamps (covered in a separate blog here), the knobs for the saw frames, and of course, the logos.

I was unable to find any 3/8” insert nuts so I epoxied nuts (union nuts cut in half) into some blocks and used the thread as an anchor to turn the knobs.

The logos were easy and allowed me to play with my new scraper plane.

So now I’m done, right? ..... not so much. In addition to the basic chevalet I added to each one an awl, a tee handled allen wrench, a tube for spare blades, a working tray, and a “chevalight”. Of course each working tray had to have tape, a pair of tweezers, a probe, and a razor blade.

The “chevalight”

Then there was the need for four more stools and four working stations with cutting surfaces and “clean” trays.

I finally think that I have the “hardware” assembled and now can start working on looking for suitable motifs for teaching the techniques. These are some I’m looking at. I don’t want to copy Patrick’s étude motifs but need to offer sufficient challenge and learning points in the ones I do choose. As well I want to offer a choice of difficulty at least in the final piece that each student finishes in the class. These are some I am considering.

I’m leaning toward the lighthouse (thanks to Paul, tinnman65 for that idea) as the introductory motif as it has local interest. It is Fisgard Light in Esquimalt Harbour near Victoria and is one of the oldest on the west coast of North America. The “final” may be as complex as the art nouveau piece or as easy as some coasters with the student’s initial or initials. The one part that I will shamelessly copy from ASFM will be the self portrait because I like the way it allows the school to keep a record of its students.

BTW…... still two places available for Sept 21-25. ...... :-)

Now I think I’m ready and with a few weeks before the course begins, I just might go sailing for a week or so.

Thanks for looking in.


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

21 comments so far

View DocSavage45's profile


8881 posts in 3443 days

#1 posted 09-05-2015 01:00 AM


If you are as patient and thorough with your students as you have been with these Cheyy’s your reputation should grow quite rapidly.

Was it more of an “Oh Yeah! moment or an Oh Dah? moment? for me and my ADHD it would be the later. LOL!

You have a lot on your plate, but I’m thinking that’s the way you like it.

Good fortune Sir!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View DocSavage45's profile


8881 posts in 3443 days

#2 posted 09-05-2015 01:02 AM

I have to remember when I am introducing new concepts I believe are simple, they may still be hard to do.

Are you going to limit class sizes?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View shipwright's profile


8452 posts in 3398 days

#3 posted 09-05-2015 01:10 AM

Five chevalets Tom, five students. :-)

-- 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 4371 days

#4 posted 09-05-2015 01:35 AM

Really nice looking setup.

-- Tom D

View tinnman65's profile


1395 posts in 4014 days

#5 posted 09-05-2015 01:37 AM

Wow! it looks like your up and ready to go. I like all the motifs but I must admit I am a little partial to the lighthouse :) I look forward to hear about the class, I think once your students realize how accurate this tool cuts they’ll be hooked.

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

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23740 posts in 3706 days

#6 posted 09-05-2015 02:05 AM

You sure have fun, Paul!!

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

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10859 posts in 4653 days

#7 posted 09-05-2015 03:53 AM

You’re having more FUN putting the Final touches on them…

Great accessories…

Thank you.

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

View Ron Tocknell's profile

Ron Tocknell

42 posts in 1598 days

#8 posted 09-05-2015 05:35 AM

I’m really intrigued by this as I’d never encountered this method of marquetry before. I’m interested to know how you use these.

Incidentally, can I point out that the ‘art deco’ design you referred to is actually art nouveau. They’re very distinct styles and different periods. Ardent fans of either or both styles can be quite pedantic and fights have been known to break out in the Montmartre region of Paris over similar errors. Indeed, in 1993, a serious diplomatic stand-off between Australia and France resulted when the then Autralian Minister for Arts, Bob McMullen referred to the art nouveau architecture of the Paris Metro stations as “Baroque” and war between the two nations was only averted when McMullen explained that he had used the term only because he felt that attempting to say “art nouveau” in an Australian accent would actually have been more offensive.

I thought it best to warn you.

I’ll continue to follow this project with interest

View Kiwib0y's profile


89 posts in 1623 days

#9 posted 09-05-2015 06:32 AM

Every time I see your chevalets it stirs the thoughts about building one. may be soon !!

-- "It is only a silly question if it is not asked" Don,New Zealand

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

1102 posts in 2913 days

#10 posted 09-05-2015 11:47 AM

Looks like you are all set and ready to cast off and set sail. Good luck, I hope all goes well.

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View shipwright's profile


8452 posts in 3398 days

#11 posted 09-05-2015 02:32 PM

Thanks all.
.. and thanks for the correction Ron. I have repaired the original text. I think I knew that and was just sloppy about checking.
I have a lot of blog posts about my projects and techniques that will help you understand how the chevalet is used. Feel free to browse.
It was developed sometime over two hundred years ago in France by the Parisian guild of ébénistes and kept a closely guarded secret until relatively recently. Much of the fine marquetry of the golden age of French marquetry was done on these amazing machines.
Check out Patrick Edwards' blog to learn much more than I can tell you.

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

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3904 days

#12 posted 09-05-2015 03:20 PM

yo ho ho and a bottle of …............well i prefer a bottle of chocolate milk….doesn’t sound too piratish…well things look great Paul, i think some sailing is just what the teacher needs to clear your head and prepare for your up and coming classes….some video or still shots of such a trip would be enjoyed by me..and maybe by lots of others…

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

View Jerry's profile


3309 posts in 2249 days

#13 posted 09-05-2015 04:44 PM

It’s all brilliant Paul, impressive on so many levels. I can’t wait to see the students’ work.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 3139 days

#14 posted 09-06-2015 12:31 PM

Paul, That is incredible. If I lived anywhere near you I would be there…

-- I never finish anyth

View prometej065's profile


336 posts in 4283 days

#15 posted 09-08-2015 10:54 PM

Impresses and amazes perfectionism in every detail that you do, dear friend Paul ..


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