How to Build a Chevalet From Scratch

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Blog series by shipwright updated 11-05-2012 10:19 PM 6 parts 60904 reads 87 comments total

Part 1: How hard can it be?

03-05-2011 06:18 AM by shipwright | 23 comments »

Update: See also Chevy II, The Canadian Cousin. and Building Some Chevalets, a Class Action I first saw a chevalet in Sorrento, Italy about ten or eleven years ago. I was very impressed with the machine and the work being done by the master marqueters there but never dreamed that I would ever find myself building one. Well, retirement has it’s ways of taking you places you never thought you’d be going. After a working lifetime of more or less “creative woodworking” ...

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Part 2: Blade Clamps, Sliding Mechanism and Adjusters

03-06-2011 07:07 PM by shipwright | 20 comments »

IMPORTANT NOTE: Almost everything on this page has been improved and updated in my second build , Chevy II. I am leaving this blog intact as a record but if you are building from these blogs please read the updates. ............................................................................................................. At the end of this blog series I will post some measurements for those who want to build one and also some more photo details but for now I will go on to an overvi...

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Part 3: Some Chevalet Modifications A New Friend

03-17-2011 12:45 AM by shipwright | 11 comments »

There are two stories here that can’t be separated from each other so I’ll tell them together. One is about the first modifications to the Chevalet after using it for several hours. The other is about making the acquaintance of the premier marquetry and chevalet master on this side of the ocean. As our story begins; I was having a bit of an ethical struggle with myself about offering my (however humble) Sketch Up chevalet plans publicly for free when there is someone out there ...

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Part 4: Another Little Modification

03-22-2011 05:51 AM by shipwright | 9 comments »

This is a bit of the fine tuning I knew awaited me once I started getting into the chevalet. My original (re-invention of the wheel) blade clamps worked very well, at least I thought they did until I did the “keyhole test” for checking the accuracy of your setup of the blade at exactly 90 degrees to the work. This square setup is essential to success in the boulle or classic cutting methods. The keyhole test is the standard test for accuracy. You cut down into a thickish piece of ...

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Part 5: Finishing Up, Refining the Prototype

04-01-2011 02:06 AM by shipwright | 15 comments »

When I started to build the chevalet from a few photos on the internet, I wasn’t at all sure it would amount to anything at all so in many places corners were cut to quickly achieve a prototype that would serve to test the critical parts and determine whether more detailed work was warranted. The resulting saw, although quite functional and in it’s own right a very usable tool, was a little rough around the edges and needed some refinement before I would be truly happy with it. ...

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Part 6: New Improved Chevalet Sketchup

11-05-2012 10:19 PM by shipwright | 9 comments »

I have improved a fair bit since I posted the initial SU of the chevalet. In fact it was my very first attempt and it was, in a word awful. I may not be a pro yet but at least this SU can be pulled apart and measured. There’s no need for further explanation except top say that this chevalet as drawn can be set up for a seat to blade height from about 22” to about 25”. That should accommodate almost everyone. EDIT: Here’s an even better one with a “dimensions&#...

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