PDA

View Full Version : Marquetry tutorial (finished w/lots of pics!)



Dewey Torres
07-08-2008, 12:22 AM
Some have asked for a tutorial on some of the marquetry and inlay I feature in my work so here goes: I am going to do this in multiple posts so I can add the pictures as I go.

This one I will just talk about the marquetry fan like the ones you see here:

http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=87725

Later (if there is interest), I could do one for string inlay, muti-layered inlay, and marquetry pictures.

The inlay fans are not hard to do but like most things there is a process.

First, I chose a design. In this case the design can be used to make the 1/4, 1/2 or full circle inlay motifs like the ones you can buy online.

The basic materials I used are:
Cutting mat
Exacto knife
Gouge
Sand
Hot plate
various veneers (for this I used dyed maple for the black, you can use whatever types of wood you want, just try to contrast as much as possible).
Veneer tape
Router w 1/8 inch spiral down cut- An up cut spiral will pull the fibers of the wood up…you don’t want that.
Compass
1/8 inch hard board
Card scraper
Wax paper

Dewey Torres
07-08-2008, 12:25 AM
Cut the light colored veneer into 1x2 inch rectangles (You will need 4 of these for each ¼ fan). Cut some extra incase you damage a few in the process. This takes a bit of feel and you are likely to need the extras.

Cut the rectangles in half, these angles will need to be precisely 22.5 degrees. The way you accomplish this easiest is to mark the angle in a piece of scrap plywood and then line them up. Use a straight edge to cut them. On one of the wedges for each pair of four cut the angle slightly more than 22.5º. You will cut this away later to make the fan exactly 90 degrees.

Note: Any time you cut veneer with an exacto, the key is very light successive passes.

Dewey Torres
07-08-2008, 12:31 AM
Fire up the hot plate with sand all the way on high and let it get good and hot (pic #1). Stick the wedges into the sand until you get this effect (pic #2).


Tape the four wedges together to look like this noting all of the shading on the same side (pic #3): The side you put the tape on will always be the “show” side when you are done (pic#4).

Dewey Torres
07-08-2008, 12:34 AM
Make two templates out of hard board. One will be used for the inside radius and one for the outside radius that will border the outer edge of the fan. It is critical that you take time to make sure these templates are accurate because mistakes will be transferred to your fans. These are made by using a compass. Readjust the compass for 1/8 inch more and make the larger of the two. Rough cut them close to the line and refine them with sanding.
Use the inside radius to trim off the excess.

Dewey Torres
07-08-2008, 12:40 AM
Then use your gouge to cut the void for the accent from one point to the other. Be careful here and do this by hand with downward pressure. Don’t hit the gouge with a mallet or the pieces will fly.



Now to cut and adhere the black accents to each of the quarter parts of the fans. Don’t be surprised here if you break a few (quite a few) of these until you get the hang of it. Good thing is the waste material is minuscule when you break one.



Once you have 4 that will fit without overlapping or coming out too narrow, use veneer tape as shown (pics #3 and4) to adhere the black accent pieces. Next cut the tips off using the small template.

Dewey Torres
07-08-2008, 12:49 AM
Pics 1 and 2 out of order:rolleyes:
pic 2 is trimming the black accents
pic 1 is after the trimming.

(pic 3) Now cut the outer border being careful to keep the same positioning of the templates, cut the inside with the small template and the outside with the large template.

Note: cut for the arc past the templates by 1/8 inch on each side when cutting these so you can trim them to size after and make a dead on 90 degree fan.


Next adhere the outside border using the same technique as for the rest of the fan. I find it easier to position this piece of veneer tape sideways and all others vertical.


Cut the fan to a perfect 90 degrees using compass mark on a piece of ply the same as you used for the wedges. Also trim away all overlapping veneer tape so that all you see are the crisp edges of the fan itself.

Dewey Torres
07-08-2008, 12:51 AM
Your fan is now ready to be inlaid into the work.

Position and trace the fan with and exacto using the fan itself as a template (remember light successive passes). Be extra careful on this part as the blade will try to follow the grain. Cross grain is the easiest but as the blade rounds the corner it will be more oriented to flow with the grain and that is where you are more likely to cut away from your fan or into it.

Next set the router to rout a recess that will leave the fan a few thousandths proud. Free hand the cut close to the scoring and you will be able to clean it up very easily. The wood almost falls off where you scored it.

Note: Score a bit deeper for this than you did to cut the veneers.

Glue and clamp the fan with the veneer tape up using wax paper and a clamping block. Once it is dry (overnight), remove clamps and carefully scrape all the veneer tape off and bring to flush. The sand shading goes all the way through the wood so it will not come off, just make sure you don’t scrape all the way through.

Dewey Torres
07-08-2008, 12:54 AM
As I made these I got all the way to the last one (8) total and I scraped one of the borders too deep and went all the way through it. Not to worry though, just cut it out with an exacto, made a patch and put it in place. I re-glued it and you have to look real hard and know about this to notice.

Dewey Torres
07-08-2008, 12:59 AM
If not, hopefully I can answer any questions... or at least someone from the creek will.:)

Dewey

mreza Salav
07-08-2008, 1:08 AM
Thanks Dewey. Very nice work and helpful tutorial.

gary Zimmel
07-08-2008, 1:12 AM
Excellent tutorial Dewey! Thanks for taking the time to share.

I got online just as you were starting your posts and kept comming back to see what the next step would be.

Thanks again. I hope you don't mind a few questions as one digests everything.

Dewey Torres
07-08-2008, 1:15 AM
Excellent tutorial Dewey! Thanks for taking the time to share.

I got online just as you were starting your posts and kept comming back to see what the next step would be.

Thanks again. I hope you don't mind a few questions as one digests everything.

Fire away!

Dewey

gary Zimmel
07-08-2008, 1:26 AM
Dewey

When you are cutting out the voids for the accent pieces is it the gouge that gives you the arc?

Dewey Torres
07-08-2008, 1:32 AM
Dewey

When you are cutting out the voids for the accent pieces is it the gouge that gives you the arc?

Yes

and it has to be the same one used for the accent pieces. That is what makes them mate up so perfectly. I used a 1 inch but I have a set so that I can select the right arc according to the width of the wedges.

Dewey

Richard Wolf
07-08-2008, 8:33 AM
Nice work Dewey, well done.

Richard

mike holden
07-08-2008, 9:20 AM
Dewey,
Thanks for a simple, effective, tutorial.
Well done!
Mike

Justin Leiwig
07-08-2008, 9:50 AM
Awesome tutorial. I made it into a pdf if anyone wants it.

Ken Fitzgerald
07-08-2008, 9:55 AM
Dewey,

Excellent tutorial! I think it should maybe be a sticky for a while and then posted for permanent reference as an article.

Larry Fox
07-08-2008, 9:56 AM
Awesome tutorial. I made it into a pdf if anyone wants it.

Yes please.

larrygfox -at- gmail -dot- com

Awesome tutorial Dewey - thanks for taking the time.

Pat Germain
07-08-2008, 10:12 AM
Killer tutorial, Dewey! Thanks for taking the time to share your skills and talents.

Mike Wilkins
07-08-2008, 10:28 AM
Quick question. It may not matter, but what kind of glue do you use to adhere the inlays??
By the way. Thanks for the tips and instructions. Great work.

Dewey Torres
07-08-2008, 10:46 AM
Dewey,

Excellent tutorial! I think it should maybe be a sticky for a while and then posted for permanent reference as an article.

Sounds good Ken ... thanks!

Dewey

Dewey Torres
07-08-2008, 10:49 AM
Quick question. It may not matter, but what kind of glue do you use to adhere the inlays??
By the way. Thanks for the tips and instructions. Great work.

Titebond III (or your favorite brand WW yellow). You are not concerned with slow set as these go together real quick. Epoxy would not be favorable.

Dewey

Justin Leiwig
07-08-2008, 11:54 AM
Larry..you should have it shortly.

I'm trying to upload it to a server, but am having difficulty at work. I'll have to try when I get home.

Pat Germain
07-08-2008, 2:42 PM
Wow, Dewey. You got "Sticky" status. :cool:

Jim Butterfield
07-09-2008, 9:11 AM
Dewey, that's really helpful - thanks (and great job!).

Jeff Hallam
07-09-2008, 4:07 PM
Hey thanks so much for posting this Dewey. I will be tucking that PDF version away for a time when I am feeling adventerous.

jim gossage
07-11-2008, 12:40 AM
Beautiful work and great tutorial. You said that the full fans are 45 degrees and each piece is 11.25 degrees. from the picture it looks like the outside of the fan is a right angle, which makes it 90, and then 22.5 degrees for each piece.

Dewey Torres
07-11-2008, 1:36 AM
Beautiful work and great tutorial. You said that the full fans are 45 degrees and each piece is 11.25 degrees. from the picture it looks like the outside of the fan is a right angle, which makes it 90, and then 22.5 degrees for each piece.

Yes Jim you are right. I fell embarrassed :oabout that. I was trying to make this thing accurate and ....

(Dewey looking on the bright side)...

Hey the one person who made no mistakes got nailed to a cross!

All,
I you haven't started one of these yet, please update the angles. Jim thanks for keeping me honest and I hope you didn't find this out as you were trying to make one.:o:o:o:o:o

Dewey

Dewey Torres
07-11-2008, 2:17 AM
All,
Luckily we have great mods here and I guess i have been behaving well since Ken offered and then fixed the mistakes on this post

:)<--- this is Dewey happy again!

Jim... thanks for a fresh set of eyes!

Dewey

Zahid Naqvi
07-14-2008, 1:53 AM
Dewey, thanks for taking the time and sharing your skill with us, this is an excellent tutorial.

Jim Cunningham
07-15-2008, 9:59 AM
Great looking work. Thanks for the tutorial

Cary Swoveland
07-22-2008, 12:23 AM
Thanks, Dewey. Your tutorial is very clear and helpful.

An alternative to clearing the spaces for the fans would be to cut them with a forester bit at an earlier stage of construction, then fitting the fans to the recesses. Would that be problematic, or more time-consuming? (I've not done any marquetry, but would like to.)

Also, you could cut the outer bands with a circle cutter (or could use a forester bit for the inside radius). You'd have to sandwich the veneer between two boards to keep it intact, and you'd no doubt have to make two 360s to get four 90+s, but you could two at a time. Again, you'd have to fit the fans to the rings. Opinion?

I would be interested in a tutorial on string inlay. One variant is to use dyed epoxy rather than wood for the inlays. I saw that in a Fine Woodworking issue quite some time ago. If you've tried that perhaps you could include a few words on that technique.

Cary

Dewey Torres
07-22-2008, 1:16 AM
An alternative to clearing the spaces for the fans would be to cut them with a forester bit at an earlier stage of construction, then fitting the fans to the recesses. Would that be problematic, or more time-consuming? (I've not done any marquetry, but would like to.)

That is certainly an idea, however I have never seen or heard of it done. I suppose with the right setup it would work great for bulk work.



Also, you could cut the outer bands with a circle cutter (or could use a forester bit for the inside radius). You'd have to sandwich the veneer between two boards to keep it intact, and you'd no doubt have to make two 360s to get four 90+s, but you could two at a time. Again, you'd have to fit the fans to the rings. Opinion?

I think this one would be tougher than you might think. If you could get the center point of the cutter directly over the tips of the fan you could cut the ring but it you were just a bit off you would either damage the tips or have an imperfect circle. The imperfect circle will show your mistakes when you try to combine the fans to make a half circle or full circle... still I am not saying it couldn't be done. Your idea doing this in reverse by making a 360 and then breaking it up might work if you were careful and accurate.



I would be interested in a tutorial on string inlay. One variant is to use dyed epoxy rather than wood for the inlays. I saw that in a Fine Woodworking issue quite some time ago. If you've tried that perhaps you could include a few words on that technique.

I have done this before and I have used other materials such as Turquoise for example. The epoxy works fine as long as you use the right kind (not 5 min) and let it fully cure... otherwise it gums up and ruins the inlay. I may create another tutorial for inlay next (after the Morris Chair is done). It is real simple. The stringing that you see on federal furniture somewhat falls into this category but the curves are far more advanced than strait lines as you might imagine. The Master of Federal stringing is IMHO Steve Latta and he produced an outstanding video for Lie Nielson to hype up the new string and berry tools he created for them. If you ever want to try and tackle a federal piece or a true Pennsylvania spice chest you will want to see this video and consider the tool purchases as well.

For all,
Please post here or PM me and tell me what you are interested in seeing for the inlay tutorial and I will take your ideas and try to incorporate them for the next in the series.

Bill Wyko
07-22-2008, 4:48 AM
WOW Dewey. I'm going to have to study this closely. You know how I like the veneers. I'd love to do some work like that on one of my boxes. How about more pics of the finished project? Looks great.

Tom Godley
07-22-2008, 11:40 AM
Nice information -- I like the sand effect.

I have never tried anything other than a strip inlay


Thanks for taking the time to put it up.

Cary Swoveland
07-22-2008, 1:40 PM
Two more questions, Dewey: 1) do you use a veneer saw for straight edges; and 2) what Exacto blades do you find work best?

Cary

Dewey Torres
07-22-2008, 3:26 PM
Two more questions, Dewey: 1) do you use a veneer saw for straight edges; and 2) what Exacto blades do you find work best?
I personally don't use a veneer saw for anything. I cut marquetry with either an Exacto, razor blade, or scroll saw. Most folks think veneer saws come ready to use out of the box but they will only cut well if tuned first (kind of like a hand plane). A razor blade or Exacto blade if used in successive passes will produce a cut that you would have to magnify to see flaws. This for me, is a personal choice so I hope I am not starting a razor vs. veneer saw argument. Veneer saws also are used for strait lines as they need the back to ride on a strait edge. If I am going to cut strait, a razor is hard to beat. If I need multiple strait pieces, then I stack veneers and cut them on a table saw.

As for the Exacto blades, I have yet to see anyone prove that there is any difference in quality. The ones I buy from woodcraft cut the same as the ones from Lowes. More thought IMO, should go into the actual knife itself as it houses the blade holder and provides the user with a handle (which if either of the two are flawed, will cause extreme frustration). I have the Woodcraft brand craft knife (seen in the tutorial) and a Stanley set which comes in a box with a handle and a variety of different shaped blades. I also have a generic metal one that I like which I got at Joan's or Michaels.

As much as I may have tried to explain this, Mark Adams explains it better in his free videos on Wood Magazine online. When you see the player on the right use the right arrow at the bottom of the video window to scroll over to the veneering section. There is a 12 part series which explains your questions about the veneer saws, the use of the Exacto, and stack cutting on the TS.

http://www.woodmagazine.com/wood/file.jsp?item=video/player&temp=yes (http://www.woodmagazine.com/wood/file.jsp?item=video/player&temp=yes)

Sorry for the long winded answer but you sound like you are truly interested in this so hopefully this is helpful!

Cary Swoveland
07-23-2008, 1:19 AM
Thanks for the pointer to Marc Adams' videos on veneering. I watched them this afternoon. They're excellent. I also appreciate your comments on veneer saws and knives.

When I asked about the Exacto blades you use, I was referring to the blade types. For example, Marc uses one that is long and pointed, with a straight cutting edge, for all the cutting shown in his videos, which are mostly straight cuts. I think I saw the same blade in one of the pics in your tutorial. I know Exacto sells all sorts of blades, including that have curved cutting edges, even some with serrated blades. Do you use just the one type of blade? Perhaps the choice of blade is incidental.

Cary

Dewey Torres
07-23-2008, 1:28 AM
When I asked about the Exacto blades you use, I was referring to the blade types. For example, Marc uses one that is long and pointed, with a straight cutting edge, for all the cutting shown in his videos, which are mostly straight cuts. I think I saw the same blade in one of the pics in your tutorial. I know Exacto sells all sorts of blades, including that have curved cutting edges, even some with serrated blades. Do you use just the one type of blade? Perhaps the choice of blade is incidental.

Cary

Oh, ok Cary sorry about that:o

The answer is yes. I use the same exact type of blade Mark uses in the video. The others will work fine as well but I would shy way from the designs that tend to flex as they will try to follow the wood grain rather than the line you intend.

Mark Rakestraw
08-21-2008, 8:25 AM
Very nice tutorial Dewey, thank you. I'm in the process of making some compass roses for a kayak I'm building and have been using ebony for the black pieces. Very hard stuff, it takes a lot of strokes to cut with the exacto knife. A softer wood dyed black would sure make life easier. What do you use to dye your black accent pieces? Does the color go deep enough that you don't scrape through when leveling the inlay in the field?

thanks,
Mark

Rich Engelhardt
10-25-2008, 7:07 AM
Hello,
Good info.
I'm going to try my hand at this now that colder weather/longer nights is forcing me out of the shop/into the house.
Plus, I have some time on Sunday's on my hands - being a Brown's fan does have it's advantages at times ;) with all hope of post-season play disappearing by mid October.

bookmark inlay

Dewey Torres
10-25-2008, 7:36 PM
Rich, I hear you ... I am a Dolphins fan.:rolleyes:

The hot sand will bring up the temp in the shop a few degs.:)