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Thread: Crane Jewelry Box

  1. #1
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    Crane Jewelry Box

    Hello all,

    Literally, a couple of years ago now I built a jewelry box for my mum with some marquetry:

    https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....elry-Box-Build

    At the time, I built a second carcass figuring I would make another at some point to give away or maybe sell. I've since moved, mostly rebuilt the shop and found the perfect recipient for the box

    During the move, I did the design and began the early stages of the marquetry while in temporary housing. I've just pulled all the 'pre-made' parts out of storage and have begun again on the project (a birthday is a motivating factor and has pushed aside the NBSS tool chest project for now).

    Here's the start on a temporary workbench while in purgatory:

    IMG_2653.jpgIMG_2654.jpg


    And a week ago I was able to mill and plane grooves for the draw components (boy is nice to have a shop again!):

    IMG_6777.jpg

    So nearly all the pieces are staged with nothing to do but start on the marquetry proper....

    IMG_6780 (1).jpg

    And the hunt for the right veneers begins under the watchful eye of Charles the shop dog:
    IMG_6785.jpg
    "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    --Yogi Berra

  2. #2
    The crane project is one of my top favorites. Looking forward to following your new project.

  3. #3
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    Chris, thanks for sharing. I look forward to seeing your marquetry project move forward - nothing concentrate the mind like a birthday deadline!

    a loyal shop dog is a crucial component of any team. Glad to see you're well supported!

    Cheers, Mike

  4. #4
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    Mel, thanks for the kind words.

    Mike, true that on the shop dog! And the good news is the birthday deadline has been blown, but we are celebrating 'birthday month' instead... and now that you mention it, that deadline could become an issue too!
    "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    --Yogi Berra

  5. #5
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    I was able to spend the better part of yesterday in the shop working on the marquetry panel for the crane box. The panel is now almost complete, aside from one small disaster to be revealed after it has been covered up....

    Here, I'll walk through some of the process I use to turn an imaging into marquetry.

    One of the challenges is selecting an image and composition that I can imaging as a set of wood colors. One way I think about it as hunting for images that would look good in B&W (that is brown and white!) since the available palette of tones for undyed wood is muted. I also look for images that I can image as a stained-glass image. Finally, I aim to have elements and a composition which draws the eye and moves it around-one with some "motion".

    I've always enjoyed birds and started drawing them as a child. However, I'm not a talented fine artist. In fact, marquetry is a way of hacking that fact because it is really just tracing and 'painting by numbers'.

    I do this on an older Ipad with a sketching program. Any program will do, it just needs to have the ability to import an image and to work with layers. Here's a photo of the image I imported that I found somewhere on the interwebs. (It actually has a layer with notes for marquetry pieces showing as well).

    IMG_6781 (1).jpg

    The next step is to create a layer like a piece of tracing paper and create the "paint by numbers" pieces by drawing. I then fill with tones that are a reasonable match just for keeping track. Here's the result as two layers-the crane image and the notes layer for piece numbers-the photo layer is hidden.

    IMG_6782 (1).jpg

    I believe that photo editing programs like photoshop can transform an image into a similar type of image with filters to any photo if you want, but I haven't figured out how to do that yet.

    Once I have an image, I print several copies of slightly different sizes to finalize the size of the element on the box. This is one of the advantages of using a digital approach.

    IMG_6783 (1).jpg

    And then that gets traced onto vellum.


    IMG_6784 (1).jpg
    Last edited by Christopher Charles; 04-12-2020 at 1:27 PM.
    "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    --Yogi Berra

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Allen1010 View Post
    ...a loyal shop dog is a crucial component of any team. Glad to see you're well supported!

    Cheers, Mike
    +1 on the shop dog.

    ken

  7. #7
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    Hi all,

    Progress has been stalled b/c my eldest son is currently quarantining in the shop after returning home from the Seattle area...no issues at all, for which I'm thankful.

    Before that I was able to get the main work on the panel completed and into clamps. I worked from the outside to inside, and overcut the outside border pieces.

    The new piece has the outline traced with carbon paper, is tacked to the base and cut out. Here is are the first two pieces:

    IMG_6810.jpg

    IMG_6809.jpg

    IMG_6811.jpg

    Next is to build up pieces, being careful to keep track of which borders are final borders compared to borders that will be have another piece cut in (and are cut oversize).
    IMG_6812.jpg
    IMG_6826.jpg
    I keep pieces in place using blue tape while cutting, with a single tack. Any movement of a piece will lead to gaps. Once pieces are cut and put in place, veneer tape holds them in place.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Christopher Charles; 04-22-2020 at 4:11 PM.
    "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    --Yogi Berra

  8. #8
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    Each piece is carefully selected to orient the grain pattern and to use changes in tone within a piece can be used for shading. Because outside pieces are cut oversize, it frankly takes some imagination to trust that things are going to plan (right photo above). Pretty goofy looking at this stage.

    Once all the pieces are in place, the outline is traced (middle photo above). And, much more stressful than a glue-up, is cutting the bird into the background. And then into clamps. (Forgot to take any pictures after clamps--will get photos up after I get into the shop again).

    Thanks for following along and many thanks to all for posting your projects here-they've been a solace.

    Best,
    Chris
    Last edited by Christopher Charles; 04-22-2020 at 4:22 PM.
    "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    --Yogi Berra

  9. #9
    Chris,

    Beautiful.

    ken

  10. #10
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    Chris, nicely done. I admire the skill to do marquetry. Just going to have to get myself a scroll saw some day.

  11. #11
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    can't wait for the reveal!

  12. #12
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    Thanks gentlemen--I have high hopes for some shop time this weekend..."birthday month" is coming to a close!

    Best,
    Chris
    "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    --Yogi Berra

  13. #13
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    N. Idaho
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    Hi all,

    I'm finally returning to this project, along with others. Birthday month passed, but is coming up again, so there is still hope. Good news is the loml doesn't know the project is coming, so no harm done, right?

    The veneer panel is complete with the exception of the hardest part-adding the eye. When I've done this before, the eye was either bigger and I cut directly, or much smaller and thus could just use a single drilled dot.

    Here's the head right now. Any ideas on how to best create an eye that is essentially a bullseye? I'm considering drilling a large hole, filling with epoxy, drilling a smaller hole inside that after it dries, etc. This would be indexed on the drill press to ensure concentric drilling. Would tint the epoxy or use wood dust/epoxy mix. Haven't had time to try on a practice piece.

    That said, am nervous about that process working and so am open to ideas-any suggestions welcome.

    IMG_6876 (1).jpg

    Thanks in advance!
    "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    --Yogi Berra

  14. #14
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    Make the eye before gluing in place. Drill the center of a small dowel and add a contrasting dowel to the center:

    Button Eye.jpg

    Make this a few inches long and you can cut pieces as you need them.

    You could also make them to a different outside shape if so desired.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  15. #15
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    Hi Jim,

    Thanks for the good ideas. I considered that approach, but the dowels in this case would both need to be about 3/64" set on-center into a dowel about 3/32"! And I don't have a lathe (and definitely not the skill to turn something that small)...
    "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    --Yogi Berra

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