I came, I sawed

I’m going to do another marquetry picture.  For practice.  Again.

I really (really) want to do a “real” project, but I need to get some more practice time in first.

The design for this came from a flower coloring book.  I traced it a couple of times, tweaking a few little details to get it to something I liked (and believed I could saw well enough).  It’s going to be a larger panel than I’ve done before, 8.5″ x 11″.  I picked out a very pale white veneer (probably Maple) for the petals, Bubinga for the colored rays, and a dyed red veneer for the anther.  I was careful to select the show faces when laminating on the reinforcing paper, and I dutifully made a reversed drawing for the pattern.  I’ll either saw it out or set it afire this weekend.

Design for the next marquetry panel.  The original drawing is on the right, my tracing is on the left.

Design for the next marquetry panel. The original drawing is on the right, my tracing is on the left.

But I really need to do a real project.  I don’t know if I’m at a loss of ideas, or if I have too many ideas.  Knowing me, it’s probably both.  Here are the ideas that have been going on in my head lately:

A reprise of the coffee cup cabinet, but with a marquetry panel on the door instead of a bookmatched panel.  That was a fun project, and it came out nicely.  I actually through about doing this particular flower design for the door of it.  I may still, the design isn’t quite big enough, but I can add banding and what-not to make the finished panel bigger.  What-not is a particular speciality of mine apparently.  (and you have to say “sepciality” with a British accent, spee-see-hal-ity).

Along the same lines, I have an idea to make a cabinet to store DVDs.  I have a great marquetry design in mind that I downloaded from the UK marquetry society.  My thinking is that this would be a frame-and-panel carcase.  The frame would be Cherry or Walnut, and the panels would be some sort of figured Maple, with the marquetry design on the front.

Marquetry design for another project

Marquetry design for another project

Astute readers will probably recognize the main rose bud in the picture from a recent practice panel.

My last practice panel

My last practice panel

So those two cabinets are fairly obvious projects, but I also have at least six other projects in mind.  A dutch tool chest (with a marquetry design on the inside of the lid), the Blacker House Serving Table I drew plans of recently, a cool tool tote that I bought plans for, another utility cabinet for the shop for my table saw accessories, a Wharton Esherick (ish) stool, a pair of casement windows, and let’s not forget about the bookcase for my wife.

The casement window is a funny story.  My shop has El-Cheapo (TM) aluminum sliding windows.  Last week a bee was buzzing around, and I went to swat it and blew the glass out.  Too much coffee I guess.  So I could replace it with a big-box-store plastic slider, or I could figure out how to make nice windows for my house by practicing on the shop.  You already know where my brain goes.

By the way, the bookcase is a funny situation too.  I realized, luckily just before buying a lot of very expensive 6/4 wide Q/S White Oak, that because of the turn from the hallway into the guest bedroom I couldn’t actually get the bookcase where I wanted to put it.  So a redesign is necessary.

I have to say it.  I also just want to go buy wood.  The local wood store has some nice clear vertical grain Douglas Fir, 4/4 x 12″ wide (tool chest!), as well as narrower 8/4 and 10/4.  And piles of Sapele.  Both of those could be nice to make windows…but do I really want to spend $300 on wood to make a window? (Yes!)  Oh, and I recently watched a couple of episodes of The Woodwright’s Shop where Roy made a neat standing desk from construction lumber.  I spend all day at a desk, and I don’t really like standing up in any case, but I still want to build that.

Maybe I’ll just go buy a load of wood tomorrow.  I’ll get enough for all of these projects.  Cherry, Fir, White Oak, Sapele.  Maybe a couple of Monterey Pine slabs to play with.  Then I have options.  No room to work, and my wife probably won’t speak to me, but I’ll have options.

Veneer for the new marquetry panel is in the press being laminated to newsprint to reinforce it.

Veneer for the new marquetry panel is in the press being laminated to newsprint to reinforce it.


Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “I came, I sawed

  1. JR

    Go man go! I really admire your tenacity, especially with your marquetry projects. Marquetry is something I have thought about attempting myself and will take the plunge soon as I get around to building my own chevy right after I buy some more lumber . . .

  2. Paul K. Murphy

    I’m cheerleading for you Joe.

  3. Wow, this is super cool. Never thought I’d get into marquetry, but pieces like this are starting to change my mind.

  4. Paul K. Murphy

    Incidentally, I’m glad that El-Cheapo has at last trademarked their products. Consumers will now be able to purchase legitimate El-Cheapo brand, without worrying if it is a knockoff or copycat.

  5. My productivity does not keep up with my project list either. A buddy and I are trying Woodbank for reclaimed lumber for big workbenches. Marquetry looks great – I’m impressed you have the patience for it. I still struggle with basic joinery… the gaps… the gaps!

    • Hi Nate, I want to build another bench too, taller, specifically for joinery. Or a “moxon” vise.

      You might look on craigslist, there is often good used fir (which makes a really good bench) available. One example:

      Right now, in Berkley, four 6″x6″ kiln dried clear fir timbers, 16′ long, $200

      (that’s a whole Roubo bench right there!)

      • Too late, too late will be the cry, when the man with the bargains passes you by. Sold. Thanks for the tip, though.

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