I snuck out to the shop for a bit today and filled in the rest of the details on my little marquetry picture. There are problem spots, but I’m not going to sweat it. I think the overall effect will be nice, and I’m not going to make myself crazy over it. (I’m trying to convince myself here, not you!).
So, two goals. Fill in the missing pieces, and add a border.
The missing pieces was maybe three steps. First sorting through a big pile of “extra” parts. Six layers of veneer, plus two backer boards, I’m only using one piece out of each layer, so there are 5 pieces in miscellaneous veneer left. This is the main reason for wanting to learn piece-by-piece, less waste. More sawing though. Once I’d found each part I had to sand shade, and then came the hard part.
I’d lost several tiny parts, so I had to re-make them. There were also some details in the picture that I couldn’t say out because I was sure I’d lose them. So I cut all of this out of scrap bits. For example, this area had uncut details, pretty boring visually.
After cutting out some pie-wedges from the green and filling in with white, and doing a little sand shading, it looks a lot more interesting visually.
The other thing I wanted to do was try adding a border. I recently bought a pair of DVDs on Marquetry and Veneering by Paul Schurch. I wanted to see how his approach to marquetry worked, and I wanted to see if I could pick up any general veneer tricks. On his approach to marquetry, it’s very similar to what Patrick Edwards teaches, but I don’t like Paul’s approach as well. There was a lot of good info in the videos, and the technique for the border comes right from there.
First I made a “filletti tool”, which is a fancy name for a strip of wood with a spacer on it. With this an a straightedge and a veneer saw you can cut any width of banding. Slide the veneer against the spacer block, the veneer goes under the spacer and against the body of the tool. Slide a straightedge against the tool and remove it. Now cut the strip that protrudes.
Next saw off the strip of veneer that is sticking out.
I made enough 1/8″ banding for two strips around the picture from a tiny piece of Wenge. I made a strip of crossgrain Padauk banding too.
Banding with Wenge, then cross-grain Padauk, then Wenge, then diagonally oriented Cherry.So far, everything is being done from the glue face. I sawed using a reversed pattern. Assembled it onto shelf paper using the same orientation as sawing, then applied a border. I used blue tape for this step of the assembly.
Once the banding was taped to the picture I glued the whole stinking mess down to my kraft-paper-covered pattern board. Patrick and Patrice at the ASFM would probably yell at me for all of the extra steps with shelf paper and blue tape, but I’m not ready to take the training wheels off yet.
Tomorrow I’ll fill the gaps with mastic and glue this down to an MDF backer in the correct orientation. I’m on the fence if I’ll leave it at that, or build a small cabinet around it. In the meantime I’m listening to the sounds of glue drying and trying to figure out what to make next.