Monthly Archives: April 2015

Rose Marquetry, Part 452

I’m probably three hours into assembling this marquetry picture, and it’s definitely kicking my butt.  It’s some kind of sadistic jigsaw puzzle created by a psychopathic game designer.  Imagine a puzzle where all of the parts are the same color, and are so small you need to use tweezers.  Now mix seven different colors of the same puzzle, and remove a half dozen critical parts.

But I’m so close to moving on to the next step.  I have probably six more parts to find…or re-make, then I can start the sand shading process.  We’ll see if I have the patience to work on this more today.

Here is the picture, test assembled.  The all-red roses have no depth or separation between the parts without sand shading.

Here is the picture, test assembled. The all-red roses have no depth or separation between the parts without sand shading.

Here is a close up of the problem area.  Maybe I can get my wife and son to comb through the remaining parts one more time before I have to resort to re-making these parts.

Problem area.  The piece of Mahogany background doesn't fit right, and I'm missing 3 stems, two leaves and a bit of background.

Problem area. The piece of Mahogany background doesn’t fit right, and I’m missing 3 stems, two leaves and a bit of background.

 

 

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Jigsaw Jeopardy

Truth be told, I’m not a fan of jigsaw puzzles.

Nevertheless, I just spent an hour after work sorting through a pile of little veneer shapes from this (and another tray of bits)

Too many pieces.  Since I'm stack cutting using the "Boulle" method I have 7 of each part (background, 3 greens, 3 flower colors) plus the front and back "waster" veneers from the packet.

Too many pieces. Since I’m stack cutting using the “Boulle” method I have 7 of each part (background, 3 greens, 3 flower colors) plus the front and back “waster” veneers from the packet.

To start assembling the marquetry picture I’m working on.  I’m assembling it onto low-tack shelf paper.  Once I have the colors all composed, I’ll remove the parts a few at a time and sand shade them.

It only seems tedious when you’re doing it…

Assembly so far.  I'm having trouble locating a couple of small leaves...I'll move on to the remaining two flowers and maybe they will turn up.

Assembly so far. I’m having trouble locating a couple of small leaves…I’ll move on to the remaining two flowers and maybe they will turn up.

Even with the mix of colors, it still looks flat without sand shading.  But first I have to find all of the little bits!

Close up of one flower, this is about the size of a silver dollar.

Close up of one flower, this is about the size of a silver dollar.

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I saw roses

Ok, I guess that’s an obvious pun, but I spent a couple of hours sawing out flowers this morning.  I was away last week visiting my parents with my son, and have been really looking forward to getting some shop time in this weekend.  Unfortunately in addition to my son, I brought home a nasty flu virus, so things are moving a bit more slowly than I’d like.

But this is also a lot of pieces to cut out.  I have seven color layers of veneer — three greens for the leaves, three colors for the flowers and a background color.  At a rough guess there are 100 separate shapes to cut out.  Some are relatively large and easy to handle (why does that seem like cheating?) and some are smaller.  A few of the stems and stem-leaves are fairly small, for me anyway.

IMG_0291

My new marquetry work tray all set up for the project. Tongs, extra blades, a (reversed) reference pattern, and the assembled veneer packet.

I drilled a hole with a #65 bit and started in sawing out pieces.  I’m guessing that this will take me 3 or 4 hours of sawing to get all the parts cut out.  I don’t have the patience to sit and do it in one session, even if I wasn’t sick, so I’m interspersing other projects.  I took a break and set up a kraft paper assembly board.  I laid out an idea for a tool chest on some walnut — although I don’t think it’s going to work out.  And for a change, instead of Lighting Hopkins I tried some Solomon Burke.

First foliage sawn free

First foliage sawn free, starting in on the main rose

Then I transitioned into my rock country mix with Iris DeMent, Lucinda Williams, John Prine and the Cowboy Junkies.  I need a shop stereo, the headphones are too annoying with the Optivisor.

The main rose is cut now

The main rose is cut now

More progress.  Time for a new soundtrack.

More progress. Time for a new soundtrack.

At this point I have all of the flowers and most of the larger leaves cut out, and it’s getting to be tricky to know how to progress.  The stems connect that major cut out areas, as I start removing them the packet gets fragile and I could break off a section if I’m not super careful.

This is roughly where I am as I write this post.  I have a  couple of large leaves to cut free, but I'm looking ahead at the interconnecting stems that bridge the cut-out areas.  I think that's going to be a little tricky.

This is roughly where I am as I write this post. I have a couple of large leaves to cut free, but I’m looking ahead at the interconnecting stems that bridge the cut-out areas. I think that’s going to be a little tricky.

I’ve probably got one more hour of work at the chevy to finish cutting this packet.  I’d like to finish the sawing today if I can.  I’m finally feeling comfortable with the “coarse” 32 tpi blades.  I can follow the lines 98% of the time, and I can make crisp turns.  I need more practice before I’m ready to try the “piece-by-piece” method.

I have to say, it’s a little daunting when I sit down to cut out a complex piece like this.  I’m not stressing over it, but it’s a little tedious.  Most of the other woodworking I do involves more varied work activities.  I love the finished assembly, but it’s really time consuming to cut, sand shade, assembly and finish the panel.

I’m only waiting for the last bits of hardware to finish the first Dutch Tool Chest, and I’m going to start another soon.  I want one nice tool chest to take on the road the next time I take a woodworking class, but I’m on the fence between a DTC and a small traditional chest like the Traveling Anarchist’s Tool Chest or Sellers’ Joiner’s Tool Chest.  You can expect it to have some marquetry design inside the lid.

 

 

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