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Thread: Second Marquetry Panel

  1. #1
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    Second Marquetry Panel

    Here's another marquetry panel I'm doing in preparation for my class in November. On this one, I did the drawing myself, based on a picture of a water lily flower I found on the web. There's several problems with this piece: the lily pads should show more depth, which I could have done by darkening the pads in the background, I should have used a darker green veneer for the pads, and I should have put a black strip between the yellow banding and the maple border, but I thought the flower and it's reflection came out well. But it's a learning process.

    The picture's not the best, either. The flash kind of blasted the panel.

    The background is dyed black veneer, the pads are dyed green veneer, the flower petals are holly, the center of the flower is dyed yellow veneer, the reflection is dyed gray veneer, and the border is figured maple. The back is done in two pieces of bookmarked figured maple.

    Mike
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Marquetry-tray-06.jpg  
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  2. #2
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    Very nice
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  3. #3
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    Feb 2007
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    Atlanta, GA
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    Hi Mike,
    Wow, still quite nice, especially the flower's reflection. About how much time did that take?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Schultz View Post
    Hi Mike,
    Wow, still quite nice, especially the flower's reflection. About how much time did that take?
    That's a difficult question to answer, Charlie. First, there's the thinking about what the image will be. The picture has to be something that can be realized in veneer which means it can't require a lot of graduations in color since you're working with veneer. It also has to be something that can be realized with fairly large pieces of veneer because little tiny pieces of veneer are very difficult to work with and keep track of. And it has to be an interesting picture. I spent quite a bit of time doing this research, looking at other people's marquetry and pictures of flowers.

    Then I drew the picture. Next, I assembled the veneers and laid them in a packet with the veneer grain running the way I wanted them, based on the pieces in the picture. So the flower, for example, had three levels of holly so that the grain would run along the flower petals. I use blue tape to hold the veneers in place. The packet is covered, top and bottom, with gray cardboard (like the cardboard you'd find on the back of a paper tablet), and small pins are driven through the whole packet to keep things in place.

    Then the pieces are cut out with a scroll saw with a fine blade (#2/0). A real problem is keeping track of the pieces because they'll be like a jigsaw puzzle if you just put them in a pile. I keep a copy of the drawing on the side of the scroll saw and as I cut a piece, I put in on the picture in the place it goes.

    Then, the pieces are sand shaded by dipping them in hot sand. The pieces shrink because of the sand shading so the next step is to wet each piece and press it while it dries (to get it back to full size). Then it's just assembling the pieces into a veneer panel using standard veneer working techniques, and eventually gluing it down.

    Once I have the picture, I can do the rest in about a day, but some of that time is waiting for things to dry. A more complex picture would take more time.

    Mike
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  5. #5
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    Beautiful work, Mike!
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  6. #6
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    Wow! Mike, that's outstanding. Someday I'd like to try my hand at some marquetry.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the info Mike, I would have guessed a that was a couple days of work. Very interesting...

  8. #8
    Really stunning work!
    Anybody can become a woodworker, but only a Craftsmen can hide his mistakes!

    The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Schultz View Post
    Thanks for the info Mike, I would have guessed a that was a couple days of work. Very interesting...
    Finishing is another story and that takes quite a while. This will be the base of a serving tray and I want the finish to be flat and glossy like a mirror. The problem is all the joints between the pieces of veneer, and the pores in the grain.

    First, I shoot dewaxed shellac - for a number of reasons. To help fill the seams between the pieces of veneer I'll use a tinted wood putty. The shellac helps to keep the tint in the putty from spreading into the veneer. Some of the veneer is very light (such as the holly) and it would stain pretty easily if not protected by the shellac.

    Another reason I use dewaxed shellac is because I use water based lacquer. If I use water based lacquer on bare wood, it raises the grain and I have to deal with that. The shellac is a barrier that prevents grain raising.

    Finally, the shellac begins to fill the grain and the spaces between the pieces of veneer, but this is a secondary reason.

    After I've applied the putty and sanded it flat, I begin shooting the lacquer. I'll shoot a coat, then sand it down with a ROS with P220 or P320 sandpaper. The idea is not to build up too thick of a coat of lacquer, which would look "plastic", but to build up lacquer in the voids. After some number of coats, when all the voids are filled, I like to leave the panel sit for at least a week, and preferably longer. Lacquer continues to cure and shrink so the lacquer in the voids will shrink. If I finished the panel before that resting time, the lines and voids will re-appear after the lacquer finishes curing.

    When sufficient time has passed, I'll sand one more time and apply a final one or two coats of lacquer.

    When they are well cured, I'll use a coarse rubbing compound to rub out the finish, followed by a fine polishing compound.

    The net result is a flat, mirror-like finish.

    I usually don't do the sides of the tray to that level - people just don't notice the sides that much.

    So to do a good finish, it could take a month of calendar time, but not a lot of work hours.

    Mike
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  10. #10
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    Hi,

    Looks like you are having brain, hand and eye coordination fun. Years ago I might have been able to do something like that. However, today it is, "No way."

    Thanks for the pic and the description of what it takes to make one.

    Enjoy,

    JimB
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

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