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Sunday, December 2, 2018

Treasure Box III - Post #4: Cutting Marquetry

So with a bit of tardiness here is an “account” on cutting the marquetry panels our Treasure Box III
As you know, I now do my marquetry in LA with a reduced but sweet set up.

On a piece by piece project the drawing is paramount to the final quality of your marquetry. No change can be made afterwards so I usually work my drawing until Patrick and Kristen pry me away from it.
Once this first stage is complete. We usualy have a good idea of what wood will be used where but there is always a bit of change and it is fixed at that moment. Each number correspond to a wood. We currently have a palette of more than 50 different woods and colors in sawn veneer.

There is always a possibility of change by re-cutting the pieces if you are not happy with the colors, but it is a waste of wood and time.
The pieces are cut on paper first and placed in an exploded view

I leave enough space around the papers for easy handling

On projects with a lot of pieces I cut one side at a time.
Here is the tray for one of the sides

Each piece is transfered in a numbered square following the guide.
Then the pieces of paper are glued to the corresponding veneer packet. Each of our pack are 4 layer thick, so we will end up with 4 boxes.

The pieces are cut on the chevalet.

Ans are laid on a tray

Some of them are really small


Some are pretty intricate

Some need a particular attention to accuracy so they nest nicely into each other

The process is repeated for each panel.



The trays fill up

At this point I check the pieces that I marked as possilby not good enough while cutting and decide which needs to be recut.

Once all the pieces are cut and approved, it is time for sand shading.

I have been using gas and actually found it better than electric plate.

On traditional marquetry, I like to give to each piece a bit of shading. It gives volume.

Once all the shading is done it is time to cut the backgrounds, one at a time.

The picture is build face down on paper Using hot hide glue

For those backgrounds, there is a lot of “islands” isolated between pieces. We use bridges to keep them pefectly located.
Those bridges are removed as we go.

Here are, prior to mastic, the 2 sides


The front

And the top

Here we go for the marquetry!
-- Patrice lejeune

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