Monday, 17 March 2014

Basic marquetry/inlay

In this blog I will explain how to do some basic inlay, or marquetry. There are many techniques for this broad craft, here I will show some simple but effective tips to start you off.

  • Choose your design, draw out to full size, experiment with position/ composition, and materials to be used. Laminates for the inlay can be bought online or in some specialist wood stores.

  • When producing a design one method is to make a 'book' of all the different layers of laminate, then cut the design through all the layers to achieve a perfect fit. You can do this with a scroll saw. The method I will be using here is to do one layer at a time. This can be done before fixing, or as here, in situ. Other more complex designs are often built up in reverse using tape to hold together, then the whole design is glued on, and the tape scraped off and sanded afterwards.
  • First cut your background shape. You can cut it in position on the piece to be inlayed.
  • With your shape marked on the piece, router out to the depth of the laminate.
  • Glue and clamp in position.  

  • Repeat for each subsequent layer.

  • When you have all pieces glued in you can sand to finish.
  • Any gaps can be dealt with by a dab of superglue, followed with a quick sand to fill with dust.

Friday, 31 January 2014

Spoon carving

A spoon is a simple project, but very satisfying. Hardwoods are the preference, and willow, holly, plum, alder, apple, elm, ash, sycamore, hawthorn, cherry or birch will all work well.

  • Choose stock well, use the shape of the crook, bend, limb, for your desired design. It is much easier to work green, though it is good practice to allow to dry after main body of work is done, prior to final shaping. This allows for correction on any distortion the drying produces.
  • Split your blanks off with a froe.
  • Transfer your design to stock.
  • Rough out with hatchet, side axe or similar tool.

  • Leave bowl outside large, then gouge out bowl.

  • Shape outside bowl carefully, use fingers to feel thickness, rough shape handle.
  • Put aside to dry.
  • Final finish, trim lip of bowl, any other decorative touches.
  • Scrape, sand to finish add coat of oil.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Jewelry box lid

  • Plane and square stock for frame.
  • Router , plunge cut slot for floating lid panel.
  • Cut mitres and glue up, can use splines, biscuits, dovetail key splines for strength.
  • DO NOT GLUE PANEL, as with base movement gaps needed.
  • Final sand, add hardware.
  • Oil to finish.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Jewelry box inner carcass and bottom

  • Cut mitred inner carcass and fit; same wood, iroko, but lighter.
  • Scribe in bottom panel, with expansion gap 1mm, and skew pin in position.

  • Coat of oil to finish.

Next, constructing the lid...

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Jewelry box; design and outer shell...

This project is going to be a more complicated one, encompassing a few disciplines, fretwork, tiny dovetails, and chip carving. I hope it will make me more precise, and patient!...

  • Design to be drawn out full size.

  • Stock to be plane and squared up.
  • Transfer fret work design to stock, I just photo copied and glued it on.
  • Drill entry holes for saw blade, and cut. I used a hand saw. Be sure to clamp up to provide support to delicate sections, and work out which cuts to do 1st, in order to decrease chance of damage. I recommend delicate outer sections 1st.

  • Clean off paper with a scraper, then sand. Small file to finish shaping.
  • When all sections are finished, cut dovetails (for how to see my first post from last year), and glue up and assemble. Take care as pins are only 4mm at largest point!

To be continued...

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Toy boat

Today I made a simple toy boat;

  • Design and then draw a rod.

  • Mark out, then cut your stock, working through the facets.

  • Shape the bow with a spokeshave. Then fair in the hull.

  • Cut and fit coach house roof to deck as per rod.

  • Drill and fit mast.

  • Cut and fit sail, final sand, and oil.

To see how to build a small dinghy, see my other blog site