Last weekend I taught two inlay classes. At the end of each class I did a little class extra for the students. Actually, it really was for me! I really enjoy the precision, detail and challenge of fine marquetry. I have often questioned myself and find it interesting that I go from splitting wood and roughing out chair parts to cutting extremely fine pieces of wood that I can barely hold in my hand. I suppose one extreme has a way of balancing out the other!
So I put together a packet with a single letter, I picked the hardest font I could find, mostly to show that it could be done totally by hand with a hand held fret saw.
In fact if you tried to do this with a scroll saw, chances are the pieces would be in the trash. The scroll saw does not allow you the precision that you can get by doing it by hand. I am not sure if you can see from the pictures but these pieces are extremely small–tweezers are the only way to handle some of the pieces!
I started by making a packet and then cut it out using a handheld fret saw and a little birds-mouth support. I used the double bevel method, which allows you to be able to make a perfect cut with zero gaps. I then demonstrated using the Chevalet to cut the outside of the packet out. This could have easily been done with the fret saw but I wanted to show off the Chevy! I plan to write an article on this entire process and I will keep you posted on that as well. It really is not that difficult to do this and you can personalize any project with a few simple tools and a little practice.
I hope to do a marquetry class in the future. I have had several requests for a class. If you are interested in taking a simple marquetry class from me, then please leave a comment below. I will do my best to pull one together and will keep you posted on the progress. I am posting a couple pictures below showing some samples of what you can do with marquetry.
In the mean time you can check out our one-day inlay course.
And if you are interested you can see some more intricate marquetry here!