The end is nigh

Well not quite but getting awful close.

The last week was practicing and making all the paterae.  I’m not going to do a step by step of it because I just don’t have the energy (with the Reds game not starting until 9:37pm – are you kidding me??) I’m beat.  But a few pictures below.

The contents of the packet before assembly

The assembled packets.  I’ll get two ovals out of each.  The packet is merely stacked together with veneer tape which is sort of a gum tape which is water activated.

Here you can see the blade I use.  It’s basically a jeweler’s blade.  I’m using a size 6/0.  It’s crazy small.  If I squint just right I can see the teeth.  Actually the best way to figure out which direction the teeth cut is to use your finger to feel it.  It’s put into a jeweler’s saw frame which is basically a fret saw – it looks a little like a coping saw.

The first piece comes out.  You can see all the layers from the packet.  I only need the two pieces of holly.  Everything else is waste.  I’m cutting these straight.

Here are the two ovals cut out but not yet assembled.

Here’s I’m sand shading the pieces and starting the assembly.  I put it together on blue tape.  The sand shading gives the impression of depth and really makes these look pretty cool.

Fast forwarding a bit.  On the left is the piece glued to a piece of backing veneer but covered in veneer tape  The veneer tape holds it together after removing the blue tape.  The veneer tape is moistened and scraped off really easily.  On the right an oval is roughed out to shape.

Finally I wrap a piece of veneer around the whole assembly as a border.  Push pins in a block of cork hold things together.

Here are all the pieces, ready to be inlaid.  I ended up doing two of the eagles. The first one was less than satisfying so I did another one.  I’m not showing any of the gory pictures of making that one.  I guess I was concentrating too much to pick up the camera.  The eagle will get some details added (like an eye and more feathers) after some finishing is complete.

I’m reminded that all indications are that the cabinetmakers that built furniture didn’t make the ovals (nor bandings).  There were specialists that made these things and cabinet shops bought them from those specialists.  Since I do this for fun and not to feed my family I can afford to stumble through marquetry.  Same thing happened with wood turning in most cases – there were specialists.  Of course as a mere hobbyist I’m happy to say I made the whole piece of furniture from raw wood with my own hands (well, except the hinges and screws).

Finally I inlaid the pieces into the table parts:

Rubbing on some mineral spirits starts to give a feel for how this will look with finish.

Time to start prepping for finishing.  I try to use sandpaper sparingly.  Mostly scraping with just a little sandpaper to break the corners.  I’ll finish it before I assemble so I have a little more control.

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