Synopsis: David Lamb produces marquetry patterned after a winter frost. See how he chooses the wood, cuts it into billets, and then slices it into veneer. Then he uses a pattern to form his intricate designs.
David Lamb’s frost-patterned marquetry begins with birch crotch sections 3 or 4 ft. long. When he’s collected a few, he takes them to a friend with a bandsaw mill. One cut through the crotch reveals whether the figure within is strong enough to warrant the effort of cutting it into billets. Lamb air-dries the billets for some months on a hot, high shelf in his shop, then cuts them into veneers. He likes to get the veneers down to about 6% moisture content, using a moisture meter to check and a microwave oven to finish the job, if necessary. Then he sends them through a thickness sander. Lamb likes birch for its warm tone and for the connection to so much American period furniture in which birch was used as a substitute for satinwood. He also doesn’t mind that birch is so commercially neglected that he often gets the material for free.
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