The Woodworking Life

The Woodworking Life

How to Cut Decorative Parquetry or Marquetry Using the Window Method

comments (6) July 3rd, 2011 in blogs, Reader's Gallery

DennisZongker Dennis Zongker, contributor
thumbs up 44 users recommend

The finished Panel
The finished conference table.
Cutting out the first template
Step 2: All finished cutting.
Step 3: Cutting
Fitting the first piece
Steps 1 and 2: Repeating with different pieces
Laying out the new templates onto the veneer to be cut
Cutting out the wings, using step 3
Cutting the border, using step 2
Step 3
Cutting out the back ground veneer using step 3
The finished Panel - CLICK TO ENLARGE

The finished Panel

This marquetry--or decorative parquetry panel--is actually an insert for a conference table. The company's logo is an abstract design of a black hawk. The panel measures 24-in. wide x 54-in. long. I used the the "window method" because of the long straight lines and the geometric shapes. It's much more accurate this way, and if I had used a scrollsaw, it would have been much more difficult to cut straight lines. 

Step 1:
Draw or tape down a template onto the wood that will be your background wood.

Step 2:
Using an X-acto knife or a scalpel--I like to use a Swann Morton scalpel with a 10A surgical blade. It cuts incredible and the blades are very easy to sharpen. Cutting into the middle of the pencil line, only cut lightly into the wood about 3/4" long. Make about four passes until you go all the way through. Don't try to press too hard--light presser will make it easier to stay on you pencil lines. Continue cutting this way around your pencil line or paper template. The piece that you cut out will serve as your template for the next step.

Step 3:
Take the shape that you just cut out, "The Template," and tape it onto the piece of veneer that will appear in your marquetry picture. Next, use your knife and follow around the template. Start cutting the same way as you did in Step 2. When your completely done cutting out around the template, then your first piece of marquetry will fit into the background veneer.

Then it's simply a matter of repeating the steps until I'm done with all the pieces. The method is simple, fast, and rewarding. 

The veneers used in this example are maple, walnut, black ebony, and quartered figure anigree


Design or Plan used: A Company Logo

posted in: blogs, Reader's Gallery, how to, inlay, marquetry

Comments (6)

woodprotx woodprotx writes: Outstanding!! Beautiful work Inspires me to try this
Posted: 3:42 pm on August 6th

knoxmtn knoxmtn writes: Thanks for replying to my post Dennis. I will give it a try!
Posted: 6:27 am on July 9th

DennisZongker DennisZongker writes: Hi frostman, I have never repaired wallpaper so I can't compare. You only have one post so I'm guessing that your trying to get to me somehow. Your very funny. I just started laughing at your statement. Good luck to you and your wall papering. lol
Posted: 5:20 pm on July 8th

DennisZongker DennisZongker writes: Hi knoxmtn, Thank you for the complement. This method is an old and well respected way of cutting veneer before their were scroll saws. When I cut on the scroll saw I cut up to ten different pieces at a time. Their are many different styles and ways to cut veneer. It is up to you if you like this way are not. The next time you get ready to cut some veneer give this style a try and see what you think. Thank you.
Posted: 5:14 pm on July 8th

frostman frostman writes: This is the same process as repairing wallpaper which has been damaged.
Posted: 11:30 am on July 8th

knoxmtn knoxmtn writes: Nice post and nice veneering, thanks. Is there a reason that you don't cut both pieces at the same time as some recommend? Seems like it would save time as well as be even more accurate. Or is this just a "different way"?
Posted: 5:47 pm on July 5th

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