Inlay a Compass Rose
Simple technique for a classic motif
Synopsis: This classic inlay pattern harkens back to the New England furniture-making boom of the 1700s. It features a nautical motif that works well with contrasting woods. Here, you will learn how to inlay a compass rose using a pattern that can be adapted to any size. Michael Fitzpatrick has used the rose in all different sizes—in cases, tabletops, and drawer fronts—all scaled from the same pattern presented here.
I learned how to inlay a compass rose in 2006 while at North Bennet Street School in Boston. Longtime instructor Lance Patterson studied and taught this pattern from a secretary desk that lives at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and is attributed to a Massachusetts furniture maker.
This popular inlay was derived from the nautical heritage of New England during the furniture-making boom of the 1700s. The original compass rose was done in holly and rosewood. I like…