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When I started getting into marquetry I tried routers first and then a scroll saw. They both worked but left me looking for better control to do really fine work. I remembered seeing a hand operated saw in Sorrento Italy several years earlier and after many hours searching the internet I found four photos and one grainy video of the “Chevalet de Marqueterie”. Armed with these, I built my first one at my winter place in Az from a recycled Douglas Fir beam. A few months later I built my second at my home in BC. It is made from salvaged Garry Oak.
They both worked amazingly well right off the bat. Now I wouldn’t even think of cutting marquetry with anything else.
They are a lot easier to find on the internet now, only a few years later and lots of people are building and using them. Since I had sort of “designed my own” I posted a sketchup model in case others wanted to build one. I have since found plans for them in the back of Pierre Ramond’s book “Marquetry” and have attended the American School of French Marquetry where Patrick Edwards sells plans and hardware kits as well.
Interestingly mine are almost exactly like the originals.
The chevalet is an invention of the guild of ebinistes in Paris about two hundred years ago. They kept it as a closely guarded secret for many years.
Here are a couple of little videos of how they work.
Thanks for looking
I’ll be happy to answer any questions or help anyone who wants to build one.
I have lots of photos.
-- The early bird gets the worm but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.
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