Parquetry Guillotine

Parquetry Guillotine
Parquetry Guillotine
Parquetry Guillotine
Parquetry Guillotine
Parquetry Guillotine

Before getting into building my major projects for 2015 I’ve been trying to clean up my to do list of little shop projects. I the last few weeks I’ve built a new rolling tool cabinet, bottle jack veneer press and a portable workbench.

One other item on my list is this Parquetry Guillotine.

In 2013 I built a veneered box with a basket weave pattern on the top. The basket weave was produced during a Lee Valley parquetry seminar. People seem to like this box and I want to build a couple more.

The basket weave pattern is amzingly simple to do. You just need to be able to cut a whole bunch of tiny little veneer rectangles and squares. The instructors had a couple of home made chopping devices which made this task relatively quick. Theirs where made from metal.

I decided to try and make something similar.

The guillotine is made from scrap MDF, oak and other woods. It is a bit pretty rough looking but it works. The mechanism is a spring loaded door stop (I think I bought it at Home Depot). The blade and cap lever are from an old spoke shave.

I’ll probably use it with a self healing mat and add some type of scale to makes setting the stop a bit easier.

I managed to get the blade pretty sharp as the bandaged finger on the last picture will prove.

I’ve added some old school animation to this post. If you toggle between the last two pictures you can see the guillotine in action.


That’s going to work very nicely for you Peter. I made one a few years ago that employs a razor blade clamped between a couple of little blocks. If you contour the blocks you can get a curved cut. It’s a very cool little tool but I haven’t used it much at all. ……. Too many projects, too little time.
But you have employment for this fine little unit so it won’t be languishing on the back of the bench like mine.

Nice one.

The early bird gets the worm but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.


That looks very clever!


“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin

Very useful.
Luis XVI will think twice before visiting:)

The box is really nice.

Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

Great idea and a useful tool. Nicely done. I can see where this would be preferable to sawing or slicing for many kinds of pieces. I have some parquetry (jeux de fond) pieces on my to make list, but like Paul, other projects have been jumping the queue. I like your box a lot as well. It all works very well together.

Great tool. Any time you can create your tools you have already won in my book. The box is great as well. Keep posting, you are inspiring!!!

CHRIS, Charlottetown PEI Canada. Anytime you can repurpose, reuse, or recycle, everyone wins!

Thanks everyone for the comments. Now that I have the cutter I guess I should get to work on another box!

Great job

woodworking classes, custom furniture maker