FANTASY MARQUETRY #5: Assembling the packet (at Last)

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I finally got all my veneer patches placed, at least those that would be cut this time. Here they are finished.

The next job was to tape the layers together, first one layer and tape, then the 2nd layer always using thin tape and trying to avoid overlaps on the ensuing layers. As I added more layers the packet seemed to get tighter. I finally got the small pieces done as shown in photo 1 below and then I taped around the edges with wide tape as shown in in the 2nd photo.

The next task was to cut some 1/8" plywood for the top and bottom of the packet as shown below, then tape that to make a nice package as shown in photo 2.

Now to mount the marquetry design. I am showing how I used hot hide glue for this job just to prove to Paul that I am actually using it. I spread it on one side of the packet and was about to plaster it on when OUCH! FATAL ERROR DISCOVERED!! 

I had forgotten to mark on the packet which side the design should be pasted on and it’s top/bottom orientation. I immediately tried to kick myself in the butt, but my arthritis prevented that. Memo to myself: buy a long handle to mount a shoe onto for next time.

Luckily I had marked the bottom edges with an arrow in the middle of each layer. I carefully sliced open one end, used my steel rule to separate the layers a little and found my arrow. It was on the side I had not buttered with hide glue. So I marked it and once again, resealed the edge with marquetry tape and slathered on some hide glue to get the design attached as shown below. The glue on the wrong side was rubbed off into glue balls with my fingers. Try that with PVA glue!

I CAN HEAR YOU SAYING "ARE WE THERE YET?,  ARE WE THERE YET? Well, no there is still a couple of more things to do. It’s time to drive some nails through the packet in background areas. Sealing around the edges is not enough to hold the packet together while cutting, especially in the central areas.

Yes, this will leave holes in the background that will have to be fixed, but they are absolutely necessary so it’s just to do it! Notice in the photo below that the nails have been clinched making sure to not cross any design lines where the saw will be cutting. They are clinched in the same direction on the front and back so the veneers will not be pulled in opposite directions. I used some plate steel underneath while doing the clinching with my hammer. It left the design a little beat up, but nothing significant.

After clinching the nails I put marquetry tape over the entire back of the packet to keep the surface as smooth as possible as it will be spun around in the chevalet clamp while cutting. I forgot to take pic of that. I’m not sure yet what I will do with the top of the packet. I’m thinking of using clear packing tape for that.

I should mention here that I was supposed to put in some grease sheets between the packet layers to lubricate the blade. I didn’t do this time as I want to see how important it is. I’ve been practice cutting some thicker pieces of wood and that seems to go ok, so I think it’s worth taking the risk (famous last words).

I had to stop there today because the sun staggered up after a couple of weeks of rain and I was marched out to mow the lawn. My ear still hurts! I plan to start cutting the wizard tomorrow unless something unforeseen comes up. so it looks like it will be finished before they ship me off to the old folks home.This blog is getting to be like that TV series ‘Lost’, never ending and nobody knows what’s going on. Thanks for following with and I hope you could make some sense out of it.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway

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Hi tim. I would like to do at least one project before I die where I didn’t do something (or things) stupidly. Do you think it’s possible?

-- Mike, an American living in Norway

buy a long handle to mount a shoe onto for next time – Classic.
Could you share your source for this? I’m sure we all could use it!

Brian and Abbas You guys crack me up. Thanks for a good laugh to get my day started!

I’m not sure about the glue Abbas, but you are thinking in the right direction. Some use cow gum, whatever that is, probably contact cement. I did think about that, but with the veneers being so fragile I was worried about breaking them while trying to get them apart, but It would be nice to have a non-destructive method.

After thinking about the nail holes overnight I’ve concluded that they really aren’t a problem. The holes in the grass will be eliminated when I add the little yellow flowers and I think I know what to do with the ones in the sky pieces. There are also a couple in the beard, but those will be replaced with some details when the beard is defined after the first cutting. That’s when I will decide if details will be added with knife cut, scroll saw or chevalet sawn pieces. It’s great to have lots of options.

All-in-all I am pretty pleased with the packet. My main worry now is if it will spin smoothly in the chevalet clamp as I saw today. It’s wonderful to be so excited about something at my age and the uncertainties make it even better!

I took a few minutes yesterday to cut out a random complicated piece with my craft knife using the window method (I’ve unsuccessfully tried this before), and for the first time I got a perfect match with the mating piece. More about this later.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway

why not few drops of hide glue instead of nails?
When the cut is done just heat them up for separation. No?

I am probably way off.

Don’t buy the handle, ask for a volunteer, you will be surprise how many will take the offer… I got experience :)

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

A couple of weeks of rain? Forget the marquetry. You should build an arc!

Seriously, good stuff. Can’t wait to see how the cutting goes.

-- Losing fingers since 1969

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