Nautical Themed Marquety Table
A study of various #marquetry techniques. I was very much inspired by Frank Strazzas "Roses" table and wanted to do a serpentine front side table with lots of inlay and marquetry. The goal was to do as many techniques in one project as possible. I went with a nautical theme as I had just finished my service with the Navy and was working under Phil Lowe in Beverly Mass right on the coast. I still sail Salem sound to this day regularly on the Schooner Fame, so the theme really represented my new roots planted on the North Shore.
This table was featured at AWFS Las Vegas 2019 as the Freshwood Student Work Competition Best of Show
The top features a #holly and #ebony compass rose, with a walnut burl background that is reminiscent of a weathered nautical chart, showing coastlines and islands. The center oval is surrounded by a herringbone #banding which looks like the lay of a line (rope). The banding here was done by laying up a single blank that was one quarter of the oval then sawing out four pieces. Around the edge of the top is more banding with sand shaded spandrels which were a fun take on the more common circular or elliptical fans.
The sides and drawer fronts are all hammer #veneered. The sides featuring a walnut burl ellipse bordered by holly #stringing and mahogany cross banding. The drawer fronts are sawn from solid white pine and feature cross banding with radiused corners.
The legs are typical #federal stringed and cuffed tapered legs with a fouled anchor 3paterae elipses at the top which where hand sawn in the piece by piece method on a Chevalet de Marquetry. I wanted to do some really refined bell flowers and follow Mr. Strazzas example along with the ring suspending them at the top.
#bellflowers #hammerveneering #federalfurniture #Inlay #awfs
Everything begins with a drawing. I do mine full scale and include all the detail, all the joinery and everything.
It's just a pile of sticks for a long time... then poof! a table appears!
Fitting the sides and back to the legs
Sides are sawn from solid white pine then hammer veneered.
After hammering its not a bad idea to still clamp it if at all possible, so at the end of the day I tossed them in the vacuum bag for the night.
Fitting the runners and guides for the drawers
Poof! A table!
Practice practice practice. Used some cherry veneer scraps to work out the right gouges for the bell flowers and do a test run.
I chop out a piece of cardstock with the gouges to create a patter than can be traced on each leg. There were 8 sets to do!
Some of the tools used for inlaying the paterae
Mitering the cross banding veneer with a shooting board
I ended up making a veneer hammer for this project, its a great technique to learn and doesn't require an expensive veneer press or vacuum bag.
If your bench isn't a mess, are you even woodworking?
Side view of the drawer showing the cock beading
Joint for the top and bottom cock beads where it meets the sides
Start in the middle and work your way out. The burn was applied first, then cut with a marking gauge and knife, then peeled off the excess which is an amazing feature of hot hide glue. Then applied the stringing using pins to clamp it to the side of the veneer. Finally fit the cross banding.
Drawer face done. The cock beading is as much a feature as it is to protect the edge of the veneer.
Making banding. I used the jig as a planing guide to make each strip the exact same thickness. In banding a tiny error gets exponentially worse as you go along. The strips were sawn into little parallelograms then glued between two strips of holly veneer.
The curved bandings hand to be glued up around a form and then sawn out.
Gluing up the top
Shape sawn and bandings applied. I routed the channel for the bandings with a small router with a "birds beak" fence which would follow the curve.
Laying out the compass rose. Make your mistakes on paper!
Excavated the ellipse with a router then cleaned up by hand. All veneered surfaces were toothed with a toothing plane. In this case I had to use the iron without the plane to texture the inside of the ellipse.
Burl was applied then a channel was routed for the banding which was done with four pieces. The compass points hide the join between them,
Blanks for the compass
Compass sawn, and glued/taped together to use as a pattern for the inlay.
Straight lines are HARD! This is why so much marquetry is natural forms with no straight lines. Getting the points sharp was the most difficult part.
Sand shading is such a fun process and makes inlay and marquetry just pop
Back to the drawing for the spandrel pattern
Truing up the wedges
Taped and glued
Marking the arc to be sawn
A gouge to cut the arc for the ebony tips
Practice practice practice, all to get four I was happy with.