Saturday, April 12, 2014

Tiger Blanket Chest Part 1

 I have been getting some quality time out in my shop lately and finally have a something to show for my time. I started cutting the marquetry for the blanket chest with the a tiger theme.
The tiger itself was basically just three main colors of veneer with just a couple of pieces that were not those three colors. It was very time consuming just getting the veneer ready to be cut.

Every piece of veneer had to be backed with a piece of craft paper applied with hide glue. The paper back is applied to the veneer because it keeps the veneer stable when your cutting small parts or pieces that have areas that are very fragile such as the ones that are cut to a very fine point.
After that process is done the veneer needs to be put into packets for cutting. I will be doing four layers so it is a bottom of 1/4" plywood then a layer of grease paper followed by 4 consecutive layers of veneer with the last layer of veneer having the patterns applied to it 
.The first packet was done with a heavy cardboard instead of the plywood and it was nearly impossible to cut the small pieces with it so I added the plywood and it cut just fine.
Some of the pieces as you can see in the pictures are extremely small and it was a challenge not to lose any of them when they occasionally fell to the floor. I learned a good lesson, make sure you have your area swept clean of all the debris on the floor.
The pieces on the green fabric are all the black veneer and the pieces on the red are the red and white veneer. I not sure as of yet what the red veneer is because I bought it in a pack of variuos veneers sold as a marquetry pack but the white is holly and the black is maple that I dyed with Rite dye.There is one little pc. gray and three pc's of dyed pink used for on the nose and eyes.
This is the start of the tiger getting pieced together. it was no simple task keeping all the parts straight and tapping it together. There were parts that also need to be altered to fit better.This is some very tedious work:) 
 I'm not sure if it can be seen from the pictures but there is definitely some gaps between some of the parts,but as this is only the second attempt on the chevralet I'm very happy with the results. There is no way I would have been able to cut parts so small or get the detail I'm getting if I would have cut this on my scroll saw. There isn't much sand shading on the tiger The photo showed some black in the tail and I didn't add it for some dumb reason on my drawing and when the picture was done the tail looked odd.I don't think I could control the black very easy if I tried to sand shade those parts so I opted to  add some detail with a charcoal pencil to the tail. After adding the black it seemed to fit a lot better, but the picture is showing the glue side so I will end up doing it again when the part comes out of the press.
Now I'm starting the whole process over again with the background which happens to be much larger but on a positive note it doesn't have as many tiny parts.
I have a pretty good amount of work done on the tea tables also but I'll do another post on that soon.


  1. This is gorgeous!! Oh my goodness, the work that goes into this! I did not realize there were so many layers!!! Beautiful work, Paul!!

    1. Thanks Sandy,
      The four veneer layers are all the same in each packet which means I will end up with four pictures that are exactly the same. I guess that means I will be building four blanket chest that are very similar but not completely identical. :)


Comments, as always, are welcome!