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Minutes of the June 10, 2015 Meeting held at Woodcraft in Boise.
President Brian Bass called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM


New members




Paul ? from the Optimist Club.


Treasurer's Report - Jack Keifer

Substitute treasurer John Pickrell reported the current balance in the treasury is $2049.19.



Brian Bass read a thank-you letter he received from the Shriners.  (See attachment at end of minutes)

Ron Lee reported he also got a thank-you letter from the Ronald McDonald house in response to some extra toys he donated on behalf of the club.

Michael Kingsley will be teaching a seminar on SketchUp for woodturning July 11 from 9-11AM..


New at Woodcraft

No presentation this month to give more time for the demonstration.


Old Business:

The picnic will be August 15th at 4 PM at Michael Kingsley’s house.


New Business

Pat Reed will give a portable sawmill demo next month.



Regular raffle: utility knife, WoodRiver Bar Keep clamp protector, CD rack (donated), wireless cabinet LED light, two Woodcraft gift cards, Olde Time Cookbook donated by Dennis Harrison (tonight’s presenter).

Class raffle: winner Joe Howard.


Show & Tell

John Pickrell had the orchard fan prop shown in a previous meeting with the refinishing complete.

Brad Winters showed a carved wood “picture” of a sprint car (#65) he made.  The wood panel has a backing of colored felt to match the color of the car which shows through in areas where the panel is carved away.

Also shown were a trivet and a cutting board with the BSU Bronco logo.  My notes are not clear who made these.

John Lee showed a box made from an off-cut of camphor wood with an uncommon end grain lid.




Dennis Harrison, of Renton, WA gave a presentation on his marquetry work.

Dennis got his start in woodworking using hand tools when he was in high school and drove his grandfather to the job site building houses.  He worked at Boeing, then for the government, and did woodworking for the house as a hobby.  He started selling things to friends.  His wife eventually suggested making jewelry boxes which he did using purchased flower inserts for the lids.  Eventually he bought a fret saw and started making the inserts himself.

The American Marquetry Society (www.americanmarquetrysociety.com) has patterns available.  The Puget Sound Marquetry Chapter of the American Marquetry Society also has information available on their web site (www.pugetsoundmarquetry.org).  Stained glass books and even coloring books will give you ideas.

Marquetry is the art (some groups only consider it a craft) of applying pieces of veneer to a substrate to form decorative patterns, pictures, or designs.  Marquetry can be considered inlay with no functional characteristics.  Marquetry becomes parquetry if geometric patterns are used.

Over the years, the veneers used have gotten thinner – 1/32 inch is commonly used now.  The veneers can be rotary cut or sliced.  Dyed woods are available and he considers those available from French suppliers the best because they are dyed clear through.

Dennis uses 70tpi blades .004-.005” thick with no set for almost all of his work.  He typically cuts using a stack or pad of 2 or 4 layers.  A light touch is important to avoid breaking such thin blades.  The weight of the fret saw does the cutting on a 2 layer pad.  He doesn’t worry about the kerf due to the fine blades used.  To cut a hole for the blade, a dull X-Acto knife works well.  

To hold the veneer layers for cutting he uses inexpensive invisible tape such as Harbor Freight, Staples, or Walmart brands.  3M tape is too sticky.  This tape is used on the back which is the side with the pattern on it because he cuts with the back up, veneer tape will be used on the front to hold cut pieces in position.  In painting, the background is put in first, then details are added working toward the foreground.  In marquetry, the most difficult parts are cut first, then easier parts after that.  For a larger work, typically 75% of the time is spent on preparation, design, and selecting veneers, with only 25% devoted to cutting.

To do the glue-up, he uses two pieces of good plywood the same size as the marquetry panel.  Starting from the bottom; one sheet of ply, then 6 to 8 sheets of newsprint followed by aluminum foil one inch larger on all sides (keeps glue off newsprint and plywood), then backer board the veneer will be glued to and picture with plastic resin glue on both (the clear tape is removed before this), foil, newsprint, top board.  The backer board or substrate glued to the veneers gives the result some strength.  The sandwich is mechanically clamped.  He doesn’t use vacuum bags because of potential leaks.

The glue dries hard and can have sharp edges so use leather gloves when handling after drying when doing the clean-up.  A chisel is used to clean up one edge of the marquetry panel, and then the remaining three sides are cut with a saw.  Water and a sponge are used to remove the veneer tape.  Let dry and hand sand to avoid sanding through the thin veneer to 320 grit.  Dennis uses Watco Danish Oil and does some wet sanding through 600 grit.

He noted that about 85% of Americans use a hand powered scroll saw with an 8-12% bevel so no kerf is left after the slightly larger piece to be inserted is put into the hole left in the surrounding veneer.

Some people work from the front instead of the back.

Other people use scalpels to cut a “window”, and then put the veneer that will fill the “window” under it and cut around the edges to produce the piece to fit.  People who use this method often sharpen the new scalpels to get an even keener edge.  The scalpel basically leaves no kerf, but care is needed to avoid errant cuts.

He focuses on artwork that makes a statement, not only on technical ability to make a “pretty picture.  This type of approach becomes important if you are trying to get work into galleries or shows.

Bookmarks for gifts or giveaways can be made quickly by “laminating” pieces of marquetry work between two layers of wide invisible tape.



The meeting was adjourned at 9 PM.

Alan Hochhalter, Secretary.


Upcoming Events:

Next meeting: 7:00 PM, July 8, 2015 at Boise Woodcraft – topic: portable sawmill demonstration by Pat Reed

Picnic: 4 PM, August 15th at Michael Kingsley’s house.


2015 Officers:

President – Brian Bass
Vice President – Scott Taylor

Treasurer – Jack Keifer
Secretary – Alan Hochhalter
Meeting Refreshments – Kelly Christensen


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