Harry J. Hobbs


I found this book to be an good introduction to the craft of veneering. It covered all aspects of completing a marquetry picture in a very clear and simple manner. For someone who maybe just starting out to learn the craft of veneering this would be a good book to start with. It has a good section on the tools required. It also offers a number of basic patterns to follow with very simple intructions. One word of advise, when you first look at this book, you may think that marquetry is very simple, easy and uncomplicated. Remember that this is the intention of the author, so that people can get started. As you learn more about the techniques you will find that marquetry becomes very challenging and there are some wonderful works that have been produced by different artists and marqueterians.


THIS book is a complete introduction to veneer overlay, the art of cutting shapes out of thin wood veneers and gluing them to a surface to create useful and/or decorative objects such as pictures, puzzles, cigarette boxes. It is a new woodworking hobby which even beginning craftsmen can learn to do.

The preliminary steps in veneer craft are thoroughly described: identifying and buying veneers; organizing tools and equipment; selecting designs and patterns; and choosing the veneers for a particular design.

The book goes on to provide step-by-step directions for both the knife-cutting and sawcutting techniques of veneer craft and then discusses assembling the parts of a design, gluing them to a mounting panel, and finishing a project by filling the joints, sanding, and framing. There is also a discussion of advanced veneering techniques and an introduction to simplified marquetry.

The highlight of the book is a project section which contains directions and full-size patterns for thirty projects, including wall plaques, picture puzzles, jewelry, a mobile, and household items such as coasters. The subjects include animals, panoramic scenes, flowers, and folk art designs.

About the Author:

Charles Scribner's Sons N.Y.
ISBN 0-6841-4614-2


Veneer Craft - Past, Present, and Future

The art of inlaying colorful woods into contrasting wood surfaces to create artistic designs was practiced skillfully by the ancient Egyptians. from nearby copper mines they developed bronze, with which they made toothed blades to use as saws. nature denied them an abundance of hardwood trees, so logs had to be imported, and their cost and scarcity presumably encouraged the enterprising Egyptians to get the most yardage from a log by sawing it into thin wood - the first veneers.

Precious example of inlaid tables, jewel boxes, and panels 3,500 years old have come from Eqyptian tombs, evidence that the Egyptians were the earliest recorded developers of both veneering and inlaying.

There are drawings and carvings, for instance, of saws and men working then against logs. There are pictures of men squatting before a low table, glue pot at one side, laying thin wood sheets onto a heavier surface, perhaps a tabletop.

The Romans borroed from the Eguptians and went on to invent an ingenious bow saw that could cut veneers thinner than ever before. This discovery brought about advanced techniques of veneering and inlaying by the Roman artisans vying for high favor amoung the rulers and the rich.

The cultural artifacts of most civilizations since then indicate that wood was used increasingly in a purely decorative way. from furniture decoration the art developed into pictorial decoration in churches and palaces, and, at some later unrecorded time, inlay techniques were used to create individual wood pictures.

In the mid-sixteenth century, invention of the fret saw expanded pictorial inlay to pictorial marquetry. separate parts of a picture were now saw-cut from veneers into segments of a design. These parts were fitted together, and the entire one-piece assembly was glued to a solid background. This procedure has a long history of names, but it is now generally called Marquetry in America and England.

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