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First Intarsia

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  • First Intarsia

    I did my first Intarsia piece this weekend. Betty's Niece is having a baby and is decorating the room in a Teddy Bear theme. I cut the little Bow Tie Bear pattern but just used 3/4 inch poplar and stained the segments. Had to hand sand all the roundovers because my rotary tool is out at the camper. Talk about labor intensive!!! My hands are still cramping!! I found that I like doing intarsia and my next tool purchase will be a drum sander. This piece is pretty sloppy but I learned a lot through trial and error. I'll post a picture after the finish dries and I get it glued to the backer. Now I know why folks generally don't stain intarsia segments. The exposed end grain on the roundovers on the poplar doesn't absorb stain at the same rate as the face and the color difference is very noticable. I'm going to try to convert a couple patterns from the book into intarsia and cut them from different woods. I think I'm gonna like this once I get get the process down pat!!!
    If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!

  • #2
    Bow Tie Bear

    Here it is (I think!!!) I'm not thrilled with the results but I hope they get better as I do more.
    Attached Files
    If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Neal, I think it looks stupendous. Unless the photograph is hiding something. Remember what's been said before, we are our own worst critic.
      Mike

      Making sawdust with a Dremel 1680.
      www.picturetrail.com/naturephotos

      Comment


      • #4
        It looks pretty good to me, Neal, especially for a first attempt . I must confess I lack the courage to try intarsia because it looks sooo difficult; anyone who's prepared to give it a bash deserves all the support and encouragement they can get .

        Speaking with my segmentation hat on, I find rounding over the edges can be a very time consuming affair but it's always worthwhile. I think the amount of sanding that goes into a segmentation or intarsia project is often the difference between a good result and an outstanding one.

        Gill
        There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
        (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)

        Comment


        • #5
          Neal,

          Great looking intarsia project!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          I have done some intarsia projects when I get tired of making boxes, and have used mixed hardwoods. I like to use Bartley Gel Varnish for the finish on those projects and have also run into problems with the end grain accepting more stain (darker) than the surrounding wood. Gel Varnish doesn't seem to do that as much as stain.

          WE are our own worst critic when it comes to our projects so stop

          Gary MacKay

          Comment


          • #6
            Neal, it looks like a winner to me, I admire all intarsia work and my hats off to you for giving it a try.....and with great results I might add!

            Perhaps one of these days I'll get up the courage and the ambition to give intarsia a try
            Bill

            DeWalt 788



            aut viam inveniam aut faciam

            God gives us only what we can handle.. Apparently God thinks I am one tough cookie.....

            Comment


            • #7
              yup, looks good to me Neal!!! dale
              Dale w/ yella saws

              Comment


              • #8
                Looks good to me too, Neal.
                Your recipient(s) will be delighted.
                Are those pink -y parts just mahogany stain? At this distance, I don't see your end-grain problems, but you have seen it up close and personal. Probably a lot of that is down in the intersections, so nobody else will see them. I agree with Gary - those gel finishes ate so nice to work with, but sometimes I just get lazy or in a hurry, and dip stuff in the stain in an aluminum pan. I suppose time and effort are not always a good trade-off for perfection.
                Sandy

                Comment


                • #9
                  Neil,

                  I think you are being a little hard on yourself - that looks absolutely awesome to me.

                  A handy tip that I was given to stop end grain absorbing more dye is to sand it finer. For example if you sanded to 400 grit on most of the piece, sand to 800 grit on the end grain, that way the colour should be more even.

                  I must admit I haven't done any intarisa, but I use this trick a lot in general woodworking whenever any staining is required, and it works very well.

                  Regards

                  Gary
                  Gary

                  My saw - Axminster AWSF18

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    looks good Neal the bears are fun to do but right sanding tools helpe a lot . but keep at it it will take you over.
                    http://www.picturetrail.com/uid3726744

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Neal,
                      Looks great to me! For those of us that do the occasional intarsia piece I found inflateable drum sanders that mount to the drill press at Woodcraft. They work great if you don't have the need or the means for a full blown dedicated drum sander.
                      Kevin
                      Scrollsaw Patterns Online
                      Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Neal theres absolutely nothing wrong with your first attempt it looks great to me you keep this up and Trouts gona have a running mate heheh
                        Daryl S. Walters Psycotic scroller with a DeWalt 788

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                        • #13
                          Excellent work Neal
                          Charlie
                          "Everything Happens for a Reason"
                          Craftsman 18in. 21609

                          http://wolfmooncreations.weebly.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi Neal,

                            My wife went all googely over it "Ohhhhhh he's so cute" so I guess you did good.

                            And the reason she saw it was because I asked her if she wanted to see something cute, so I know you did good

                            The tip on sanding the end grain finer is good and it works, another tip is to use a "washcoat" consisting of one coat from a 1/2 pound cut of shellac applied before staining.

                            Regards,
                            Marcel
                            http://marleb.com
                            DW788. -Have fun in the shop or it isn't a hobby anymore.

                            NOTE: No trees were killed in the sending of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Looks great Neal.

                              I find that the sanding is my favorite part of intarsia. For some reason sanding tends to relax me.

                              Of course, hand sanding is something completely different and I try to avoid that. I've got all sorts of tools for that. Why in the world would I hand sand anything.

                              It's crazy I know, but it fits.
                              Kelly
                              "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." Walt Disney

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