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  • Intarsia

    I know that Jim Rodman just had a post about Intarsia..
    But I have never even heard of it till I came to this sight about 3 months ago. I am interested in trying my hand as it. But really dont know where to start.
    What would be a good starter Pattern?
    What thickness of wood do you usually do it with?
    Is there a good instuction web page that you know of?

    that should be enough questions to start off with


  • #2
    Hi Dale, Even tho I don't do intarsia, I have a site that has a fantastic tutorial!! I've had it bookmarked for quite awhile now just in case I get the courage to actually try it!! There are 2 "Intarsia E-Book" listed on the left hand side. Check them both out. They include the pattern for the teddy bear in the first e-book. Who knows maybe you can inspire me to get started with it!!

    Cathy in NE
    Cathy in NE

    "While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about." - Anonymous


    • #3
      Another I looked at recently - and I'm another who doesn't do intarsia ...has a free dolphin plan with very few pieces ...

      Scrolling with a Dewalt 788


      • #4
        are you sure...

        you want to try Intarsia?
        the next thing you know, your going to need more tools...
        there's nothing to it, all you have to do is cut, shape, file and sand...that's it....

        as soon as the last couple pieces get out of the fuming tank I can start assembly...
        this is going to be a record, this project only took 4 day's..

        Sorry this post hasn't been much help to you other than to show you what your in for..

        Hawk G-4 Jetcraft
        Fish are food, not friends!


        • #5
          I'm a recent intarsia addict. I have mostly used 3/4 inch thick boards (usually 1x6 from the lumber yard); just about any kind of wood will do. You can use patterns from coloring books, kids' drawings, just about anything-just draw something up to practice with! I am having fun with the illustrations from Alice in Wonderland and the Wizard of Oz right now.

          You might like to try Judy Gale Roberts' Intarsia Workbook--I have found it extremely helpful in learning how to use shims and sand and so forth. If you look on you will find some helpful information. Here is a site I like to drool on a lot. Hope that helps!


          • #6
            Thank you all for this information. I am doing a lot of reading and intarsia is a possibility in the future so I bookmark all these sites and will probably try my hand at it later this year.
            Owner of a nice 21" Excalibur
            Owner of a Dewalt 788
            PuffityDragon on AFSP


            • #7
              Takes some careful planning, but not really that many tools. Be sure to have an electric pencil sharpener, carbon paper and lots of masking tape. I don't recommend cutting and gluing pattern pieces on to wood because they never fit back together. I use 3/4 to one inch thick woods and a #9 skip tooth blade. I use a cut and trace method. You cut a piece and then you use the cut piece/combined with the pattern to trace out the next piece. For cut out an eyeball. You take the board that is to be the face/head and put the carbon paper and pattern on it. You set the cut out eyeball on the pattern where it belongs and you trace the eye and then the head. You keep tracing and matching pieces...taping them tight together as you go. It's easier if you use all the same thicknesses of course.
              A judy gale teddybear or dolphin is certainly a good starter choice.
              Attached Files
              Jeff Powell


              • #8
                Ok Trout you got me on that one.. What is a fuming tank? and what is it used for ?



                • #9
                  Hi all and happy holidays.

                  One source of patterns for intarsia is stained glass patterns. A lot of the same construction principles apply. has quite a few, although only the pdf (which is most of them) files would be of value unless you have a program called Glasseye.

                  When I finish all the fretwork I have patterns for, I will try an intarsia project.

                  Steve - Toledo
                  RBI Hawk 220VS FD Blades


                  • #10
                    One problem with intarsia. If you start it, you are in trouble. You will be addicted. You will come to love sanding. You will look at pictures and say"I can make an intarsia out of that". So just be careful.
                    Chuck D

                    When a work lifts your spirits and inspires bold and noble thoughts in you, do not look for any other standard to judge by: the work is good, the product of a master craftsman.
                    Jean De La Bruyere...

                    Hegner 18, Delta p-20, Griz 14 inch Band saw


                    • #11
                      I always suggest doing something that catches your eye and not worrying about whether it's a "beginner" pattern or not. If you see something you like, go for it. You'll be much more likely to finish something that you like.
                      This swan was my first (and still only) intarsia piece. I don't think it would be considered a beginner piece but that didn't stop me from hacking it up. It caught my eye enough to want to give it a try. Intarsia's not too tough, just very tedious with lots of sanding and finishing. If you like that sort of thing you can get some very beautiful pieces. I will say though, that after doing the swan, I went back to fretwork.
                      Attached Files
                      Scrollsaw Patterns Online
                      Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671


                      • #12
                        I do have to say, sanding is my favorite part. Ok, quit laughing.

                        I'm serious. I find it very relaxing but very dusty as well. Makes a great mess on the workbench. But nothing a good shop vac can't suck up.

                        I always look at it like I'm putting a puzzle together. I've always been a puzzle geek.

                        My weak point is the staining. I'm still wanting to paint everything because that's what I'm comfortable with. I'm working on the staining and hopefully in the next few weeks I can make a trip to Highland Hardware and they can give me some pointers. They have an entire back room with nothing but stains, stains and more stains. I want to work with some of the colored stains. . . will be closer to painting for me.
                        "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." Walt Disney


                        • #13
                          Kevin, Didn't you make the intarsia Christmas ornaments?? I think that counts!! That's what I should start with because I loved them!!

                          Cathy in NE
                          Cathy in NE

                          "While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about." - Anonymous


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Cutting Cathy
                            Kevin, Didn't you make the intarsia Christmas ornaments?? I think that counts!! That's what I should start with because I loved them!!

                            Cathy in NE
                            Hehehe, yep Cathy, I made those as well. I guess those would count as well though the stacking of the woods kind of felt like cheating.
                            Scrollsaw Patterns Online
                            Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671


                            • #15
                              Sometimes this forum is like a support group for addicts.

                              I have avoided intarsia for some time now.
                              I look at it like a rainbow. Once you have discovered the magic of a rainbow you loose a little of that AWE that strikes you as a child.

                              On the other hand, it would be nice to have the power to instill that same awe into other people.
                              CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
                              "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
                              Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


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