Sunday, April 9, 2017


So I have been wanting to get started in Intarsia now for a while. But my confidence about following lines was low when I first thought about it. I think my ability is about where it needs to be to start down the Intarsia path. For those that don't know what Intarsia is it is using different color thicker woods and shaping them. Woods like Purple Hart, Yellow Hart, Walnut, Black Walnut, etc. You cut them shape the pieces by sanding and grinding the wood to give it texture and then you just clear coat it and let the natural wood be on display.

I have just started to go through the Intarsia Workbook by Judy Gale and Jerry Booher.

It starts off real simple with the first piece being  a bow. It is all out of the same piece of wood with the grain all in the same direction. So all you have to do is cut out the pieces and then shape them by sanding with hand and mechanical help. Can we say time consuming! Any way here is the bottom of the bow left and right pieces. The right piece has just been cut out and the left piece I have begun to shape. I don't have all the right tools but I do believe I have enough to work on these beginner pieces. We will see how I do and if I want to exploer getting some nice sanding tools. But I think with what I have I can do most things. As with tools the better quality tools and the ones designed for specific jobs will make it easier but any tool can be used. I did not start out with an Excalibur Scroll Saw. I worked with a simple Craftsman 16" saw for quite a while before I felt the investment for a much better saw was warranted. I can tell you my quality went way up with the really nice saw. I did not have to fight the saw so much. Almost no vibration. So I'll work on this Intarsia stuff for a while before I decide if it is something I might be good at before investing in specific tools to do it.

Any way here is what I have started to shape the right bottom bow. You can see how much I have sanded off the right one already. It is still quite rough and has a ways to go but it is starting to shape up.

First one looks from the side profile to show how is is shaping up. You draw pencil lines on the wood and then sand towards the lines.

This second picture is just showing it from the top. You ca see the rough shaping that has taken place.

Here is an nice example of what  can be done in Intarsia. This is not mine and I only hope I can do such a fine job as this. But it is something I would like to do. There is no paint on this this is all just using natural wood colors.

Well this is what I want to do as I go forward we will see if I have any success with this. Of course I won't stop doing the others scroll saw work that I do.

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