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If you are new to the art of marquetry, let us give you a basic guide to some of the techniques and the materials required to get you on your way to producing your first marquetry picture.

first thing you need to do is acquire the basic materials of the craft. These are, obviously I would suppose, first and most importantly, a small selection of veneers suitable for your chosen design or picture. Next, also obviously, some glue, generally a PVA adhesive is the norm for this task, for instance, Evo-Stik wood adhesive (in the green container), which is easily available and is the one most of us here at Redbridge use. Next you will need a cutting tool, a favourite here is a scalpel with either a No 11 or No 10 blade.
Marquetry knives

You can of course use any blade that is sharp and controllable and which you feel comfortable with, some marquetarians use Exacto handles and various blades, even, I am told, ground down hacksaw blades, but unless you are an adept at sharpening such things I would stick with scalpel blades as these are easy to keep sharp, all you need do is grind down the rear "spine" of the blade to present yourself with a nice sharp tip with which to do your cutting.

Now the next thing to bear in mind is that, as you will be using extremely sharp blades to cut your veneers, unless adequate precautions are taken, you can easily cut through into your table top with the obviously unfortunate circumstances you will accrue from such actions, what you will need to do is provide some means of protecting your table top from the actions of over zealous veneer cutting.

The best acquisition you can make in these circumstances is a "cutting mat", these are available from most art and craft shops in various sizes and they are designed to self heal themselves, I have had mine for several years and it is still in extremely good condition and has saved me no end of scored table tops.

You may also like to obtain some abrasive papers for flattening and smoothing your picture, plus some clear varnish or other protective coating (i.e. Rustin's 'Plastic coating') with which to protect and enhance your finished picture.

You will also require a 'base board' of some sort on which to glue and fix your delicate marquetry picture upon, a press would be handy for flattening the marquetry picture onto the base board and thus ensuring good adhesion of the fragile picture to a more robust surface.

You can of course improvise a press in many ways, but a dedicated item is the preferred way. I will be describing some of these other methods of flattening the picture in future updates of this page.

You will also need some veneer or other low tack tape with which to hold your pieces together while the glue dries and the picture is assembled.

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Marquetry press line drawing
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