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Marketing Marquetry
by David Walker
Mark Marq cedar gif


As I mentioned in the last issue I will reproduce an article that Eric Horne produced for the Marquetarian some time ago on Mounting a Picture. The article itself was eight pages long so I will not be able to reproduce it in one go but it is a skill that needs to be mastered to produce a satisfactory finish after the hours of cutting. The article will include tools required, preparing the baseboard, fixing stringers and borders, edging, backing and laying the picture ready to finishing. As with my previous hints on finishing there is more than one way to mount a picture and this is just one. Other methods may differ slightly but you will find your own method through experience.


The tools required are few, a carpenters set square, a (preferably) metal straight edge, ruler, HB Pencil, knife, veneer tape and glue. An accurate carpenters square is an expensive item ask at the Group and you might be able to borrow one. Again a good straight edge is costly but aluminium channel for fixing shelving makes a very accurate and cheap substitute.


The picture must be square. To ‘square’ a picture first ensure one edge is cut straight with your straightedge. Mark the picture to size with a pencil (don’t press too hard) and use the marks with the square to cut to size. Keep your knife upright when cutting so that the edges of the picture are at right angles and be careful when coming off at the bottom. Lower the blade and make a separate cut through the edge. Then finish the cut. By doing this you will prevent splitting along the grain as the blade comes off the veneer. Next, carefully, remove any protective paper from the edges and back of the picture. Your picture is now vulnerable to damage so be careful.

Now decide if you want borders and/or stringers. The borders should be cut from a straight grained piece of wood unless another effect is required. Cut the borders at least a quarter inch wider and at least one inch longer than required


Medium Density fibreboard is the most suitable baseboard. It cuts and planes easily, is light and does not warp. Multi-ply and chipboard can also be used but have their own problems Ensure that one edge is perfectly straight then mark the board to the size required with the square. Cut and plane the board to the correct size. If you haven’t the tools ask someone at the Group to assist you. The size should be such that the overall size of the finished picture with borders and stringers attached allows for at least a quarter of an inch overlap all round. Take particular care, as with the picture to ensure 90o corners and flat straight edges.


Stringers are lengths of wood that normally come in metre lengths and in various widths and colours. Attached to the border between the picture the can enhance the overall effect. If using more than one length ensure that each length is the same width as even minuscule differences will show up where they mitre. Carefully apply a ribbon of glue to the edge of the border and wait a short while for it to become tacky. Hold the border flat on your cutting board or other flat surface, bring the stringer into contact with the glued edge and press together along the whole length. It’s a good tip to have some strips of veneer tape or lo-tac sticky tape handy to hold the stringer to the border once the whole length is stuck. Before sticking them together, if the stringer is thicker than the border veneer make sure the flatter of the two sides are placed on the base board. Don’t attempt to flatten the stringer until later when along with the border it is stuck to the base board otherwise damage can be done.

Next edition; laying the picture onto the base board along with the ends, sides and back..

This page from the Marketing Marquetry news letter is the first of Eric Horne's articles that he adapted from his original manuscripts for inclusion in the Marquetarian magazine. Although Eric had authorised publication of his article in the Marquetarian he also gave his permission for the article to be reproduced in the Marketing Marquetry news letter (as you will have seen in this re-print). We give thanks to the editorial team of Marketing Marquetry for permission for it's reproduction on this web site. We hope you enjoy these articles of Eric's. We think they are a fine tribute to his memory and of his undoubted talents in the testing art of marquetry.
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