After 2 years we can now present our Treasure box II
Patrick Edwards and I started this project 2 years ago after completing our first series of 4 treasure Box.
The series II was inspired by an antique from an auction house
We created a new design and concept using the original layout that we really liked.
For our creations a re-creations we use sawn veneer mostly imported from Les FILS DE J. GEORGE in Paris
But we also started to re-saw our own
And even dye them as the dyed veneer seems to be less and less available
First step in marquetry after making the design is to cut and organize the patterns
One drawer for each sides
2 drawers also for each of the inside pictures, and for the top, being pretty busy, we used 4 drawers just for it. Patrick had organized all our veneer packs to create our palette and choose the woods. We are making 4 boxes so all our pack will be 4 layers of veneer thick to create simultaneously 4 exact same pieces in one cut.
The first marquetry panels to be cut had to be the inside pictures. Once the color have been chosen they are numbered on a guide and each piece of pattern is glued accordingly to the packs.
All our pieces are cut on the marquetry chevalet
The pieces cut are then placed in an exploded lay out in a tray
Then they are all shaded in hot sand following a rough guide. Deeping and spooning are the main techniques used.
Time to cut the 2 backgrounds. The panels for the inside of the lid will have a more elaborate banding so I cut notches to give me the main lines of cut lines.
In piece by piece background cutting we use what we call “bridges”. They are small uncut parts that will keep the background islands in place and help you build your panels with more accuracy and less trouble.
Opening the background packs an putting the pictures together is next
My station is ready in front of the glue pot, my tray on the side
If you are interested, I did a video on putting one of those panel together
In the meantime the full blind dovetails for the boxes and the veneering of the inside with bloodwood sawn veneer has been done. The first marquetry are now being glued on the inside bottom panels and adjusted
Partitions in solid bloodwood are made
And the frisage (parquetry) of the inside panel is done
While progress is made on the box itself, the guide for the outside marquetry panels has to be made
Each piece is numbered with its wood from our list, in yellow the white bone, in green, the green bone and in blue the background islands.
Also cut on the chevalet
and a top
And again, shading
As ebony is very brittle, I paperbacked my background veneers
Again, cut on the marquetry chevalet
Open and put together
The top has been a bit tricky to figure out. The problem was that I had pieces that looked like wrapping around the bone inlay oval. So I decided to cut the background in 2 steps, first the bone inlay, then rebuild the pack and finally cut the background. To do so, I needed a way to rebuild the pack exactly and realign perfectly the second design in order to have my bone inlays at the right place as good as possible. The solution we found was to build the first pack and draw axes lines
Do the same line on the next drawing but with notches, align is as good as possible, clamp it on the first pack and drill a small hole in the 4 corners, in what will be waste.
After unclamping the second drawing, the bone inlay cavity was then cut
The bone purflings previously soaked and ebony inlay were then installed on a light paper assembly board.
The pack was then rebuild using the small hole to realign the inside parts and the second drawing as close to perfect as possible using veneer nails.
Then the 3 pound pack was cut on the chevalet
Setting up the station for inlaying the top. My assembly board in front of the glue pot, and 4 trays around with all my pieces
If anybody knows how to do a morphing with multiple pictures, let me know as I have multiple pictures building this panel and I would like to morph them into one small movie.
We finally found at that point a solution to dye the bones all the way through
So it is time to cut the bone leaves
And have them dyed
Inlay them and apply saw dust and hide glue mastic
The sides are glued to the box
Hinges recess for the secret mechanism are installed on the inside panel
The hinges and lock recess are made
The inside of the box needs to be polished before glueing, as it is impossible to do nice french polish corners otherwise.
Do not be afraid to ruin your pad web on pore filling
This is how I like my pore filling to look like
Finish the polishing
Hinges are installed on the inside panels. The moving part will be the action for the
The box is glued using the Liquid Hide Glue Old Brown Glue.
Next day the excess glue is still a bit gummy and can be cleaned with cold water. Once dried you have a perfect french polished corner
Now that we have 4 glued boxes we can make the bloodwood secret trays to fit.
The tray has a 2mm recess to install a leather.
It is also time to build the base on which the box will be screwed on, the mechanism will be installed and the tray will slide on.
Time to get busy on the lid. The inside picture is build using the marquetry panels prepared couple months ago and kept on paper.
Then when all material was ready we glued the to sides on our lid. We did a video on that part to demonstrate veneering with Hot Hide Glue in a hot press to answer a question from one of our fellow lumberjockers 😉 Do not hesitate to ask question it helps us to chose topic for videos on our youtube channel
My favorite part, cleaning the paper ans see the picture for the first time appearing little by little.
It is also the first time when almost everything is veneered that you can see if it looks like you envisioned it.
While I am glueing the edges of the lid with sawn ebony
I am preparing the bandings that will finish the boxes
This banding will go around each panel, top and sides
The tray is “hidden” in the banding
Hinges and lock are set
And while I am doing the sanding
Patrick is installing the secret mechanism hardware
We did a video with our prototype of the system. We are actually out of springs, but as guys are still asking for it, we may order another bunch.
Time to pore fill. I started with the top and the inside of the lid, but more particularly the tray that we needed to send to LA to get the leather installed.
Once both sides of the lids were pore filled I polished the inside first so I could install the hinges and the lock latch.
And use them to be able to polish the outside without having anything touching my inside polish
At this time the trays were back
And the pore filling was done on the sides.
Couple days (week or weeks) to finish the polish. We did a video on french polishing that people seems to like, so if you want to watch it, please remember that there will be no need to tell me the sound is terrible, it has been commented countless times.
Putting the box together, and checking that everything works good.
And it was already time (2 years of work) to take pictures.
Patrick wanted to do a picture of us 2 so we borrowed a box from the first series for that purpose.
Hope you enjoyed the process Patrice Lejeune