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..the basics
..picking the wood
..tracing your pattern
..basic cutting skills
..fitting your pieces
..sanding & profiling
..final assembly
..making the back panel

..wood veneer basics
..which glue to use
..veneering up your work

..The Basics
..Do's and Don'ts
..Wood Burner
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..Clean Woodburning Pen
..Wood Burning Blanks
..Tansfering your Pattern

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intarsia pattern-piano playerIntarsia Patterns
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Making the Back Panel:

Your project is now together in one piece, but it is still very fragile. Very few of us can cut so accurately that the bond between the individual pieces will be solid and secure. The gluing is more of a tacking job then anything else. For this reason you need a firm back on all your Intarsia projects.

What to Use?
Baltic birch plywood is the product I have found works the best. It always comes in a 5' x 5' sheet, or pieces cut down from there. It has more layers of lamination then normal plywood, so tends to resist warping better than most. A laser is used to scan the sheet for voids. In theory all baltic birch sheets should be void free, so when cutting the outline for your project you should not run into holes between the layers.

Lay your work on the plywood sheet, and trace around the outside edge. Cut just inside your pencil line so the plywood ends up being slightly smaller than the work.

Check for accuracy and adjust as needed so the plywood does not show from the front. Sand the edge. Often I will stain the edge of the plywood, walnut, as this tends to make it less obvious on the finished product. A brown marker also works well. Think that one through though, as it relates to the colour in your work.

Sand off any stain that has dripped around the back edge of the plywood, sign the plywood and apply a finishing coat to seal the back.

Spread a layer of good quality wood glue to the front surface of the plywood and lay your work on top. Align it appropriately and use a damp cloth to clean up any squeeze out, as necessary. Weight it down while it dries. Touch up the finish with a spray tin as necessary.

Intarsia Patterns for Sale by site owners
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Alternate Method:
I have cut the backing first and then laid up and glued my pieces to the backboard, but historically I have found that every time you lay up your pieces they tend to position themselves in a slightly different way. Then the backing board never seems to fit accurately. Making fine adjustments to its shape is difficult when all the wood pieces are glued in place.

By tacking the pieces together then cutting the back panel, you are assured of a good fit. The caution,is to handle it carefully, up until you have glued it to the plywood.


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Plan #0452

Price: $9.95

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theWoodbox.com Jan 2007