May 2022 Meeting Report



Tonight, we started off with members telling us about all the tips and tricks they had learned, when they had attended the marquetry workshop at Dwellingup.

Ian said it had been well organised with good accommodation, and as we all know Martin was excellent at teaching and showing everyone the shortcuts that he had found, and the best way to get reliable results.

Everyone said that all staying together, and the social interaction between the members was what had made the workshop so special.

Len said he had originally done a veneer course with Kerrie Bear, but this was the first time he had used a saw to cut multiple shapes at the same time, he thought “frog” tape was brilliant, especially as he now knew it was supposed to go on the back!

Barry thanked Carolyn and Kevin for their work in keeping them fed but said that not everyone appreciated the 6.30am start.

He spoke about how he had used “sand” shading to improve the look of his work and passed around those items that he had finished for everyone to see.

Marquetry examples of various types of flowers

Steve said that he had not even fitted a fret saw blade before he went, but had enjoyed modifying and making the cutting table, even adding scribe lines at right angles to show you where you were cutting.

Marquetry examples showing some birds and ladies at the beach

Allan had been busy since he had got home and had brought a couple of his latest marquetry items for us all to see.

During Show and Tell, we heard from Kevin about the Collaboration Groups upcoming workshop at the Bunbury Cathedral Grammar College this September. They had organised for a French turner and carver to join them as a specialist artist in residence for the duration of the workshop. He asked if anyone was interested in joining them, to submit a request form which he had available.

Laurie showed us his 75x60mm micromesh sanding pads which he recommended for getting a fine finish on your projects.


Ian then gave us an insight into the things that are detailed in his veneering workshops.

  1. The best veneer is sawn veneer, where you cut your own from timber that is especially figured or decorative. The problem being that this usually ends up something like 1.5-2mm in thickness and you lose the same amount due to the saw cut, which is not always ideal, and it is unsuitable for “book matching”.
  2. Sliced veneer was much more forgiving, where the logs are boiled and then sliced in a continuous sheet which means that you lose nothing from the log, and sheets are sequential in a pack and usually 0.7mm thick, this made it ideal for joining and “four-way book matching”
  3. Engineered Italian veneer was made by sourcing Indonesian timber, which is then pulped, dried and sliced into thin sheets and then printed. This is useful as all the sheets can be identical, and you can make veneers that are impossible to get naturally.

Ian had brought along some veneers and said that to see it’s finished colour you should only wipe it with methylated spirits as using water will raise the grain. He showed us how to use two mirrors to see what sort of effects and patterns we could make once the sheets were joined.


He recommended using a steel ruler with sandpaper attached to the back and a cutting knife for cutting across the grain, but said you would get better results with a piece of MDF and a veneer saw, when cutting down the grain.

New veneer saws typically needed to be “fettled” to get the best results and straight edges. He handed around samples showing his “four-way book veneer” tops and the sort of things you could expect to make at his workshop.

He also explained how, if you planed two pieces of veneer together, they would match perfectly, why you need to use masking tape and follow up with veneer tape and that he always used cross-linked PVA glue to get the best results from the vacuum bag.

Watch this space for his new course dates, to be announced soon!

Harry showed samples of veneers that Martin and he had collected, and these together with some marquetry packs would be available for sale at our next meeting.

So do not forget to bring your cash!

Melville Wood Turners

Morris Buzzacott Reserve
51 Williamson Rd
Kardinya WA 6163