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Intarsia - First Attempt

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This instructable will take you through the process of my first attempt at creating a "framed piece of art" using the intarsia technique.  Intarsia is a technique that uses different colors of wood pieced together to create a final image.  There is no stain involved, and you also try to USE the direction of the grain to help with the final look of what you are trying to create.  To learn more about intarsia, you can visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intarsia. 

Tools Used:
  • Band Saw
  • Table Saw
  • Scroll Saw
  • Miter Saw
  • Router
  • Drimmel Tool
  • Orbital Sander
  • Disk Sander
  • and of course lots of Glue! :) 
Wood Used:
  • Walnut (3/4 in)
  • Pecan (3/4 in)
  • Maple (1/2 in and 3/4in)
  • Cedar (1/4 in)
  • Western Red Cedar (1/2 in)
  • Purple Heart (1/2 in)
  • Mahogany (3/4 in)
 
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Step 1: Creation

I was able to find a free template online for a goose.  Although the template was great for the Goose, I knew I wanted to create an actual "framed piece of art", so I created the rest of the piece with just my own imagination. 

I started the project off by digging through scraps of wood to see what wood would look best for each section.  I have gotten into "milling" my own pieces of lumber as well, so some of the pieces were actually cut from logs I have saved up over the years (pecan, western red cedar). 

I then printed out the goose template, and cut each piece of the goose out.  I figured out which pieces of wood I wanted to use for each section of the goose, and used spray adhesive glue to glue each section to the pieces of wood. 

After each section of the goose was cut out, I then started sanded all the edges.  This is a very time consuming part of the intarsia technique, but a very important process as well.  The whole point of intarsia is to almost give it a 3D look by using different thicknesses of wood, and sanding all the sides together to make it almost look like one piece at the end. 

Very nice for a first try! I thought the sun was a knot until I saw the pictures close up lol very nice overall use of scraps.

If I could for more example show-off some of my grandparents awesome intarsia.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/jdintarsia


I have a friend who does "marquetry" (not sure of the spelling) which is similar but with veneers. But I like your method much better. The 3D effect adds to the scene. Very nice job !!!
seamster1 year ago
It looks great. I've been wanting to try this for a while. Thanks for posting this!

Just out of curiosity, what reality show were you referring to?
HunterTX81 (author)  seamster1 year ago
Thanks seamster! It was a pretty fun project, and definitely let me know if you ever try one out yourself.

"Thanks" to my brother (who is married, and is "forced" to watch the show, haha) who recommended me, I had a brief stint on ABC's The Bachelorette. I know, I know! :) I had never seen the show before in my life, but overall, it was a pretty fun experience. I am more of a fan of reality than reality television though :)
I'm not too familiar with that show, but it's pretty cool that you got to do that!

Now you can always tell people, "I lost on Bachelorette, but I post cool stuff on the internet so it's okay."
i always wanted to try one of these!
Well done. It doesn't look like a first attempt. Looking forward to seeing the next one.
rimar20001 year ago
Very nice crocodile!

(It is a joke, do not get mad)

Talking seriously, your firs attempt seems an advanced creation.
HunterTX81 (author)  rimar20001 year ago
Haha!!! Your comment made me laugh so hard, I had to run to the computer and respond (after I saw it was a joke, that is) :) Thanks, rimar2000.....I tried my best to research it as much as possible online, but it seems like there isn't all THAT much info on the technique, at least compared to all the other woodworking techniques out there (even went to Barnes N Nobles, but they didn't even have any books on it)....it will be something I will try again though, and definitely something I wanted to share with others.
Gorgeous! I didn't know intarsia was a word used outside of knitting, but of course it makes obvious sense to me now. Thank you for teaching me a new technique!
HunterTX81 (author)  scoochmaroo1 year ago
Well, if it makes you feel better, I didn't know intarsia was a "knitting term" until I Google Imaged it :) Thanks for the kind words, and feel free to ask any questions if you try one out yourself.
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