Making a M.C.Escher's "Winged Lion" End Grain Cutting Board





Introduction: Making a M.C.Escher's "Winged Lion" End Grain Cutting Board

I like M.C.Escher's creativity. Sometimes I make boards based on his paintings. A month ago I made a new board.

You can watch this video



Andrei Muntian

Step 1: Drawings, Woods

Escher painted the "Winged lion" (#66) in 1945.

This is a tessellated image. All lions are absolutely identical, the light lion is a mirror copy of dark lion.

I made drawing. It consists of four curved lines. Two bottom lines are the reversed copies of two upper lines.

I used black walnut and movingui to fit the colors of the Escher's painting.

Step 2: Milling

I use 2 mm end mill bit and 30-degree V-bit.

I made pockets in the walnut board.

Then I mirror the drawing and made the movingui inlay.

Step 3: For VCarve Pro 8.0 Users


Start depth - 0 mm

Flat depth - 7 mm


Start depth - 5 mm
Flat depth - 3 mm

So I got 2 mm gap between the pocket and the inlay and 3 mm gap between the top of the pocket and the bottom of the inlay.

The feed rate for clearance tool (end mill bit) - 15 mm/sec, for V-bit - 12 mm/sec.

Step 4: Gluing

I saw off the edges of the inlay at the band saw.

Then I glued the pocket and the mirror inlay.

This sandwich must be clamped very well for the best fit.

Step 5: Sanding and Making a Border

Next day I sand the board at the drum sander in several passes (maybe 20-30).

I sawed the edges off to make a "copy" of the whole painting.

I used Far-East walnut for the border. It is lighter than American black walnut.

Step 6: Finishing

Next day I sanded the board with the border at the drum sander. I sanded until the chin of the dark lion not joined with the tail of the next dark lion.

Then I sand the board with the rotary sander.

I treated the board with the mineral oil in the oil bath.

Step 7: The Result

Here is the result.

Thanks for watching!



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    8 Discussions

    I know this is an older instructable, but I just tried your settings for the V inlay. 7mm pocket and a 5mm start with 3mm flat for the male part. . The male inlay was nowhere near close to fitting. I used a 60 deg bit , but I don't have 30. It should still work. But also I have never seen a start deeper than the flat. Is that right?? It sure made the bit work hard. Thanks.

    I have watched many of your other videos on you tube. You make this seem so easy! Wish I had a shop like yours, or even just a drum sander! Keep the videos coming, awesome craftsmanship.

    How much would this cost if I could buy it from you? I have no equipment to make it myself.

    1 reply

    This is awesome - cool texture, I never seen it before. I hope you'll share more of this stuff.

    1 reply

    This is incredible. What a work of art. I would struggle to cut anything on it.

    1 reply