box with 3D marquetry #1: Asking subject and manufacture of marquetry.

I have a job. Build a box and the lid veneer two letters.
The letters should float above the surface.

The box has a simple construction.
The focus is the marquetry on the lid.

My sketch is not good. It shows about how the box should look like.

The motif design and draw.

Motif on transparent drawing paper

First, you need the shadow on the paper.
For that I need a template.

The shadows do I do with a flame.

The shadows are done.

Motif on the back of the veneer. Mirror inverted with transparent graph paper.

Cut letters.

Veneer to carve letters.

Shading with hot sand.

The design is finished incorporated. It floats.

Now I build the box.
Then, veneered and polished surface with french polish.

Tags: wooden box veneer marquetry 3d marquetry


  • Part 1: Asking subject and manufacture of marquetry.

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Brian ...

Wow that is amazing! It really looks like it’s floating. Thanks for the write up.

Jeff Vandenberg ...

Im in aw. Its amazing. I aactually was so amazed i had to show my wife your pictures. She was amazed too. I love the floating affect. This is something I never would have thought about or attempted. Probably because I dont have drawing skills. Extremely cool. Thanks for sharing all the steps.

shipwright ...

Well done Uwe. I would have done it about the same way except of course you use a knife and I use the chevalet.
There is one other thing you are doing different. It appears that you are using a small torch to completely shade a light coloured veneer rather than just using a dark veneer in the first place. Can you explain? I do all my shading with sand and don’t quite get the idea of the torch.
Your effect is excellent. Good illusion.

Uwe Salzmann ...

I also love the floating effect.
It’s not that hard. Holding objects close to a lamp and watch the shadows. The various shades are the key to success.

Uwe Salzmann ...

Hello chipwright,
I do not understand the translation. Light and dark veneer.
Maybe help my videos.

shipwright ...

OK Uwe, the first video answered my question. The shadow is actually wood burning, not marquetry. The letters themselves are marquetry. That’s an interesting combination.
I thought that you had cut the shadow from the same light coloured veneer as the background and then darkened it with the torch.
I would have cut it from darker coloured veneer. Our methods are different but there is always something to learn.

lanwater ...

Thanks for showing your method Uwe. It’s nice to see how it’s done.
I watched your videos and they are quite detailed.
I had a smile when you pointed out to the sink behind you:)

Great work.

Mike40 ...

Great work on this Uwe, it really does look like it is floating.

lightweightladylefty ...


Your skill at Trompe-l’œil is really impressive!


Jeff Vandenberg ...

So where are you at in the box build. Post some pictures. Im antsy. Lol

Uwe Salzmann ...

Hello, there will be pictures. You have to wait a little longer. Be patient, I’m antsy.