How to make a compass rose?

I'd like to try making a small compass rose out of different color veneers similar (but simpler) to the one shown here:
http://inlays.com/8001_11B_Marquetry_Compass_Rose.asp
Does anyone know of a good reference for doing this? Do I use an exacto knive?
Thanks, Scott
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onoahimahi wrote:

I just read a tutorial on this the other day. It was done with a router and "templates" Its called "inlaying" Sorry I thought I saved that tutorial but I can't find it right nwo.
Troy
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Troy wrote:

Yep,I'll go along with the router,just done a trinket box with some inlaying.
However not so intricate as the one the OP has outlined.
The way to do it is cutout a template put the template over the desired wood draw round it then cut out with router.
Aquire the Veneer what you want to use,using the template again position the template of each section(spike) and cut the veneer to shape,cut the spike in half and do the same process with a lighter piece of veneer. Each time you cut a (spike) shape out you have two halves of each coloured veneer to glue in the (spike) shapes.
Hope this helps a bit?
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Sir Benjamin Middlethwaite




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onoahimahi wrote:

Here's a more simplistic way of doing it without the router.
Take that picture of the rose into a paint program or any program that will allow you to print it out in B&W. Size the print out what size you want the rose,print it out and the using a craft knife just cut out the shape.
Choose a sheet of dark background veneer the size you want the rose square.
Position printout template over over square veneer and draw round the template with a fine pencil then cutout the shape with a craft knife.
Now all you have to do is fill in the shape with two lighter colours of the shape(spikes) using the cut out from the template or veneer cutout.
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Damn! forgot the ending sequence :-)
Choose a piece of wood or box(if your wanting it on a box)? Glue and press the square with rose shape to wood/box and let it set overnight.
Start glueing and filling in the shape with spikes.
All done. :-)
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If you're going the non-router route, I've heard that a rotary cutter (like you'd get at a fabric store) is a good way to cut veneer. If you or, say, a spouse, is on the mailing list for Jo-Ann fabrics, they frequently send out 40% off anything coupons, so this would be a good way to get one for a good price. (Note - these coupons are also a cheap way to get 4oz bottles of Gorilla Glue) A rotary cutter is also available at Lee Valley, cheaper than the list prices at JoAnn's. http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&pA729&cat=1,250,43298,43314&ap=1 Good luck and let us know how your compass rose comes out, Andy
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wrote:

Hi Scott,
I actually did that exact project just for sh**s and grins a couple of years ago, and I can tell you one or two useful things about it. First off, the X-acto knife will work fine for veneer, but if you simply apply the veneer to a piece of wood, be very careful with your glue- veneer is thin enough that you're likely to sand or scrape right through it if you need to clean it up.
That isn't the way I did it, though- I went the full inlay route, and I liked the result enough to do several others. I sawed "veneers" about 1/4" thick out of scrap for the various projects with the bandsaw (though a table saw or even a circular saw will work for this so long as you've got a steady hand and some clamps) and rough cut the pieces to about 1/8" away from the line and sanded them to the finished dimentions. Then I laid them face down and taped the finished pieces together to preview the work, flipped them face up onto the piece and traced the outline for the inlay recess. Excavate the bulk of the material in the recess with a router set to 3/32" deep, cut along the lines with a sharp utility or x-acto knife, then carefully pare away the points' tips in the recess with a chisel, Dremel tool with a carving burr (set to low speed) or that same X-acto knife we were talking about earlier. Perfection is good, but don't get too hung up on it- the area excavated with the router will provide plenty of good glue surface for the inlay. I removed the tape before setting the inlays, but I suppose you could leave it in. However you do it, get the inlay set into the cavity on a nice thin bed of glue, then place a flat piece of scrap over the top and give it a few raps with a mallet to make sure things are seated all the way in.
Lay a piece of wax paper over the inlay, and then sandwich the work between two pieces of scrap and clamp it tightly. (The wax paper prevents the squeeze out from gluing the scrap to your inlay, a plastic bag works also)
After it's set, take your sandwich apart and scrape or sand the surface until the inlay is flush with the surface of your piece. It's a lot smoother than laying on veneer, can be refinished later if desired, and is much more durable than the marquetry technique.
It's really not hard, you just need to have a bit of patience, and maybe a magnifying glass if your eyesight is a little weak. If you don't have a router, you can always excavate an inlay recess with a good sharp chisel- the rule for all of it is patience. If you're in a hurry, not even just painting with veneers is going to work out the way you'd like it to.
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onoahimahi wrote:

There are two techniques - knife and router. Router would be hard for this as it's not possible to do a sharp internal corner with it. As that's the hardest part of the knife technique, then use the knife from the start -- it's all straight line work anyway.
You'll find a first compass rose easier if you don't try to inset the star into a solid piece of veneer, but instead cut the outer part into segments as well. This avoids those awkward interior corners. Apart from that, it's an easy piece to do and a good starting point - easier than shells!.
When you come to inlay the finished oval into a piece of furniture, then that's a good time to use the router. A Dremel or clone with the Dremel tile cutting base makes a good (and cheap) starting point, or you can buy a real router base for it with better adjustments. Don't try to use a real router, they're much too big and heavy to control.

Zachary Taylors' Inlaying book is my favourite for this, but there are _many_ others.

No, they're expensive and not very good. Use a surgeon's scalpel instead - cheap at any arts shop. Get a couple of different shapes and a couple of the real metal handles in the large standard length size.
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It's a lot simpler than it looks. I made one for the cover of a presentation box.
I used single-edged razor blades (from Ace Hardware . . . get a box and change blades frequently . . . they get dull). Use veneers with contrasting colors AND NO ELABORATE GRAIN. Material with burled grain tends to fall apart. You'll also need a roll of paper veneer tape.
Draw the compass rose on a piece of heavy stock paper or cardboard, then cut out the pieces to make a template. Draw the outline of the pieces on the veneer with the grain oriented in the direction of the radiants. Stick the veneer pieces together with little pieces of veneer tape to form the rose. The tape will be on the "up side" (the visable side) of the rose. When the rose is assembled (it will look messy as hell), trace it's outline on the background veneer, cut out the hole that the rose will fit into and then affix it into the background with more veneer tape. If you have worked carefully, the gaps between the elements of the rose and between the rose and the background will be insignificant.
To affix the veneer to whatever it is that you are decorating (a box or a table), get a small, cheap, short bristled paint brush and a bottle of yellow woodworkers glue (Titebond or some such). Give both the object and the veneer a coat of glue. Let it dry. Give it another coat . . . and maybe a third. When the glue has dried thoroughly, it will be thermoplastic (it melts and re-solidifies when heated). Put the veneer on the base and iron it on with a hot clothes iron (set for cotton).
Then, to clean up, scrape off as much of the tape on the surface as you can, and sand the rest off. Don't get carried away sanding the rose. It's easy to go all the way through the veneer. You'll be amazed at how close the fit is between the pieces. Sawdust seems to act as a filler between the pieces. Finish up with several coats of Deft or some other lacquer.

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I posted a template and a couple of examples of a Compass Rose on to Alt.Binaries.pictures.woodworking (Search on Compass Rose to find).
I like to use a heavy engineering straight-rule as a guide for my exacto-knife.
Thanks, Earl
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