Diaperwork

Typical examples of these entrancing patterns of repeat squares, diamonds, lozenges and foliage in contrasting woods are shown in 300 and methods of construction in 301. The

Lozenge Diaperwork
300 Veneering: parquetry, etc. (1)

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301 Veneering: parquetry, etc. (2)

contrasts between the various woods should not be too abrupt except in very small sections, and strong figure markings rather than violent alterations in colour or tone, with a good play of light and shade as the direction changes from vertical to horizontal, should be used or the charm will be lost. A full-size plan should first be made on stiff drawing paper and the pieces fitted to it. Figure 301:1 shows the build up of a square pattern in which strips are cut across and along the grain of two separate sheets of veneer, the edges planed and taped together (301:2). Strips across the composite sheet can then be built up on the base-plan as shown (301:2A). In diamond-work the strips are cut at an angle (301:3) and assembled as in 301:4A. If boxwood lines are incorporated (300:4) they can be glued in between the strips and again across the composite strips, and bandings treated similarly. The first cutting of the strips must be very accurate and the widths identical using a sharp cutting-gauge, but the composite strips can be laid against a straight-edge and corrected if necessary. Transparent cellulose tape is invaluable for building up the strips as the joints can be watched for alignment at every stage. In 300:3 strips are cut the width of the separate diamonds and cut to the diamond shape against a template or in a jig; every square is then assembled with its banding and matched against its mates. The three-dimensional cube effect (300:5), which was always a great favourite, is

cut in a jig or from a template using strips of three contrasting woods of identical width, two strips along the grain and one at an angle of 30°. Figure 301:6 is, strictly speaking, marquetry-work, with separate sheets of veneer pinned together or interleaved with glued paper, marked with a template and cut with a saw and then fitted to the pattern, and eased with fine files where necessary. It takes much longer to assemble but is remarkably effective if the woods are well chosen. Figure 300:1 shows the chess or chequer-board pattern; 300:2 is a square pattern to give a diamond quarter effect; 300:3 has an inlay banding diagonally across the squares. Woods generally used for diaper-work were Macassar ebony, Rio and Bombay rosewoods, Cuba and Honduras mahoganies, satinwood, kingwood, tulipwood, walnut and box, etc., being woods with strong markings or stripes. Boxwood, holly and stained blackwood (pearwood) were used for lines and stringings with insets of bone, ivory, tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl, brass, pewter, etc.

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