Inlay Lines Bandings

It is a little sad that inlaid lines and bandings are no longer used in modern furniture, for they add great richness and a touch of welcome colour. Figure 302:1 shows various traditional examples, and 302:2-5 the method of assembly in which composite blocks are built up of layers of contrasting woods and veneers and then sliced as in 302:3, with a special planer or swage-set circular saw projecting only sufficiently above the saw-table to cut the thickness. Reproduction-work still makes use of these bandings, and those usually available from marquetry and veneer suppliers include 1 /1 6 in (1.5 mm) boxwood and blackwood strings, 1/8 in (3 mm) boxwood, blackwood and rose inlay lines, three-line bandings box/black/box and box/rose/box, and some patterned bandings, viz. dentil, check, rope, domino, feather, herringbone, diamond and chevron in combinations of box, blackwood, mahogany, rosewood, tulipwood, satinwood and walnut, etc.

Lines and bandings can be incorporated in the veneer pattern at the time of assembly and laid as a single sheet; or the veneers can be taped together, laid and then incised for the lines which are cut in with a cutting-gauge or scratch stock working from the edge, or knifed against a template; or, if in circles or circular sweeps, a waste block can be cramped/clamped or paper glued to the surface, with a stub dowel in the centre working in a hole in a straight bar which has been part saw kerfed and screwed together to form a scratch stock. Various forms of cutters for use in scratch stocks are shown in 301:11, while 301:9 illustrates a simply made double knife from old hack-saw blades for use against a template (301:10). If the veneer has been laid with hide glue the waste can be lifted with the heated tang of a file, and eased out with a narrow chisel; but resin glues will require cutting out with the bevel of the chisel flat against the groundwork/substrate. If the grooves are fairly tight the line or banding can be glued with hide glue or Seccotine, pressed into position with the pein of a hammer and weighted down if necessary, or taped in position for cold-setting glues and re-pressed. Complicated assemblies may require several such pressings, working from the centre outwards, although it is possible to lay thin strings and bandings with resin glues and a soldering-iron or electric iron which will set the glue instantaneously, but there must be no surplus of glue or it will harden into lumps before it can be pressed out. Where the line is fitted against a central veneer with a cross-banding to the edges of the panel, the veneer should be cut and trimmed to shape, the line glued and held in position with veneer pins until set, and the crossbanding then fitted and glued, taping it down with cellulose tape tightly stretched to hold it firmly in position. Figure 294 shows the crossbanding of a circular table-top done in this way. Square lines rebated/rabbeted into the edge of a top are also anchored in this fashion and cleaned off flush when dry. It is essential that inlaid lines and bandings should be allowed plenty of time to settle, for the contraction of the glue will pull the inlays below the surface if they are cleaned off level too soon. Work containing inlaid brass lines should be brushed over with dilute polish to protect the grain against fine brass-dust, while the lines can be scraped flush with a steel scraper and polished with finest silicon carbide paper.

302 Building up bandings, etc.

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