Parquetry

Parquetry is defined as a repeating geometric pattern in wood. As I understand, in French this is referred to as “jeux de fond”. Before you comment, yes, the same term is used for flooring with a repeating arrangement.

A parquetry pattern of diamonds and chevrons covers the majority of Oeben’s table both inside, and out. This is, perhaps, the easiest facet of this project to re-create in my opinion. To begin identify the pattern. In this case, it’s a series of chevrons symmetrically distributed about the center line at their low point.

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From a photo, I counted eight complete chevrons across the front apron, four to either side of the center line, with a half-chevron to each side. The final piece of information is knowing the height of the complete chevron. I luck out in this case! The complete chevron spans the height of the main box, a dimension with which we are familiar already!

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Using this information, I drew a paper pattern without making any linear, or angular measurements!

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This is my preferred method of operation as it reduces induced errors that can creep into measurements. While I have no evidence to support the claim (at present), I’ll bet that this was the way Oeben operated too.

Since there are multiple identical pieces in a parquetry design, the information shown on the template can be used to create cutting jigs. I chose the “slow road” in this case, laying veneer strips directly on the template, and marking/cutting them. This was a prototype, and I won’t be doing that for the final version.

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With sufficient numbers of pieces cut, assemble the design as a large sheet. It should have plenty of overlap. Various other elements, like the purpleheart frame will get cut into this sheet of chevrons for an exact fit. Drawer fronts are veneered from the “scraps” leftover when their apron cavities are trimmed. In this fashion, the pattern is preserved. Everything lines up.

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