by Clair Boussum



1. Work board to hold print, 3 /4" or 5/8" x 36" x 36", plywood, MUST BE FLAT

2. Plywood, 1/4" x 48" x 48"

3. White typing paper

4. Intarsia pattern

5. Thin tracing paper

6. Lead pencil, 0.5 mm

7. Masking tape

8. Spray glue

9. Hand sanding paper, assorted grits

10. Cylinder sander, 2" dia., motor, 50 grit

11. Piece of dowel to make a dowel sander

12. Double backed tape

13. Wood, cedar or your choice, MUST  BE DRY,    6% to 7%

14. Dust mask

15. Bartley's Wiping Gel

16. Diamond Varathane Spray Finish, matte or gloss, OIL BASE

17. Elbow grease


1. Cover work board with white paper. This allows the lines of the pattern to stand out.

2. Place Pattern on top of white paper. Tape securely to eliminate any pattern movement.

3. Most patterns come without a frame. Make a temporary frame of the main section of the pattern. This is the beginning point for cutting your pieces.

4. Use tracing paper to make a pattern of the temporary frame. Cut from 1/4" plywood.

5. Nail 1/4" plywood temporary frame over appropriate section of pattern.

6. Slide tracing paper under temporary frame and trace first piece to be cut. Use a .05mm lead pencil, as a thicker lead will result in an imperfect cutting line. It is a must to mark the grain direction and the critical cutting line; this is the area of the piece that abuts to the temporary frame or an existing part. Leave a margin around the tracing when you cut it out of the full sheet of tracing paper. Highlight this critical line for cutting accuracy by using tick marks and arrows in relation to the abutting part. This is a must and applies to every part that is traced and cut.

7. Select the wood to use.

8. Find area on wood for the part to be cut, put masking tape on that area of the wood.

9. Spray the backside of the tracing and place it on top of the masking taped area.

10. Cut out the part. A scroll saw works best. You can get good results from a band saw if you do not have a scroll saw. When using a band saw, use a 1/4" or 3/8" blade for best cutting.

11. Tape cut parts to the temporary frame or abutting parts to eliminate any movement.

12. After all parts have been cut and taped together, slide them onto the 1/4" plywood and trace around the outside of all the parts. This will become your mounting board. Slide all parts back to the work board and remove all of the tape.

13. Cut mounting board and stain the sides. Be very careful to keep stain off the back of the board. Use the bad side of the board to mount pieces. The good side becomes the back of the finished piece.

14. Start forming parts. Some parts must be raised to get the effect wanted. There are two ways to raise parts. Place a small piece of plywood under the part or parts and/or glue two pieces of wood together and cut as one part.

15. Forming a group of parts all at one time; take the group of parts to be formed and place on 1/4" plywood. Trace around parts and then cut the 1/4" plywood. Place double backed tape on the 1/4" plywood and attach the parts to be formed on top of tape. If some parts in the group have been raised with plywood, the plywood must be with the part or group of parts when forming and shaping. Now you can form and shape the part or parts on the cylinder sander.

16. Forming of parts; use a cylinder sander, dowel sander and hand sand paper. A dowel sander is a piece of dowel with sandpaper taped to it.

17. Sign your name to the piece. Use a ballpoint pen and press down very hard. It is always a nice idea to include the year on your piece.

18. Finish your piece with Bartley Wiping Gel, one coat. Apply gel with a rubber spatula or paint brush. Do about ten pieces at one time. Use paper toweling to remove excess gel from each part. After all the parts have been gelled and wiped, allow to dry overnight.

19. Glue all parts to the mounting board. Allow the glue to dry overnight. Make sure that all the parts are flat on the mounting board. Do not allow any piece to spring up from the board.

20. Drill a hole or mount a hanger on the back of the mounting board.

21. Spray the piece with Diamond Varathane Wood Finish Spray, oil base, matte or gloss, your choice. To get the best finish, spray only when piece is laying flat on your work bench, as this will eliminate any runs. Allow to completely dry and if necessary spray on a second coat.

22. Enjoy your piece of art.





Created  Oct 2001   updated FEB 2017