June 18th Meeting - Veneering & Inlay Details


Well-known member
Our next meeting is all set for June 18th.

Tim Killen will provide a demonstration of hammer veneering and how to apply inlay details such as stringing. He will also go through his design process from a one-page drawing of the sideboard in the book by Verna Cook Salomonsky "Masterpieces of Furniture".

If you live near the Bay Area and are interested in learning about your local SAPFM chapter, please send an Email to [email protected].

Online photographic archival of the June 18 meeting is available by following this link:

JB, thanks for the update on the meeting. Wish I could have been there looks like a good meeting and a beautiful setting. The link with the photos is fantastic, very informative. Gives us guys on the east coast the chance to "be there".
I too appreciate the posting as it makes the information much more widely available.

One question, in the event that one wants to stain a piece with holly inlay after it has been scraped flat , how do you prevent the stain from also coloring the holly ?

I am familiar with the technique of painting the holly strip with shellac, and did not find this method particularly effective.

Karl Kirkman
In photo 17, the caption reads, "Joe Jerkins pointed out that inexpensiv​​e, unsteriliz​​ed #11 scalpels are a much sharper substitute for Xacto knife blades and are capable of super clean cuts."  Where does one buy scalpels?

To klkirkman:

I usually avoid any dye or stain when using holly stringing. In the case of this sideboard, the only color was provided by the seedlac shellac - no stain or dye.

I cannot imagine that painting the 1/32" thick stringing with shellac would be doable or effective. Although I have to admit not trying it. And I don't plan to....

On occasion, I have used chemical stain such as potassium dichromate that does not destroy the color of holly. But this is not my first choice - rather I like the color that the seedlac provides only. Yes, it also yellows the holly, but I find this compatible. In looking at antiques, I also find the holly to be yellow.

aurorawoodworks said:
In photo 17, the caption reads, "Joe Jerkins pointed out that inexpensiv​​e, unsteriliz​​ed #11 scalpels are a much sharper substitute for Xacto knife blades and are capable of super clean cuts."  Where does one buy scalpels?

Hi Tony,
It's been several years (a box of 100 blades lasts a loooong time), but I bought some from www.Indigo.com.  I use a stainless steel #3 handle and the non-sterile #11 blades.  Currently they have them listed at $20 for 100 blades and $2.50 for the handle.  Blades are individually wrapped and slip on easily (be careful though - they are sharp and meant to cleanly slice skin!).  I use the edge of my workbench to pop them off the handle as it involves lifting the back of the blade and pushing.  I keep the old ones in a baby food jar and eventually will get rid of them in a sharps container at work. 

I find the #11 blade most useful as it has a relatively long, straight edge and a nice point for detail work.  There are other sizes and shapes available.

Cheicking on line, I noticed Amazon has scalpels and blades too from Medline.  100 blades for $13 and the #3 handle for $4.50. 

Best regards,

Thanks for your suggestion. Actually my problem was that the alcohol specified to be used to remove the temporary shellac blocker coat on the holly after the background was stained smeared the stain even though it had been allowed to dry - obviously not long enough.

The suggested scheme was:
1. Coat the holly strings with shellac, I used masking tape to get clean edges,
2. Stain "everything", but the holly does not absorb the stain due to the shellac,
3. Wipe the shellac off the holly with alcohol, and
4. Coat the entire surface; background and holly, with clear finish.

To F James Ray: I'm not familiar with the stripers you reference. I would not want to try to paint 1/32 inch thick stringing with any device. I can't imagine the effort and precision required. And my finish options don't require this painting of holly.

When I need to correct a gap in the stringing, I will use a fine artist brush to fill in with shellac tinted white. But this is quite easy to do with such a small gap.

Karl: again I can't see that masking tape would help. First of all, how do you place tape on all the inlay shapes, and curves. Placing it even on straight pieces is tedious with a 1/32 inch gap. Also I would expect the shellac to bleed under the tape.

I suppose you would need to verify beforehand that the dye or stain you are using is affected by alcohol. This is a tricky proposition, not something you can verify by reading a label on the product.