Port Townsend School of Woodworking
Preserving the Tradition

Beginning Marquetry Class

Learn to create intricate wood inlays in this 5 day class with Tim Swanberg. 


Beginning Marquetry



Marquetry is the process of assembling pieces of veneer into seamless image on a panel.  During this five day course you will gain exposure to marquetry as a unique and highly individualistic technique of surface decoration.  We will explore design considerations, attributes of commercial and shop-sawn veneers; and techniques through demonstrations, slide shows, and hands-on experimentation.  Students will design and prepare a complete marquetry panel using scroll and fret saws.  Tim will explain and demonstrate how marquetry panels are used furniture making.


What our students say...

"I have found that marquetry takes a well crafted wooden art form to a different level of personal expression.  A box or a tray becomes a canvas for something just a little bit more than a box or a tray." - John Felten, Beginning Marquetry class 2011

Class Description

I. Survey of surface decoration techniques including the strengths and limitations of marquetry.

II. Developing your marquetry design

  • graphic representation v. realism

  • size considerations

  • material selection

  • a survey of veneers and their characteristics

III. Introduction to basic techniques

  • introduction to the double bevel technique

  • shop-sawn v. commercial veneer

  • scrollsaw v. fret saw

IV. Practicing a simple design

  • layout

  • achieving a good fit

  • making invisible entry holes

  • managing grain direction

V. Introduction to advanced techniques

  • sand shading

  • thin highlights

  • building the appearance of depth

  • larger designs with subpanels

  • reverse bevel drop in

VI. Veneering panels

  • preparing for glue up

  • selection of substrate

  • pressing techniques

VII. Discussion on integrating marquetry with furniture



Students are required to bring some of their own tools and supplies. For questions contact Tim Swanberg. He can make suggestions on where to source tools and organize a group tool order, if needed.  

  • Fret saw, Eclipse brand (11-3/8”deep throat) or equivalent

  • Pin vise

  • Stylus

  • Veneer saw

  • Hammer, 4 oz

  • Masking tape



Class Information and Registration

Class starts at 9:00am on the first day.
Please read our What to Expect page for general information about the School.
Please also read our Registration Policy.

Class size: 10
Cost: $750
Materials Charge: $65

When you click on the Register link you will be able to register for the class or, if the class is full, sign up for the wait list.