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Wood Veneer Coffee Table by Vincenzo

Wood Veneer Coffee Table

“Genius is eternal patience.”

Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475 – 1564)…Sculptor, painter, architect, poet, engineer.

Wood veneer coffee table...ash, walnut , olive and chestnut veneers.

This wood veneer coffee table was made and sent to us by an Italian woodworker and craftsman Vincenzo who lives in Sicily. The woods used to create this beautiful piece of furniture are ash, walnut, olive, and chestnut. Vincenzo chose a quality grade plywood as a choice for the substrate to which the veneer was laminated.



Wood veneer - Parquetry design.

Vincenzo created a terrific design for his wood veneer coffee table. The central feature design is one of simple elegance which includes a defining inlay banding which contains a cross pattern of parquetry.

The shopmade wood veneers are all dimensioned to an even thickness. Typically, this can done by using a power planer and also by using a drum sander.


Wood veneer layout - Parquetry patternThe parquetry pattern for the coffee table feature design is first laid out on the plywood substrate. Each wood veneer segment is then precisely fit to match the pencil layout. Notice how the woodworker, Vincenzo uses a dial caliper, sandpaper, and masking tape in this veneering operation. The dial caliper is used to to measure the fit needed. The sandpaper helps to fine tune the joinery. Finally, the masking tape holds the joinery in place.

The entire wood veneer pattern evolves from the center and expands outwardly. The veneer segments of the parquetry pattern is glued in place once a good fit is obtained.

Mitering, gluing, and securing the walnut border.

In this picture we can see how Vincenzo secures the fit of the miter joints for the walnut border as they are being glued. Scrap blocks serve as clamps in this case as finish nails are tacked through the blocks and into the plywood substrate.




Olive wood bordersOlive wood borders are prepared for fitting.






Precision wood veneer joinery to create a parquetry pattern.

A parquetry pattern is obtained for the featured design. Vincenzo reveals some of the woodworking tools he employs to get excellent fitting joinery. He uses a razor knife and a sharp pencil for marking the wood veneer. Then he uses a Japanese dozuki saw to make the precise cut. Any fine tuning of the fit can then be performed with the sandpaper.


The wood banding is fit and glued in place.

The wood tones and grain pattern of the olive wood provides a nice contrast to the walnut. This photo reveals the completed feature design. Again, the woodworker has secured the border during glue-up by tacking finish nails through scrap blocks and into the plywood substrate.

(Notice the grain direction of the contrasting woods that comprise the parquetry pattern.)


The completed piece of furniture with bookmatched veneer..This photo shows Vincenzo’s completed design for his coffee table. The furniture piece now includes bookmatched wood veneer, another walnut border, a walnut accent piece at each miter joint, and also a mitered moulding which conceals the edge of the plywood substrate.

Shellac is Vincenzo’s choice for finish and he has buffed it out for a great appearance.


The completed coffee table includes curved legs.Notice how the curved legs adds a distinctive and graceful  flair to this well designed table.

Congratulations my friend, Vincenzo for designing and creating this beautiful, wood veneered coffee table for his house. Also, I would like to personally thank Vincenzo for sharing his inspired furniture plan and woodworking techniques with us.

View “A Sicilian Walnut Table with Decorative Wood Inlay Banding” that Vincenzo created.


The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

A Sicilian Walnut Table with Decorative Wood Inlay Banding

“Beauty awakens the soul to act.”
Dante Alighieri…Italian author and poet (1265-1321)

This beautiful and elegant table was recently built in the woodworking shop of a Italian craftsman. Vincenzo, our woodworking friend lives in the beautiful Mediterranean town of Mazara del Vallo which is on the west coast of the island of Sicily. Vincenzo sent pictures of his build that is quite inspiring. His table is made of wonderfully grained walnut and has shop made decorative wood inlay bandings of maple and rosewood. The wood finish consists of six coats of shellac and buffings of wax that bring about a gloss finish.

Vincenzo contacted me towards the end of 2010 after viewing the post, Creating your own Wood Inlay Bandings…The Secrets Revealed. It was at this time that Vincenzo asked if I would consider filming a video of this wood inlay banding pattern. At my Italian friend’s request the video tutorial was filmed and the creation of this banding pattern was documented.
Recommended Video:
Wood Inlay Banding – How to Make Barber Pole Banding

The inlay banding for Vincenzo’s table was built using the band saw along with a shop built tilting band saw miter sled. This was the same technique that was used in the video. As one can see in the photos the inlay segments are all of equal length and have uniform angles that make for nice, tight joints of the banding pattern. The photos also indicate how well the width of the inlaid wood bandings fit into the routed out recesses. It is easy to see that great thought and care were used when making the wooden inlays. Along this same line, keen woodworking skills and patience were employed when the furniture inlays were applied to this exquisite piece of furniture.

Recommended Video:
Tilting Bandsaw Miter Sled

A few things to note:
1.) Check out the classically detailed edging of the cove and bead moulding combination around the tabletop.
2.) Take a look at the table legs which are simply elegant. The legs are tapered, squared to accept the rails, and have a distinctive dado which defines the separation from the square to the taper. There is even a bead element included at the dado relief. This is a very well thought out design!
3.) A front drawer is also included. Notice how the ornamental wood inlay banding design is laid out on the drawer’s face. There is a nice even margin of walnut along the edge of the drawer that is equal to the banding’s width.
4.) The front drawer is constructed with dovetail joinery.

Vincenzo…Thank you for sharing your finished product with all of us as it is very inspiring. Your wonderful wood inlay bandings provide a lovely accent for a finely crafted table that will surely be an heirloom. Great job!

Check out these Wood Inlay Banding Designs:
Buffard Freres…The 1926 Wood Inlay Banding Catalog

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

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