This section is from the book "Arts & Crafts Magazine Vol1-2", by Hutchinson & Company.
Of course, a light and a dark wood must be chosen. Black walnut and sycamore, mahogany and holly, ebony and sycamore are all suitable. A rich effect would be given if the outside border were mahogany or walnut and sycamore, and the central squares ebony and ivorine. The last-named material is easy to work, and very inexpensive. Paste the pieces on cartridge paper and put them under pressure to ensure thorough adhesion. As the cutting will take a long time, the work should be carefully clamped and care taken to avoid any part being lost. When this part of the work is finished, mount it on a clamped board to avoid subsequent twisting and warping, which would soon spoil the work. The base should be fairly stout - about 3/4| in. thick - and made of very well-seasoned yellow pine. Two pieces of hard wood, preferably walnut, should be let in underneath across the grain, in the shape of a dove-tailed wedge. It will be very advisable to make the base first of all. Drive in the wedges tight, and put in a warm place until the marquetry is ready for laying, when a final drive up of the wedges and a levelling of the top will ensure against anything but very slight shrinkage. When the cutting is finished, split the joint, carefully fit in the pieces, and take great care that corners are not broken. Use plenty of good hot Scotch glue, and dry between hot cauls until thoroughly dry The next stage is perhaps one of the most difficult, that of cleaning up; for the surface should be polished, a thoroughly smooth surface being absolutely necessary. Use a finely set toothing plane, and then, starting with coarse glass-paper on a cork rubber, work through several grades of paper until the finest is reached. This is the only way to get a really good finish, and it takes a lot of time and hard work. A border must be put on when the polishing is finished; it should be mitred at the coiners, and project about 1/4 in. above to prevent the chessmen from rolling off. A good effect would still result if the central squares were left plain, and time and work would be saved to marquetry cutters who may think the work too much. A. C. H.