Buhl Work, a process of inlaying by the use of the saw, the name of which is derived from a French workman named Boule, who invented and carried it on during the earlier part of the reign of Louis XIV. With him it consisted in inlaying dark-colored tortoise shell or wood with brass, cut in flowing patterns to imitate vines and wreaths of flowers. Reisner, who practised the art at a little later period, made use of woods which contrasted well in color; and the term is now applied to his process. The general term marqueterie designates in France all the varieties of this kind of work. It consists in cutting out a pattern from two veneers of different-colored woods, which are glued together with a piece of paper laid between them; and then, after separating the pieces by running a thin knife blade through the paper, the patterns are carefully taken out, and the figure removed from the one is inserted into the cavity of the other, the dust of the wood being rubbed in to fill the interstices. The cutting of the pattern is effected by the use of a very fine saw, of the kind known as a key saw, which can readily be made to run around the sinuosities of the pattern.
The suitable designs for this work are continuous figures, like a running vine or the honeysuckle, the saw completing these without the necessity of discontinuing the work to commence anew. When three thicknesses of wood are glued together and cut, the work is carried on more rapidly, and with more variety; but it is not found expedient to increase the number of thicknesses beyond this. In old work of this kind it has been found that different woods contract unequally, and at last produce a defective joint. This is remedied by the use of veneers of the same light-colored wood, one of which is dyed a dark color. In inlaying pearl work by the buhl method, some modifications of the process are rendered necessary by the small size of the pieces, and by greater care required to make a nice joint. The saw in this is run through at an angle to give a bevelled edge, and the lines are filled in with threads of white metal, as tin or pewter.