Class: Introduction to Veneering and Wood Inlay with Dave Heller (2 Days)


In stock


CLASS DESCRIPTION: Join Dave Heller for an intense two day introduction to veneering and inlay. You can use these skills to embellish your furniture or musical instruments. We will cover the core concepts and practical hand skills required by making a charming inlaid chess board. See below for class details.

WAIT LIST: If the class becomes sold out, click here to get added to the wait list. People may cancel, we may add more slots, or we may decide to add another class date.

PAYMENT: If you would like to pay for a class using a different method than online with a credit card, email us here to arrange to pay by check or cash. We don’t accept credit cards over the phone.

SKU: WS-DH-IWVI Category:


Over two days students will have the amazing opportunity to learn from master furniture maker & “Marquetarian” Dave Heller. Dave will teach the fundamentals of working with figured wood veneer and inlay. Students of all skill levels will build their skills while creating a high-end chess board. Beginner students will gain valuable skills, and more experienced students will be taught more advanced techniques. This class is also ideal for those interested in building guitars and other musical instruments. Here is a breakdown of some of the skills that will be taught over the two days:

  • Cut veneer to make tight seams both along and across the grain.
  • Understand good taping form.
  • Quickly make consistent width narrow strips for bandings.
  • Use simple jigs to improve the repeatability of rhythmic veneering.
  • Anticipate the pattern opportunities from various orientations of sequential strips of veneer.
  • Apply glue to minimize the likelihood of a poor bond, and (probably) learn how to fix a poorly bonded piece of veneer.
  • Insert round and diamond shaped mother of pearl (or veneer, if you prefer) into your completed chess board.
  • Consider the costs and benefits of different glue types. Use a vacuum press to apply even pressure over a large surface.

Dave Heller with veneer and inlay chess boards

About the Instructor:

Dave Heller furniture maker woodworker

Dave Heller is a Canadian furniture maker, who now lives in Charlottesville, Virginia. He is a former Chemical Engineer, turned full-time furniture maker. Dave’s specialty is Marquetry, veneering, and advanced inlay work. His favorite furniture style is Art Deco, which he builds out of his local studio. Dave is a member of The Society of American Period Furniture Makers (SAPFM) and occasionally writes articles for the society and gives demonstrations at their events. You can learn more about Dave, and see his furniture in this recent article that we published.

Materials Fee & Required Tools:

The class material fee is $35 (if you have your own veneering saw), and $45 if you don’t (Dave will buy you a $10 veneering saw). The fee is payable to the instructor before or on the day of the class. Students may opt to use extra special material, which may cost them a little more.

How to Get Here & Where to Stay:

The address of the school is 5700 Buffalo River Rd. Earlysville, Virginia 22936 (Google Maps here). The school is convenient to quite a few hotels, stores, and restaurants, and is only 8 minutes from the Charlottesville airport. Many more details are listed on the school’s main page here.

Class Policies, Liability Waiver, & Cancellations:

A PDF document with the full class policies and a liability waiver will be sent in the order confirmation email. All students are required to sign and return this document prior to attending the class. Anyone can cancel a class up to 2 weeks prior to the class for a full refund (minus a $25 fee that covers credit card processing fees and administrative work). Cancellations under two weeks before a class begins will be given a refund (less $25) if we can find someone else to fill the slot. If we have to cancel a class for an unforeseen emergency, inclement weather, or low number of registrations, a full refund will be given to students.

Additional information

Select a Date

Mon-Tue Jun 3-4, 2019