Louis cubes are constructed by cutting three
pieces of veneer, and laying them such that the grain
orientation is different on each piece. This means that
Louis cubes can be constructed from a single species of
veneer, but a more dramatic design results from using three
colors of veneer, a light color, a medium color and a darker
color. Quarter cut veneer is a better choice than flat cut
To construct the Louis cubes in this
tutorial, I used walnut, wenge, and a processed light wood
that I purchased one time as a possible replacement for
Here's a close up of single Louis cube:
In this cube, I put the light wood at the
top, the walnut on the left, and the wenge on the right. You
can see that the grain direction is different for each
I think that making the left hand piece vertical sometimes
makes a better cube than the right hand piece but I that's
the way I did these.
There are many ways to cut the pieces for
Louis cubes and I'm describing only one technique. You may
find other techniques on the web and those will certainly
To do my technique, the following is needed:
colors of veneer. Here I'm using walnut, wenge, and
a light colored processed veneer. Wenge is a
"difficult" veneer - there are others which could be
used that would cut cleaner than wenge.
spacer, which is nothing more than a length of
1/4" MDF cut to width, in this case 5/8". When
making Louis cubes, you should make the cubes
appropriate to the furniture that you're going to
put the Louis cubes on. It's tempting to make the
cubes large so there's not so many pieces, but
smaller cubes (appropriate to the furniture) look
cutting board with a lip on the front.
Another piece of MDF set at a 60 degree angle.
sharp 1" chisel and mallet. It must be really sharp.
Miscellaneous veneer tools, such as a veneer saw,
straight edge, sanding blocks, etc.
Here's the veneer and the spacer:
And here's a view of the cutting board with
the lip on the front.
A view of the spacer, showing the size.
To begin, cut strips of each veneer using
the spacer to set the width.