Fretwork patterns and panels are a wonderful addition to any home or piece of furniture. Fretwork can be found on everything from bookcases and traditional longcase clocks to pianos, tables, mirrors and cabinets.

Frets are very fragile and delicate, can very easily be broken but yet is the perfect wooden accessory for any piece of furniture.

At A. Dunn & Son, we make our own 3-ply wood using our 0.5mm thick veneers. With a wide range of veneers available, we are able to match the grain or colour required. When working on Restoration furniture, we can match the veneer and design to the original fret. Using a marquetry cutters donkey, we cut out the frets resulting in a beautifully intricate fret ready for the intended piece of furniture.

Fretwork in walnut veneer
Cutting the fretwork on the marquetry cutters donkey.

Here is the process to cutting the frets. Each section is cut out using the marquetry cutters donkey. Once all the pieces are cut out, it creates an overall pattern. To which it then can be attached to the piece of furniture.


It is a different process then to making and cutting marquetry. We still use the marquetry cutters donkey but we cut out the unwanted sections in the fretwork, leaving a numbers of holes or gaps. In turn, once all of the unwanted sections are cut out, it creates the fret design.