It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas … everywhere you look … especially in the workshop. My Man is becoming quite skilled with the scroll saw, in everything from original designs to stacking and cutting several layers of plywood at one time. How does he do it?
First, the design. We grabbed some free ones online – you can use silhouettes from a site like shutterstock.com or you can be creative and draw your own. We like to use graph paper to keep things even and symmetrical.
Next, the design is taped onto the plywood using 3m carpet tape (indoor use). Carpet tape is sticky enough to hold the paper, or even multiple layers of plywood together while cutting, and then it comes of cleanly when you’re done!
Now for the cutting! Using a fine, detail blade for thinner wood and smaller details will make a big difference in the final result.
Finally, the finishing. I love to paint the pieces that he makes on the scroll saw … and painting is a great way to add more interest and highlight parts of the design. The best wood for painting is cottonwood – but pine or birch plywood will take the paint as well. When using a nice hard wood like walnut, a simple clear finish will reveal the beauty of the grain.
This is just one example of the neat things you can do with a scroll saw. There are plenty of free patterns out there if you don’t feel talented enough to draw your own. We like to do both – and we’ve even used silhouettes from stock sites like shutterstock.com.
I hope you’re inspired to do something special and handmade for Christmas this year. 🙂
~ The Woodworker’s Wife