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Tedswoodworking Plans

Ted's Woodworking Plans

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Introduction 8

How to Use This Book 9

Section 1: Scroll Saw basics—W

How do I get started? 12

Section 2: Basic Scroll Saw Techniques—20

How do I attach a pattern onto the wood and then cut a basic shape? 22

Simple Fish

How do I cut out a shape within the body of the wood? 25

Scotty Dog and Lucky Cat

How do I make a simple jigsaw puzzle? 29

Putt-putt Puzzles

How do I properly attach a shelf onto a decorative scroll-saw design? 33

Maple Leaf Shelf

How do I make multiple copies of the same project all at one time? 38

Angels and Horse Ornaments

Section 3: Beyond the Basics—42

Expanding your skills 44

How do I make a decorative shelf with an attractive support bracket? 46

Fleur-de-lis Wall Shelf

How do I turn my scroll-saw project into a clock? 50

Mighty Moose

How can 1 make scroll-sawn shapes more interesting? 55

Mini Duck

How can 1 give my scroll-saw designs more detail? 59

Amish Buggy Utility I langer

Scrollsaw Clock

How can I make a scroll-saw picture? 63

Big Buck

How can I accurately make two objects with a mirror image? 67

Dynamic Dragon Duo

How can I tell if a scroll-saw pattern is going to be simple or challenging? 71

\ lope Angels

Handmade Christmas ornaments are very popular How can I make them quickly? 75

Ornaments and More Ornaments

How do 1 make a project with moveable parts? 78

Mr. Bones

Section 4: New Dimensions in Scroll


How do I make a Victorian-style project? 84

Miniature Victorian Wall Shelf and Photo Frame

How can I use different types of wood to give my project contrasting natural colors? 89

Skull and Arrowhead

Can the scroll saw cut anything other than wood? 94

Plexiglas Doves, Brass Crosses, and Paper Cutting

How can 1 make a jigsaw puzzle out of a photograph? 98

Photo Puzzles

How do I make 3D objects with a scroll saw? .. 101

3D Bunnies, Baskets, and Tulips

How do 1 make a basket out of a flat piece of wood? 105

Collapsible Basket

Acknowledgments 110

Metric Equivalency Chart 110

About the Author Ill

Index 112

Intersia Wooden Puzzle PhotoScroll Saw ArtMailorder Catalogue

Above, an illustration from an early mail-order catalogue shows the type of equipment used when scroll-sawing first became popular in the United States,


A brief history

Scroll sawing is a centuries-old form of decorative and ornamental woodworking. It has evolved from being created with hand held saws, to fool-powered treadle and pedal saws, to the electric-motor-driven, multispced. multifeatured precision scroll-saw machines of today.

The art of cutting intricate twists and turns, and cutouts in wood, has been used to produce even -thing from docks, shelves, frames, and f urniture, to toys, games, and puzzles, as well as architectural trim work and embellishments.

Its roots can be traced to early Oriental, Scandinavian, German, and Italian designs, reaching a peak in America during the Victorian era. In the 1930s and 1950s it lost some of its glory as Americans became intrigued with the straight lines of the Arts and Crafts movement, Frank Lloyd Wright s Prairie Style architecture, and designs influenced by Sticklev and Mission Style furnishings. I lowever. there has been a huge resurgence in interest in scroll sawing, which began in the 1980s with the development of new and improved scroll saws, and it continues to capture the interests of people of all ages and skill levels.

Although much of the history about scroll sawing, as well as patterns and finished projects, was lost during World Wars I and II, some of the old patterns and catalogs survived. Thanks to a few people who maintained an interest in scroll sawing, or fretwork (as it was referred to years ago), in spite of world events and changes in popular opinions regarding style and design, scroll sawing is very much alive and well today.


Scroll sawing has grown to become one of the most popular of the contemporary Craft hobbies. It is one of the safest of all forms of woodworking, requiring a minimal amount of space, tools, and materials. It is a hobby that grows with you as you tackle an ever-growing array of tempting and challenging projects.

Above, an illustration from an early mail-order catalogue shows the type of equipment used when scroll-sawing first became popular in the United States,

How to Use Tills hook

Remember, we all start out at the same point, as beginners, newcomers to the art of scroll sawing. You need no special skills or talents; however, a very basic understanding of woodworking and woodworking tools is necessary- 'iTie most important requirements are the ability to learn to follow a pattern line using a scroll saw and the desire to create something beautiful with your own hands. Don't let yourself become frustrated if things don't turn out perfectly" the first time. My goal with this book is to give you a quick introduction into the basics of scroll sawing; turn you loose on a variety of projects that get progressively more difficult; and show you that there's no better way to learn than from experience. The more sawing you do, the better you will become at it.

This book has been divided into four sections. Each section builds upon the skills learned in the previous segment.

Section 1: Scroll Saw Basics

This section provides you with almost everything you need to know about basic scroll sawing. You will make a fewr practice cuts to become familiar and comfortable with how the scroll saw works—to get a feel for feeding the wood into the saw blade and what it's like to try to get the blade to follow the line. Don't get frustrated or discouraged—practice makes perfect.

Section 2: Basic Scroll Saw Techniques

Here you will use the basic techniques to make a series of projects, learn about selecting materials, follow instructions, etc. Each project will build upon the skills learned from the pre\rious projects, as you gain experience at manipulating the blade to follow the pattern lines.

Section 3: Beyond the Basics

At the beginning of this section, you are provided with information to help you advance further into your new hobby; assembling a handy tool kit to keep by your saw, and tips and techniques to help as you begin to tackle more elaborate/complex projects. A series of projects will challenge you to try other scroll-sawing techniques.

Section 4: New Dimensions for Scroll Sawing

This section will show you how to go beyond flat projects. Here you will tackle projects that are three-dimensional, learn to cut other materials, and try a few other slightly more difficult projects as you explore the versatility of the scroll saw.

Scroll Saw Expert
Above* author Dirk Boclman, is an acknowledged scroll saw expert. He is often asked to evaluate scroll saw equipment.

How to Use This Book 9

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Sizes Scroll Saw BladesEasy Scroll Saw Threes

Section 1: Scroll Saw basics

Sizes Scroll Saw BladesHow Work With Scroll Saw

How to get started?

To begin, you will need a scroll saw (along with any tools and accessories needed to operate your saw), a few scroll-saw blades, and some wood.

The scroll saw

There are many models and sizes of scroll saws available from a host of manufacturers (see pictures below). Each machine will have its own specifications and special features. Among the features you should look for when shopping for a scroll saw are: variable speeds, pinless (plain end) blade holders that are quick and easy to open and close, and quick-and-easy tension-setting devices.

Sizes Scroll Saw Blades
Above, there arc many brands and styles of scroll saws available.

Setting up your scroll saw

Take time to properly set up your machine. Saws with stands usually employ some method of adjusting the legs or feet to balance or level it on uneven floors. Making these adjustments will ensure that your saw will operate smoothly, with less vibration and noise. Likewise, securely fasten benchtop saws to the bench or tabletop with bolts or clamps. In all instances, refer to the manufacturer's instructions to aid with set up.

Next, make certain your saw table is adjusted perpendicular, or square, with the blade. You can check by using a small square, angle gauge, or protractor. Another method is to use a carpenter s square to draw a line, in red ink, on a block of wood (see picture below). Place the block behind the blade, and adjust the saw table as needed to line up the blade perfectly with the red line.

How Check Scroll Saw Blade Angle

Above, various tools mav be used to check the

angle of the blade in relation to the table.

Above, various tools mav be used to check the

angle of the blade in relation to the table.

In addition, make certain you have adequate lighting available that does not create a shadow near the blade. Such a shadow makes it difficult to see where you are sawing. You may want a comfortable stool or chair so you can sit down while sawing. Before going any further—read the safety and operating instructions provided with your machine!


The hobby of scroll sawing is a safe and enjoyable activity provided all safety rules are obeyed. To disregard prudent safety considerations invites injury. Please remember the following safety guidelines:

• Understand and follow manufacturers instructions regarding the safe operation of all tools and materials.

• Keep fingers away from moving blades or cutting instruments. Use the eraser end of a pencil as a "push stick" to hold down and maneuver the wood when in the process of cutting, the blade comes too close to your fingers.

• Use ear and eye protection when working with power tools. It is a good idea to use eye protection at all times.

• Wear a dust mask or respirator while working.

• Wear proper attire, remove jewelry and loose clothing, and secure long hair. Wear shoes that will offer protection from falling or sharp objects.

• Keep your mind on your work. If you can t stay focused on the work, put it away for another day. It is not worth an accident to finish a woodworking project one day earlier.

• Use common sense at all times.

Basic tools and supplies

As you begin working with the scroll saw, you arc going to need a few simple tools and supplies: #4 x X" flat-head wood screws Awl

Cardboard box Clean rags Masking tape

Medium-sized standard screwdriver Paintbrushes in assorted sizes Power drill and drill bits Ruler

Sandpaper, 80- to 400-grit Scissors

Small carpenter s square Soft-lead pencil Spray adhesive

Wood finishes, canola oil, acrylic paints, and natural Danish oil finish • Wood glue

Sizes Scroll Saw Blades
Above, a power drill, wood glue, a small carpenters square, an awl, wood screws, and a screwdriver are basic tools and materials used when making scroll-saw projects.


There are manv sizes and styles of blades available

from the various manufacturers. To keep things simple, we will start out using just two styles of blades in this book—skip tooth and reverse tooth (see illustration la below);

Skip-tooth blade

Reverse tooth blade

Skip-tooth blades are the basic scroll saw blades. So named because there is a space, or skip/ between each tooth. They are available in a wide range of sizes, which arc numbered from small to large, e.g. 3/0t 2/0, 2, 4.

Reverse-tooth blades are manufactured with a few teeth pointing in the opposite direction at the bottom of the blade. These teeth are designed to cut on the up stroke' of the scroll saw, to reduce and clean up the amount of tear-out, or fuzz, that often occurs on the bottom of the workpiece as the blade exits the wood on the down stroke with regular-toothed blades.

Other blade styles include double tooth, spiral, crown tooth, precision ground, metal cutting, glass cutting, and jeweler s blades. You may choose to experiment with various types of blades as you expand your interests in scroll sawing; but for now, all you need is a dozen each of #0, #2, #5, and #7 skip-tooth blades, and a dozen each of #2, #5, and #7 reverse-tooth blades.

As you begin to use your scroll saw, you will notice the left side of the blade produces a smoother edge because there is a slight burr on the right side of the blade (see illustration lb below ). The burr or rough edge is produced when the blade is manufactured and machines press or stamp them out.

Burr edge exaggerated

Also, because of the burr on the right side of the blade, this side cuts through the material a little faster than the smooth left side. For this reason you need to compensate slightly as you feed the wood into the blade. For example, draw a straight line on a piece of wood. If you push it exactly straight into the front teeth of the blade you will see the blade start to cut toward the right side of the line (see picture below).

Above, blades naturally "pull" to the right when feeding the wood directly into the blade.

To correct for the action of the blade, angle the wood slightly to the right as you feed it into the blade. You will find it is much easier to follow a line (see picture below).

Scroll Saw Projects
Above, by slightly angling the wood into the blade, it is easier to make the blade follow the line.

To see the difference between skip tooth versus reverse-tooth blades, install a #7 skip-tooth blade in your scroll saw. Make a cut with this blade. Next, install a #7 reverse-tooth blade in the scroll saw, and repeat the cut.

Compare the bottom edges of the wood, and sec how differently the two saw blades cut (see pictures below).

Abovet detail of the bottom side of wood cut with a skip-tooth blade.
Bottom Cut Whale Tooth
Abo\r, detail of the bottom side of wood cut with a reverse-tooth blade.

Keep in mind that 'all blades are not created equal. Some are manufactured differently, some are made from one type of metal, and some are made from another. Some work better on a particular brand of scroll saw. Some woodworkers cut fast and some go slowly. Since scroll-saw blades are quite inexpensive, try different ones. Eventually you will find the right blades for you.

Scroll Saw Basics 15

Copy r i g hTeom ater


There is a huge selection of solid woods and ply-woods available (see picture below). You will learn about using some of them as you tackle various projects in this book. To start out, all you need are a few scrap pieces of pine. It is relatively inexpensive, easy to find, and easy to work with. It is considered to be a softwood, making it fairly easy to cut and perfect to use when you are just starting out.

Above, wood comes in many sizes and thicknesses.

You will need to start locating sources for various thicknesses and species of solid woods, and plywoods. Check your local area for lumber yards, home improvement stores, and specialty wood outlets. As you visit these various stores, look for a wrood expert wrho can answer questions about various woods and their unique properties.

We will expand upon this 'basic list' of tools and materials as wTe work our way through the book. For now, let's saw!

Scroll-sawing techniques

Step 1: Install a #7 skip-tooth blade in your scroll saw, following the manufacturer s instructions. Fasten the top and bottom blade holders, and apply tension on the blade. If your scroll-saw instructions do not recommend a manner in which to determine how much tension should be put on the blade, tighten it until it produces a high-pitched twang' when plucked like a guitar string. Most often there is a tendency to put too little tension on a blade. There is too little tension if it can be easily pushed to the side (see picture below ). There may be too much tension if you break several blades in a short period of time, or find it difficult to keep the blades fastened in the blade holders while sawing.

Pictures Scroll Saw Guitars
Above, blade should not easily bend when touched.

Step 2: Place a scrap piece of or '{"-thick wrood, roughly 4" square, on the saw table. With your saw running at a slow-to-medium speed, cut off* one of the corners (see picture below). You may notice that the blade has a tendency to lift the wood. Because of this tendency, maintain a steady downward pressure on the top of the wood to prevent it from being lifted and then slammed back down again on the saw-table. Notice the hand positions in relation to the blade. The scroll saw is one of the safest woodworking tools; but Above, cutting corner of wood.

Scroll Saw Wooden Bowls

Above, wood comes in many sizes and thicknesses.

Weeks Pregnant

do not get your fingers too close to the blade, or between other moving parts where they may become pinched or injured.

Step 3: Next, saw through the wood as you swing it gently to the left and right to create a wavy cut {see picture below). Again be aware of the tendency for the wood to be lilted. Also notice the amount of effort needed to push the wood into the saw blade. Continue "slicing oft" pieces of wood as you get a feel for the speed at which you can push or "feed the wood into the blade without it seeming like you are rushing the process, or causing the saw blade to work extra hard to cut through the material. This "feed rate" needs to be the speed at which the blade "cruises' through the wood without bending the blade backward. Take your time, make plenty of practice cuts, and get comfortable with the basic operation of the scroll saw.

Wavy Line Cut Scroll Saw
Above, practice cutting a wavy line with the saw.

Step 4: Now it is time to start learning how to maneuver the wood, and the blade, to get the scroll saw to follow a line. Draw some irregular lines on a piece of scrap wood. Try to saw through the wood, following your drawn lines. Take your time and saw directly on the line. It takes a bit of practice, so repeat the process until you feel comfortable with it.

Step 5: Practice making very sharp inside and outside corner cuts. Take a piece of wood and either draw a design (see illustration lc below), or glue a copy of the design onto the wood.

For this exercise, imagine the interior shape as the waste area. When you come to an outside corner, loop into the waste area and come back to the line to make a sharp comer (see picture below).

Bandsaw Blades For Sharp Corners
A hint, looping beyond an outside corner creates a ver\ sharp corner or tip.

Inside Corner

Ositos Tela
Outside Corner

Inside Corner

To make a sharp inside corner, cut into the corner (see picture below). Stop at the corner and then back the blade about %w in the saw cut. Pivot the wrood 180 so the teeth on the blade cut into the wraste side of the wrood.

Table Saw Back Right Tooth

Above, bring blade right to the inside corner and stop. Back the blade up a short distance (approximately X").

Above, bring blade right to the inside corner and stop. Back the blade up a short distance (approximately X").

Back the blade down the saw cut and into the corner (see picture below). From the corner, cut your way out the other side of the corner and continue cutting in a counterclockwise direction.

Scroll Saw Shelf Corner Plans

Above, notice the small round hole behind the top arrow.

This is where the Wade was turned.

Above, notice the small round hole behind the top arrow.

This is where the Wade was turned.

Draw or glue the design onto another piece of wood and repeat the cutting process, except make the outside shape the scrap piece.

Repeat these exercises with wood of various thicknesses and with different sizes of saw blades. It will not take long before you can follow any pattern.

Project finishing

This is a subject where there are many strong opinions. Since this book is about learning to scroll saw; only a very basic treatment of finishing and finishing techniques will be offered.

After an object is cut with the scroll saw, it should be sanded before any finish is applied. Sandpaper comes in many grits or degrees of roughness. A course-grit sandpaper should be used first (60- to 100-grit). This type of sandpaper is to smooth out the imperfections made by the saw.

Once the wood is smooth, medium-grit sandpaper (150- to 200-grit) is used to polish the wood. This type of sandpaper is for making all areas of the wood universally smooth and polished. Some woodworkers will not go beyond this sanding for many of their projects.

If a high-gloss finish is desired, a fine-grit sandpaper may be used (250- to 400-grit). The wrood will become shiny and ultrasmooth when sanded with this type of sandpaper. Use a clean cloth to wipe away dust caused by sanding.

Above♦ a course-grit sandpaper is used first as pictured here on the bottom of the stack. A medium-grit is used next to smooth the wood. Lastly, a fine-grit sandpaper is used to put a polish finish on the wood.
Above, there are many products for coloring or protecting wood. Some are made for easy application while others give a durable finish. Always test finishes on scrap material before applying to a project.

Once the object is sanded, a protective finish should be applied. One of the simplest finishes to apply is canola oil, Canola oil is a safe and nontoxic finish for projects that might be handled by small children. It is applied with a rag, allowed to dry for a few minutes, and then excess oil is wiped away with a clean cloth.

Stain can be applied to give the wood more color. It can be applied with a rag, a foam brush, or a regular paintbrush. Stains come in water-based and oil-based varieties. As expected, the water-based stains clean up easier Stains do not usually seal the wood, so many woodworkers cover a stain with varnish.

Some projects in this book need to be painted. I prefer to use acrylic paint because it is less toxic than many other types of paint and it is easy to clean up. Acrylic paint can be sprayed on or applied with a brush. It can be applied directly to the wood, but it lasts longer if a primer coat is applied first.

Whether you choose to stain, oil finish, or paint your project, follow the instructions for use provided by the manufacturer of the product. Proper application, storage, and disposal of these products is important to the successful completion of your woodworking projects and the overall safety to yourself and your family.

Scroll Saw Basics 19

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Wooden Face Scroll Saw PatternScroll Saw ProjectsScroll Saw Clock PlansDallas Cowboys Scroll Saw PatternsScroll Saw Tricks

Section 2: Basic Scroll Saw Techniques

Scroll Saw PatternsBasic Intarsia TechniquesVictorian Scroll Saw Patterns

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Wood Working 101

Wood Working 101

Have you ever wanted to begin woodworking at home? Woodworking can be a fun, yet dangerous experience if not performed properly. In The Art of Woodworking Beginners Guide, we will show you how to choose everything from saws to hand tools and how to use them properly to avoid ending up in the ER.

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    How to draw a 3d picture for a pattern to cut on a scroll saw?
    8 years ago
  • joe
    How to check scroll saw blade angle?
    8 years ago
  • terttu
    How to scroll saw basics?
    7 years ago
  • jennifer
    How to cut corners scrollsaw?
    7 years ago
  • Robur
    How can i cut smooth arcs on scroll saw?
    7 years ago
  • sabrina
    What do you cut first the solid lines or the dash lines on a scroll saw patern?
    7 years ago

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