Weekend with the scroll saw – lessons learned

For some time now, I wanted to create something with a scroll saw, but I didn’t have one. I liked a hobbyist scroll saw. Danny bought it for me as a present and last weekend I got to use it.

I found a little bunny stencil to cut, (Easter is approaching, after all). I bought plywood and did my first figure.

bunny scroll saw

bunny cut out

It was a success, so I gained some confidence and looked for a little harder stencil. I found this site and choose the little humming bird. I printed out the stencil and again used the plywood. Sure it was harder, I broke 3 blades and after two hours finally did it.

hummingbird cutout

Then I gained more confidence and found a template, made it little bigger, as I thought that way it will be easier with the corners. After five hours did just this.

scroll saw pattern

And from the back

scroll saw pattern back

Lessons learned

Sooo, from my modest experience this is what I learned the scroll sawing process should be.

First, find a pattern that fits your saw. Mine is for the hobbyist and the drill holes for the blade had to be bigger than I expected, so finer patterns will not work for me. Also, use wood with appropriate thickness. For my scroll saw the maximum was 3cm.

Second, use carpenter’s tape to attach the pattern to the wood.
Spray adhesive is also good but is a little harder to remove it from the finished wood afterwards.

Third. Do not use plywood! It is a hard material with different directions of the grain at all times. In addition, for my hummingbird, the back layer chopped and it broke my blades. Use soft woods like pine or better yet balsa (it is used for plane models, as it is light and soft).

chopped back from plywood

Forth, apparently it matters where you put the drill holes. For now, I learned that if you put small ones right on the corners and the bigger ones for the blade on the thicker part it would be easier to cut.

Finally, practice makes perfect. So find some free patterns and practice. Also, there are plenty of books on the art of scroll sawing if you want to further your knowledge. I liked what I learned that weekend. Also, I know now that I need a saw that has thinner blades without hooking pins for finer patterns and a band saw for the famous band saw boxes. Oooor, more powerful scroll saw in which I can fit at least 6-8cm thick wood.

For now, I will finish my experiment and will wish you happy Easter! 🙂