Learning Curve #17: Scrollsaw Stars

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Blog entry by MsDebbieP posted 11-26-2007 11:38 PM 2774 reads 0 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 16: Router Phobia Part 17 of Learning Curve series Part 18: Scrollsaw Box »

After being inspired by some beautiful scrollsaw work recently, I thought it was time I did a little practicing at my scroll saw.

The Wood
I purchased some 1/4” thick poplar—I didn’t want to use pine because it is so fragile and I didn’t want to use walnut for two reasons: 1) it is too hard and 2) After sacrificing some walnut to make my snowman bottle holder I didn’t think I dare sacrifice some more in order to “practice”.

The Process
I put tape on the board and glued the patterns to the tape.

I then cut out the squares using the blade (not sure what type it was) that was already in the machine. I found that I could zip along quite quickly with this wood and the blade that was in it. No big dilemmas with this step -that’s a good thing.

Next I drilled a hole in each of the letter sections and using a smaller blade (after the first one gave up the ghost) I found that a slower speed worked quite well with this step. Again, not too much troubles. There were a couple spots that the blade tried to avoid following the line, and the font used wasn’t big enough for the drill bit I used (no.. it wasn’t that I used too big of a drill bit… trying to think positive here!!) and so I included the circles into the font style as much as possible. If I were to do this again I’d choose that font with the circles on the edges.

I then sanded the front/back with the belt sander and then used my Dremel to sand the edges of the stars.

And there we have it: a star for each of my family members.(not all shown in this photo). No stain or anything on them yet. Haven’t decided what I’ll use yet.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

29 comments so far

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4653 days

#1 posted 11-27-2007 12:21 AM

Debbie -

WOW! Those are beautiful! Excellent instructions. Thanks!


View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4453 days

#2 posted 11-27-2007 12:38 AM

Most impressive. Pretty and personal, what more could you want?

-- Working at Woodworking

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4674 days

#3 posted 11-27-2007 02:06 AM

thanks David, Russel.
:) I was pleasantly surprised at the end result

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4388 days

#4 posted 11-27-2007 03:39 AM

Looks good, Deb. A steady hand you’ve got. Will they hang on a tree next month?

-- Happy woodworking!

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4493 days

#5 posted 11-27-2007 04:08 AM

Hi Ms. Debbie;

I always knew you’de make a star someday!

Nice job.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Karson's profile


35202 posts in 4914 days

#6 posted 11-27-2007 04:30 AM

Going to be a festive Christmas as the MsDebbie household. Everyone will have a star on the tree.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4613 days

#7 posted 11-27-2007 06:13 AM

Yeah, some of the scrollsaw work is pretty inspiring. Nice work.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4051 posts in 4577 days

#8 posted 11-27-2007 06:18 AM

There oughta be a new font made from these. Love it!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4580 days

#9 posted 11-27-2007 07:34 AM

Good job Debbie, I’ve tried my scroll saw a couple of times and can attest that it is nerve racking trying to keep tight to the lines. You did a really nice job.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1809 posts in 4600 days

#10 posted 11-27-2007 07:49 AM

I like Deb. Ornaments are always fun to make. I’ve made some using the wood cut from the base of our tree. The 1st tree that we used that came from our farm started the idea. I wanted to commemorate the occasion and made both of my girls an ornament. Just simple slices of the trunk with the bark on, painted and polyed. You’ld think they were waterford crystal. They get wrapped in bubble wrap and boxed when the tree comes down.

-- Bob

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14181 posts in 4497 days

#11 posted 11-27-2007 08:10 AM

i like these very much. Great christmas theme.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View 's profile

593 posts in 4486 days

#12 posted 11-27-2007 09:46 AM

Not only is a beautiful and well executed thing that you have done here but I specially love how pure an un-geeky is your approach to woodworking. I quote (sic) ”using the blade (not sure what type it was) that was already in the machine” and ”If I were to do this again I’d choose that font with the circles on the edges.”

You are like Mot’s 9 year old daughter, that child that sometimes reminds us the obvious but often difficult to achieve: to be more easy-going and less worried about the technical details, more creative and less OCD…

Keep on going “Debbie” and thank you for telling us. By the way, yesterday I listened again to the Lumberjocks Podcast featuring your interview, I absolutely loved it. Too bad there were no more episodes of the series. :o(

View sublime4life40's profile


32 posts in 4352 days

#13 posted 11-27-2007 11:36 AM

Great job,looks wonderful.Stars can be tryng at times.I do alot of scrolling too.The clear packing tape is a good idea helps your blades last alot longer.I use alot of #2 Olson skip tooth blades.Their ideal for tight radius & detail .They cut fast and they have great chip removal for smooth finishes. Their .012” in thickness and great for cutting super small lines.There also pretty reasonable too. If you notice your blade is wondering.slow your feed down and keep your speed on the lowest setting. Its o.k. to get off the line for a little bit.You can easly fix a small problem by just smoothing the cut out alittle bit.Your stars look really great .

-- Rick,Neoga,IL.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4674 days

#14 posted 11-27-2007 12:33 PM

thanks everyone. I’m pleased with the results. I didn’t have to throw any away! :)

Bob: isn’t it interesting that “free” stuff can be precious and expensive stuff can be – well, just stuff!

Jojo: that’s a high compliment to be compared to Mot’s daughter. She’s an impressive young lady,
re: interviews, I’ll mention this to Martin… I had forgotten about them; it was so long ago, it seems.
(and I’m glad you enjoyed my interview. My 10 minutes of fame lol.)

Rick: thanks for the tips! I picked up a bunch of blades last spring but I don’t know what I ended up getting.
Thanks for the tip re: wandering. Yesterday was the first time that I’ve ever “used” the speed to my benefit. It was interesting to feel the difference and the control it gave me.
And thanks for the kind words about my stars, since your work was part of my inspiration!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View gbvinc's profile


629 posts in 4460 days

#15 posted 11-27-2007 06:15 PM

Cool idea. One more thing for me to do prior to Christmas. Not complaining, mind you.

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