Bird's Eye Maple Fretwork Frame with Butterfly Motif

  • Advertise with us
Project by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 06-08-2010 03:54 PM 4935 views 3 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the companion piece I designed to go with the Bird’s Eye Maple Fretwork Dresser Tray. The subsequent pictures show step-by-step progressions of the cutting process on the scroll saw. Using a small blade, it is very simple to accomplish a design such as this. Cutting on the scroll saw is quite relaxing, I think. I finished the frame with several coats of mineral oil, followed by paste wax. In the instructions, I will include optional rabbeting on the frame so you can use it for your own photograph if you wish. The finished size is 5” x 6.5” and the inner picture size is approximately 3” x 4”.

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

14 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117721 posts in 4082 days

#1 posted 06-08-2010 04:08 PM

This fretwork is great Shelila love it.

View mancave's profile


114 posts in 3569 days

#2 posted 06-08-2010 05:07 PM

nice work, your hand is steadier than mine

View CampD's profile


1790 posts in 3991 days

#3 posted 06-08-2010 05:50 PM

Very nice work.
Hows working with a small blade on hard maple?
It’s been awhile since I have done scroll work, one of these days I’ll have to pick it back up.

-- Doug...

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3425 days

#4 posted 06-08-2010 06:00 PM

Thanks for the nice comments everyone. To CampD:

Easy as pie! The tight-grained wood is nice to work with. It is the more unstable woods such as Oak, where the grain is a different density than the body where you have a bit more trouble. The blade wants to follow the softer spots. But even then, using the right blade helps a lot. I just don’t use oak for the really fine fretwork and expect it not to break!

You don’t necessarily need a bigger blade for thicker wood, either. The larger blades cause more friction and it most likely burns more. This intricate design was done on 1/2” maple with the smallest blade I normally use with no problem whatsoever. There was a nice amount of resistance so it was really easy to control. You just have to be patient and let the blade do the work.

One more thing that helps with cutting any hardwood is to cover the wood with a layer of clear packaging tape. I get it at the dollar store. The adhesive in the tape acts as a lubricant and allows the blade to run cooler and also you get more life out of a blade. It sounds silly, but really works – try it next time. I experimented and did a patch of scrap where part was covered with tape and part without and as soon as I hit the uncovered area, the wood burned. I have been a believer ever since and use it religiously. :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View MrsN's profile


987 posts in 4031 days

#5 posted 06-08-2010 06:44 PM

beautiful! I love your work!

View glynn's profile


306 posts in 3825 days

#6 posted 06-08-2010 06:54 PM

that looks great ,thanks for the tape tip

-- jim nevada

View hairy's profile (online now)


2927 posts in 4037 days

#7 posted 06-08-2010 07:36 PM

And the hits just keep a coming! Another beauty.
Thanks for the the how – to.

-- Genghis Khan and his brother Don, couldn't keep on keeping on...

View Hacksaw007's profile


619 posts in 3694 days

#8 posted 06-08-2010 10:02 PM

Wonderful work. I have watched your projects and have been impressed. I have never really gotten into the scroll saw. I have a small one, Delta, but changing the blades is a hassle so I just never got around to it. It has little blocks on the ends of the blade which fit into the fork that vibrates. Newer saws are much better equiped. I may have to dig it out and clean it off, and give it a try again. I looked at your web site a little, is there any suggestions on how to get started with my small saw? Again, love your stuff and your story…..

-- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 4279 days

#9 posted 06-09-2010 01:23 AM

Excellent work. Beautifully done. Thanks for posting. Thanks for posting.

God bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3425 days

#10 posted 06-09-2010 01:41 AM

Thanks again everyone. Hi, Hacksaw007. It sounds like you have a saw that needs what they call ‘pin end blades’. Those are blades with little bars on the end that are 90 degrees to the blade. They go in the little blocks and are held into place by the pins. The problem with pin end blades are that you can’t thread them through many of the small holes required to cut a design such as this. Most of the newer saws are not made with this type of blade system (fortunately) and have the flat end blades. However, If you use a large enough drill bit, I wouldn’t see a problem with doing the frame portion of this project.

There are lots of people who find saws that are barely used on places like ebay and craig’s list. Sometimes you can get lucky. As with anything, working with outdated or poor preforming equipment and tools can be really frustrating, ruin your experience and put a bitter taste in your mouth regarding scroll sawing. I would suggest you use the rule of getting the best that you can afford and give it a try if you are seriously considering giving it another try. It really is fun and relaxing and very rewarding to do.

I have a DeWalt 788 saw, which is reasonably priced. At one time I had three saws, the RBI Hawk, the Heagner saw and the DeWalt. The other two saws were quite a bit more expensive than the 788 and I was actually given the Heagner saw for demonstrating at a show, but my favorite and the one I recommended to my customers and all that asked was the DeWalt. It was about half the price of the others and had features that I liked much better. I have talked with many, many DeWalt owners and seldom hear negative things about the saw. I know it is a big investment, but I wouldn’t think twice about getting another one (I am due for a replacement soon anyway!)

One more note – Steve Good uses a DeWalt saw in most of his videos. If it is good enough for him, it’s good enough for me. :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 3582 days

#11 posted 06-09-2010 02:44 AM

Very nice work and thanks for the helpful info. I have a cheapo scroll saw and have mixed views of it at the moment. Of course I only have a couple hours all together use of it. I will definitely give the packing trick a try…. Very cool…

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View donjoe's profile


1360 posts in 3536 days

#12 posted 06-09-2010 03:01 AM

Beautiful work. That design looks so elegant.

-- Donnie-- listen to the wood.

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2796 posts in 4097 days

#13 posted 10-08-2010 12:35 AM

Hi Shelila,

WOW! great looking piece! Your very good at cutting. Have you ever tried Marquetry before? I think you would be very good at it. Thank you for your inspiration.

-- Dennis Zongker

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3425 days

#14 posted 10-08-2010 12:52 AM

Thanks so much, Dennis! I love cutting, as you can imagine! I haven’t tried Marquetry but have thought about it. I see your beautiful work and it makes me want to though. Your work is also very inspirational!


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics