My first scroll saw attempt/wife's mother's day gift!

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Project by Hanman posted 05-05-2012 01:49 AM 2626 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well it’s FINALLY finished! I started this project almost 5 months ago thinking I had more than enough time for mother’s day but I ended up cutting it pretty close. It didn’t turn out as good as I hoped but I guess for my first (and possibly last!) attempt at scroll sawing I’m satisfied. I’ve been a woodworker all my life and have worked as a contractor all of my adult life so I’ve always been confident around power tools, but I have never touched a scroll saw in my life until now. I have no idea how many hours I spent on this because my schedule doesn’t allow me to work continuously on a project, but it was a lot. The saw I used was an OLD craftsman 13 inch benchtop style that a friend loaned me for the winter. It worked fine but the blade changing was a nightmare that required me to completely remove the foot on the saw every time and easily took the vast majority of my time. I eventually lost patience and did away with the foot all together to save time and cut most of the pattern out this way. lol Let me just say that I have a whole new level of respect for scroll saw artists. This is insanely tedious and difficult and you guys/girls are very gifted. I appreciate ANY comments and constructive criticism on this project. One thing I had questions about is what type of plywood is best? I used a 1/4” birch. It splintered horribly. Lots of sanding, filler, and even some touch up painting to hide all the spots that splintered. 2nd, what types of blades are best to use? I used a tiny spiral cut blade for all of it. Some areas it worked incredibly, other areas it was nearly impossible to cut on the line. I also discovered it was much easier to push the piece away from me rather than go sideways or pull it towards me. Anyways, I’m glad it’s over and I think my wife likes it. She better. =) (yeah I couldn’t wait until mother’s day, gave it to her tonight!) Thanks for looking!

I tried to include the original picture of the boys too for comparison’s sake but I couldn’t get it to load, sorry. Wish I had better pictures of the finished product.

-- It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit. - Harry S. Truman

2 comments so far

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 2783 days

#1 posted 05-05-2012 02:36 AM

For your first scroll saw project this came out awesome, your too critical of your work, (as we all are). Very nicely done.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3397 days

#2 posted 05-05-2012 02:06 PM

Hi, Cory:
I think you did an amazing job on the picture! I think it looks great! I hope that because you used an old saw it doesn’t poison your idea of scroll sawing though. That would be a shame! I never use the ‘foot’ to hold the wood down – most scrollers that I know do not. It is clumsy and just gets in the way and I think it is more of a hazard than a help.

Spiral blades are really difficult to control. While some people (like KnotCurser and my partner Keith) are experts in using them, I have found them to be very hard to use and I don’t really use them at all. I realize that for portraits such as these, they are necessary and that is why I don’t do that type of cutting.

I agree that you are too hard on yourself. I suppose because you experienced so many problems in making the portrait, it left a bitter taste in your mouth, but the results of your efforts is outstanding and I am sure that the picture will be treasured for years to come.

With the right equipment and techniques, scrolling is NOT stressful and very relaxing. Maybe some day you will have the opportunity and desire to try it again, and it will be a better experience. In the mean time, I think you should be really proud of this beautiful keepsake. It really came out lovely! :)


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

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