A Beginner Scroll Saw Exercise


A Beginner Scroll Saw Exercise

Introduction from Scrolling 101: Everything the Beginner Needs to Know

Before you start tackling complex gear clocks and 500-fret portraits on your own, it’s important to know the basics—how to prepare your saw, choose the appropriate blade, apply the pattern to the blank, and sand your work properly once it’s cut. The Scrolling 101 Booklet contains all the information a beginning scroller needs to get started. We’ve even included instructions for adapting line drawings into scrolling patterns and tips on giving an inexpensive saw a glow-up. Inside you will find a skill-building exercise to practice waves, swirls, straight lines, and corners before you reach the project stage.

Last but certainly not least, check out the skill-building exercise below from John A. Nelson’s Scroll Saw Workbook as an added project to the Scrolling 101 Booklet; it’s a great way to practice how to cut out a simple object, following lines to produce a smooth, continuous, flowing cut.

Materials Needed

  • (1) 3/4″ x 4 1/2″–5 1/2″ long piece of wood
  • #5 skip-tooth blade
  • Cat pattern (download below)
Woodcarving Illustrated Magazine

Scrolling 101

A complete introduction to scroll sawing, Scrolling 101 is the perfect starting point for anyone interested in learning how to create beautiful scroll saw projects! A quick and easy-to-read guide, this booklet provides a clear and concise overview on scroll saw basics, choosing the right blade, adapting patterns, making the most of an inexpensive saw, sanding tips, and more. Also included are helpful charts and illustrations, high-quality photography, and even a skill-building exercise to practice cutting waves, swirls, straight lines, and corners. Featuring 

Scroll Saw Project Instructions

Step 1: Make a copy of the pattern above and attach it to a knot-free piece of pine or similar wood.

Step 2: Review the four “Getting Started” steps on page 24.

Step 3: Stand or sit directly in front of the saw. Relax and take a deep breath.

Step 4: Using only your fingertips and a light touch, cut in as indicated. Make a smooth, continuous, flowing cut all the way around without stopping.

Note: If you wander off the cutting line outside of the pattern, stop and back up to where you wandered off. Continue cutting out your pattern (see figure 1). If you wander off the cutting line inside of the pattern, keep cutting slowly and smoothly back to the pattern line (see figure 2). Remember, after you remove the pattern from the wood, no one will know you were off the line.
Step 5: When you have the project all cut out, check the edges. You should have a continuous, smooth surface all around. If not, make another copy of the pattern and repeat Steps 1 through 4 with a new piece of wood until it is perfect.



Yearn to Burn: A Pyrography Master Class

Learn to Master Your Scroll Saw in 25 Skill-Building Chapters

Practice a specific technique in each of 25 skill-building chapters, and then use that skill to make an attractive project.

Woodburning Realistic Animals

Scroll Saw Manual delivered quarterly

Packed with dozens of full-size, professionally drawn patterns, each issue offers step-by-step, photo-illustrated instructions for all types of scrolling. 

Little Book of Pyrography

More Than 50 Adorable Puzzle Projects to Make in Wood

From baby pandas and piglets to bear cubs and lion cubs, this book by best-selling and award-winning scroll saw artists and authors, Judy and Dave Peterson, has over 50 scroll saw projects and patterns that focus on young animals found in the zoos, woods, jungles, and oceans of the world. 

Landscape Pyrography Techniques & Projects

60 Projects and Techniques for Fretwork, Intarsia & Other Scroll Saw Crafts

Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts magazine is proud to present this collection of 60 of the best projects for both scroll saw beginners and those with experience. 

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