Scroll Saw Projects for Beginners | Table Sawz
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Scroll Saw Projects for Beginners

Scroll Saw Projects for Beginners

Investing in a scroll saw can be one of the best decisions you’ll make if you are interested in woodworking. The possibilities are endless as far as scroll saw projects for beginners are concerned.

From small puzzles that can amaze your kids to bird houses to home decors, there are lots of projects that you can complete with a scroll saw.

Plus there are lots of wood that you can use for scroll sawing such as plywood, red cedar, Spanish cedar, black walnut, American Holly, ebony, tulip wood, bird’s eye maple, mahogany, rosewood, cherry olive, and oak.

Learning on Your Own

Most people think that they need to enroll in a scroll saw class to be able to operate their tool. While that’s always welcome, the truth is that you don’t need to enroll in one. There are lots of people who were able to learn the craft on their own. Of course, you need lots of practice and patience if you want to learn scroll sawing on your own.

There are three types scroll saw work that you can learn on your own. These are:

  • Fretwork--- cutting small pieces of wood to produce a pattern
  • Marquetry--- wood inlays in which various shapes and varieties of wood are cut out and glued together to form a picture
  • Intarsia—wooden mosaic pattern wherein various pieces are glue together in a wooden support

Finding Scroll Saw Projects Online

The internet is the best venue to look for scroll saw projects for beginners. There are lots of websites that offer free scroll saw patterns. These patterns can be legally used by anyone for their scroll saw projects.

The patterns vary in design, from simple picture frames to plaques to clocks and handy items. These patterns also vary in cuts, from tight radius, sweeping curves, to long straight lines. Others have jagged edges and sharp corners.

If you’re a beginner, you should look for and use practice patterns first. Doing so will help you get acquainted with your scroll saw. It can also build your skills and confidence.

As mentioned earlier, you should be persistent in practicing your scroll sawing skills. This is the only way for you to improve your skills.

Patience is also important. Don’t get too frustrated if you are not able to follow the marked lines well. Correctly follow a pattern as best as you can. Once you have built up confidence, you can move on to a bigger project.

It’s up to you to choose a scroll saw pattern. You may simply choose a pattern depending on the design. Others choose a pattern that they feel is complicated enough to challenge them and consequently improve their skills.

You don’t even have to follow the pattern that you downloaded online. You can also add or remove elements. Like in any craft pattern, you can use your imagination to make a scroll saw pattern look like your own.

Regardless of the scroll saw pattern you find online, you can download the file onto your computer. Then print the file on a piece of paper.

scroll saw projects for beginners

Tips in Using Scroll Saw Patterns

Once you have it printed, apply the pattern to the wood piece. Spray adhesive or put glue to attach the pattern into the piece of wood that you will be cutting.

Rubber cement could also be an option as it can come off easily. It also doesn’t leave any marks on the surface of the wood. Others use a double sided masking tape to affix the pattern into the wood piece.

It is not recommended, though, that you hand-trace the pattern into the wood with a pencil or tracing paper. The reason is that the slightest movement of the pattern could be enough to weaken an area, or make it hard to cut. Even the act of tracing the pattern on the wood itself could move the line, which make it hard for you to get an accurate cut.

After attaching the pattern to the wood, you can then drill pilot holes at the start of each line as well as starting point for the shapes.

Sitting Down or Standing Up When Scrolling

Once you have started to cut the pattern, you may wonder if you are supposed to sit or remain standing throughout the entire scroll sawing process.

The rule of thumb is to stand directly in front of the scroll saw during the initial stages. Don’t avoid standing off at the sides as it would make it hard for you to feed the work piece into the blade.

If the project drags on for hours, you could get a high stool so you can work longer. This would enable you to sit down and continue working on your project.

Using the Right Blade

One of the most important tips when making scroll saw projects for beginners is to use the right blade for the design. The best blade can make or break the quality of design to be made.

Remember that when working with thin woods, you should use a number 3 double tooth blade. It can produce fewer chips on woods aside from lasting longer than other blade types.

And when you install the blade, make sure that the teeth are facing down. If the blade is installed with the teeth facing upward, it won’t be able cut the wood.

scroll saw projects for beginners

Finding Correct Blade Tension

Once you have inserted the blade, fasten the tension knob. It should be turned three quarters beyond the resistance point.

You don’t want the blade to be very tightly fastened as it would likely break and damage your scroll saw. A loose blade on the other hand won’t be able to cut a straight line.


The bottom line is that there are lots of scroll saw projects for beginners that you can find online. You can follow the patterns you find online to improve your skills, or get a better feel of your tool. You can then progress with scroll sawing after completing several projects or patterns.

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