Scroll Sawing or Fretwork has been a woodworking craze in the United States since the early 1800's. It came to other countries like Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, and England centuries before.
The essential difference between yesteryear and present-day is how we scroll saw. In the early years, they used a fret saw frame that was made of wood with some metal reinforcement. The blade was put in the saw and you worked it in an up and down motion. More...
The first power tools came to light in the late 1800's with foot-powered scroll saws. These included a stool and pedals attached to the work surface of the scroll saw. To operate the saw, you sat and pedaled the saw, making the blade go up and down. It was an exercise and hobby all in one.
Today, many scroll saws are available. They allow superior blade tensioning, variable speed control, and different throat depths starting at about 16 inches and going to about 30 inches. Most scroll saws have tilting tables that tilt up to 45 degrees for angled cuts, dust ports, and dust blowers.
Most scroll saws still feature a parallel arm that makes the intricate scrolling cuts. The pinless blades (regular scroll saw blades) change easily with a moveable upper arm. Cheaper saws feature pinned blades, but they both can make some pretty intricate cuts.
Speaking of scroll saw blades, there are a lot of combinations. Pin End or pinless blades are your first choice and are ruled by what your scroll saw can handle. If you have pinned scroll saw blades, you can get a scroll saw conversion kit to make it fit the pinless blades.
To do a scroll saw project, you'll need scroll saw blades, a scroll saw or fretwork frame (yes, we still have them), a pattern, a copy of the scroll saw pattern. Then, you'll either need to trace the pattern on the wood or go ahead and adhere the pattern to the wood. You'll need wood, a drill, and a drill bit to pierce the interior holes to cut them out.
Think about putting a nice finish on your scroll saw project. Sanding is king; sand your piece with at least 120 grit sandpaper. If you are applying a stain, you will need to sand up to 220 grit.
When you are ready to apply the finish, a spray finish works best. You can sand the flat surfaces between coats to keep the finished piece lovely to the touch.
There are thousands of fretwork projects to choose from. Start with simple ornaments, silhouettes, and shelves, then move up to harder silhouettes, boxes, baskets, and small clocks. When you're ready, attack those challenging pieces that you've dreamed of doing to amaze yourself and your friends. They will know that you are a master scroll sawyer.
Don't forget there are plenty of resources along the way to help you with your scroll sawing adventure. Take a look at the many woodworking books and scroll saw books that are available. You might even like to take a shot at Intarsia!
No matter what scroll saw part you need, Cherry Tree Toys has got you covered. Add our scroll sawing equipment to your cart today to create the project you’ve always dreamed of.