Wednesday Working – Back at the Scroll Saw

It’s been about 18 months since I’ve done any serious scroll saw or marquetry work. I’ve been itching to get back to it so even though I’m not 100% done with setting up my workshops, I went ahead and started working on a project. I have to say, it just feels good to be making something, just to make it. The workshop is setup enough for me to do a small project and there are still some choices I have to make about storage and work surfaces so doing some work out there gives me an idea of what I’ll really need.

Since we’re moving into the Christmas season, it makes sense to do some tree ornaments. Years ago I did an intarsia bird project that Heather really loved so her request was that I do some kind of bird ornaments. I looked through my stash of patterns and didn’t really find what I wanted so I went on-line and found some nice simple birds to make this year:

Bought this pattern set for bird ornaments.

At least one of you should recognize the name. Sheila is among the top scroll saw pattern designers around and this set really fit the kind of project I wanted to do. There are eight birds in this set and there is a second set with another 8 for 16 birds all together. Haven’t decided if I’m going to do all 16 or just a selection – depends how much scroll sawing I want to do before building more fixtures for the shop.

The process starts with cutting out the paper pattern and gluing down to a pice of wood. I’m not doing anything fancy on the wood here, just using some of the excess flooring underlayment I’ve got. Heather wants to paint these so the kind of wood didn’t really matter. Here’s one of the birds in process (it’s cut from a 4 inch by 4 inch square):

Starting with the cardinal.

Each ornament has a back ring for the bird to sit on and I’ve finish a few of those:

The back ring. Needs a touch of sanding.

That green mat is really this:

My third hand for cutting veneer. Yes, that’s a rotatory cutting mat I bought from the quilt shop. Works for knife cutting.

Normally I use it for cutting marquetry stuff but it comes in handy for lots of things. My scroll saw is currently setup under a window in the shed:

The scroll saw in its new home. I like it in front of the window, nice natural light and a view of our backyard

In my last shop, I didn’t have a window to look out of and this is so nice to have a window with natural light and a view of our backyard.

Don’t want you to think I’ve stopped working on shop setup – here’s what I just had delivered for my big tool shop:

Kitchen cabinets for the workshop so I don’t have to build them.

Yes, cheap kitchen cabinets for shop storage. I’ll be putting a counter top on the base units and the two tall cabinets are sold as pantry cupboards. In between those cabinets I’ll be putting up some pegboard for hand tools and things. I had thought about building cabinets for this shop, but that would take time I’d rather spend at the scroll saw or sewing machine so big box store to the rescue. Not the greatest quality cabinets, but they’ll be fine for tools, blades and bits.

Well, that’s it for this week, if you need me – I’ll be at the scroll saw.

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I worked in the high tech world doing software release engineering and am now retired. Then I got prostate cancer. Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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21 Responses to Wednesday Working – Back at the Scroll Saw

  1. Dave says:

    Given your very first project in the new shed is a Christmas ornament, I expect the shed to be decorated inside and out like Santa’s workshop by mid-December. Pictures, please.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. wolfsrosebud says:

    What a creative way of using your time. The birds are beautiful. I hope you had as much fun as I did with this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Loreeebee says:

    love the cardinals! If you ever decide to make and sell them, would love some!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, how exciting to see the first project in the new workshop! The birds will be lovely, but I had to chuckle at your comment about their simplicity. Simple for you, maybe – I haven’t touched my scroll saw in so long, just one of those ornaments would be a major challenge for me. Sixteen? Um… nope. Maybe after I retire. If I ever retire… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lakshmi Bhat says:

    When i was reading your post i was remembering one of my favourite books, Trustee from the Toolroom by Nevil Shute 🙂 Thank you for sharing your work.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oooo, can’t wait to see the finished product on those bird Christmas ornaments. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am so happy you are back to working in the shop! It has been quite a journey for you! I am so flattered and pleased that you like my bird designs, too. They are a bit of a challenge, but I think fun. I still have my samples here and put them on my “all-season tree” in the spring and summer months.
    I can’t wait to see some of your marquetry work when you are back to that. I have never done that type of woodworking before. It takes a lot of precision. I look forward to your pictures and learning more about the process.

    I wish you a wonderful rest of the week. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It feels good to be doing projects again. Some of the cuts on the bird are tricky but in need the practice to get going again. Marquetry is detailed work,but I love the results.


  8. jfwknifton says:

    It would certainly be sensible to start work on a project, because this will teach you where you need to store everything so that it’s within easy reach. If you put everything in place straight away, something is bound to be wrong with the setup.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It will be great to see the finished product 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pied Type says:

    I love the bird ornaments. I always put cardinals in my Christmas tree, usually with chickadees.

    Liked by 2 people

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