Scroll Saw Basics

Scroll-sawing can be a fun and rewarding hobby. Here are some steps to get started: Familiarize yourself with the scroll saw and its parts. A scroll saw is a small, electric saw used to cut intricate shapes in wood, metal, and other materials. It has a thin blade that moves up and down to make precise cuts.

Short video of a scrollsaw in action.

Setting up your workspace.

Here is my workspace. It has plenty of room for the saw, lighting, and easy-to-reach blade storage. In the picture on the right, you can see my foot pedal that turns the saw on and off. This comes in handy when the blade breaks.I can keep control of my work piece to keep it from bouncing around.

workspace to keep everything in reach.
Everything is within reach.
Overview of a good workspace.
Overall view of my scrollsaw setup.

Choose the right blade for your project.

Scroll saw blades come in different thicknesses, tooth configurations, and materials. Thinner blades are suitable for making tight turns and cutting thin materials, while thicker blades are better for cutting thicker materials and straight lines.

Select the right material for your project.

Wood is the most common material used. Some woods might include MDF, plywood, pine, walnut, birch, and almost anything you can get your hands on. Types of wood require different cutting techniques.

However, you can also use metal, plastic, and other materials. Consider the thickness and type of material you will be using, as well as the level of detail in your project.

Practice making basic cuts. Start by making straight cuts, then try making curves and turns.

As you become more comfortable with the scroll saw, try more complex patterns and shapes. Patterns can be found all over the internet. Always be respectful of copyrighted patterns. Find a reliable source that includes copyright-free patterns like Design Bundles which is my favorite go-to source.

Use proper technique and safety precautions.

Hold the material firmly with both hands and keep your fingers a safe distance from the blade.

Wear eye protection, a dust mask, and earplugs, and follow all safety instructions for the scroll saw. Don’t let distractions in your surroundings interfere with your focus. In other words, when the saw is on keep an eye on where your fingers and cut lines are.

With some practice and patience, you’ll be scroll-sawing like a pro in no time!