Scroller Submission: Elevated Basket

Posted by Jeremy Walls | | Posted On Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at 1:38 AM

Bruce G., a fellow woodworker and Scroll Bench fan, sent in this image of his take on one of our elevated basket patterns. He enlarged the pattern to a diameter of 15 3/4" and made the outer rim a circle. His basket was created out of cherry and finished with satin lacquer. Thanks for sending in the project Bruce! As always, we appreciate all submissions of viewers' work! 

The basket pattern Bruce used can be found here:

Bucket List Project: Roman Cathedral Scroll Saw Clock

Posted by Jeremy Walls | Labels: , , , , , , , | Posted On Thursday, January 04, 2018 at 11:10 PM

The three fretwork clocks I've completed: Cottage clock in 2008 (left),
Queens clock in 2010 (right), and the Roman Cathedral clock (center)
Nearly nine years ago, at age 15, I finished my first fretwork clock, the Cottage Clock by Wildwood Designs. Two years later, I had completed Wildwood Design’s Queen’s Clock, and was looking for a project to truly solidify myself as a “great” scroll sawer –in my mind, that required making a very large fretwork clock. There are several known large fretwork clocks out there, such as the Dome Clock, York Minster Cathedral, and Chimes of Normandy, but the Roman Cathedral clock struck me as both intricate and visually appealing.

As small projects continued to keep me busy, I delayed plans for building a large fretwork clock. The idea kept nagging at me though, and two years later – in the winter of 2012 – the plans were purchased and sitting in my lap. I had this grand plan to finish the clock before my 21st birthday. Two years would be plenty of time to finish it right? And completing it before my 21st would definitely fulfill my desire to prove my skills as a scroll sawer right?

As I began the feat of cutting the pieces out, I realized I may have been in over my head. The plan used false plates to construct sections (basically they are hidden pieces used to increase the strength and bear the weight of the clock), and I had no idea what a false plate was at the time, nor did I understand how they were used or why they were important. I continued cutting out the pieces anyway, planning to deal with the construction aspects when the time came. A dozen pieces and a couple hundred cuts later, graduation, work, and college took over my time, and before I knew it, my 21st birthday had come and gone. Fast-forward a few years to this past Fall, five years after starting the clock, I was graduated with my Masters degree, and finally had a bit of time on my hands. After a solid two weeks of hard work, I found myself rounding off the last few turns and completing the final cut. Five years after receiving the pattern and making the initial cuts, at age 24, I had completed the project. My goal of completing a large fretwork clock had come to fruition.

Now, it was well past my goal of completing it by my 21st birthday, and I now realize how absurd it was to use the clock as some sort of “proof” of my scroll sawing capabilities. In fact, making the clock for such a reason as proving my skills is probably the same reason I didn’t stick it out and complete it five years ago. Scroll sawing as a hobby is meant to be fun, not forced. And fun is exactly what the entire process was when I resumed work on the clock five years later. Working on the clock for fun and for myself, rather than for proving something to others, is what allowed me to see the project through to the finish. So despite blowing past my timeline goal, I had a project I was proud of, and that alone was enough.

Happy new year everyone, and good luck with completing the projects on your wish list!

Just a note: there were several errors in the pattern. If you are working on this clock, or plan to, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’ll do my best to help you with any issues and provide advice.

Chevron-Style Cutting Boards

Posted by Jeremy Walls | Labels: , , , , , , , | Posted On Monday, June 12, 2017 at 8:17 PM

1. Strips glued up like a normal cutting board (I apologize for not having pictures before I cut the angles).

2. Table saw setup for cutting the angled strips.

3. When cutting the angled pieces, two large triangles will be removed.

4. The final strips to be used
after the second round of
strip cuts.

After completing my first “chevron”-styled cutting board, I had many people asking me how I was able to make it. Did I have to glue hundreds of little pieces together? Though the process seemed simple to me—cutting and gluing strips in two steps—it was hard to comprehend for others. With the general misunderstanding among so many that don’t have backgrounds in woodworking, I figured there may also be some aspiring woodworkers, and even professionals, that wouldn’t intuitively know how to go about making chevron-style cutting boards. With this post, I’ve tried to put together somewhat of a how-to for making these cutting boards. The first step for making one of these boards is understanding and planning for the final size of the cutting board you desire. Quite a bit of material will be lost in all of the sawing, especially cutting at angles. For reference, I glued up strips into a plank that was 12” wide and 24” long. My final cutting board, with maple trim around the edges, was about 12” x 16”. For the board depicted in this tutorial, I used six types of wood: jatoba, maple, wenge, walnut, padauk, and purpleheart. I also used a symmetrical design. After lining up and gluing the strips together into a plank, as if I were making a simple striped cutting board, I planed down the resulting plank and ensured everything was still square. I then set my table saw miter gauge to 30˚. I chose that angle for the sole reason that it was the highest angle I could use and still fit my board between the saw blade and miter gauge without the miter gauge guide falling out of the table saw miter slot (I really wish I had an extension guide for my miter gauge). Because there was still some play in the miter gauge with so little of the guide in the miter slot, I actually used my miter gauge backwards so that more of the guide could be in the miter slot, resulting in no play and accurate cuts. I also clamped a stop block to my fence so that I could accurately determine the thickness of strips I was cutting, but not bind the strips between the fence and blade after being cut. Please never use both the miter gauge and rip fence without stop blocks; binding boards can create very dangerous situations. Once I had the table saw set up, I began cutting the angled strips. The first cut was to cut off the triangle end-piece. You have to have the full length of the angled cut to use for the final board, so two large triangles will go to waste (saved for other projects). At this point, you could cut all of your strips the same size and have a very nice board. However, I decided to increase in strip width from the outer pieces leading inward. To do so, I cut 4 strips at 1/8” each. Two strips will be paired on the left and right sides of the board. I then cut 4 strips at 1/4” each, again pairing them at each end. I continued to increase in 1/8” increments until I cut a pair of strips at 1” each for the center of the board. After having all of the angled strips cut, I took every other strip and flip it end over end long-ways, giving the chevron effect. I then re-glued the strips together and clamped overnight. The next day, I used my table saw to straighten the jagged sides of the board and to make sure everything was square again. I then planed it down, sanded it, and added 1” maple trim around the edges with a 1/4” chamfer (a sharp edge to match the sharp angles of the chevron pattern). Finally, I applied a mixture of pure beeswax and cutting board oil to seal the pores and provide a nice, food-safe finish. Overall, I think these boards stand out from typical glue-up cutting boards for only a few extra steps of work. If you have any other questions about how to make these, please don’t hesitate to ask. Also, as always, please share pictures of your finished products. We will share them on our site, with your consent, of course.

5. Every other strip is offset and then
flipped end over end (from bottom of
this pic to the top).
6. Strips are then glued.
7. Strips are clamped overnight.

8. The result of flipping 
every other strip and gluing. 

9. Straighten and square up
the sides of the board.
10. Finally, the board is planed
and sanded. I added maple trim 
around mine (not pictured).

Exotic Woods vs. Dyes

Posted by Jeremy Walls | Labels: , , , , , , , , , | Posted On Thursday, December 29, 2016 at 4:33 AM

While graduate school has caused my time in the workshop to be minimal, I recently found time to make a plant stand that coupled vibrant contrasting wood slats and a modern black pipe base. Some of you may have seen the photo preview of the project uploaded on our Facebook page (find us and like our page if you haven't already - link on the right panel of this page!). Here are some pictures of the finished table. I used twelve wood species in total with a variety of colors, surrounded by a maple frame. I've now been using exotic woods to make colorful tabletops and cutting boards for over five years. My ideology has always been that using exotic woods rather than dyes creates a purer, more honest piece of woodworking. Telling customers about where the different woods originate from and how the pieces are real wood with no artificial coloring adds to the story and quality of the piece. To me it's similar to using solid hardwood versus veneers for a project (maybe that's an extreme comparison, but you get the point). There is a downside to "staying pure" though. Exotic woods are not only more expensive than using dyes, but they also won't hold their color over time as dyes will (so I'm told...). I have definitely been wary of continuing my use of exotic woods rather than dyes, as I've read more and more about how wood ages and colors change, regardless of the impacts of sunlight. However, I have yet to see significant color changes in projects I've made within the past five years (I know, I can take up to, or more than ten years...), so I suppose until the loss of color results in the true decline in aesthetics of one of my pieces, I will continue to use exotic woods for my projects. Anyway, the pictures of the finished table are below. Let me know what you think of the table, and if you have any opinions on using exotic woods versus dyes!

Oh...and we have a new pattern coming soon!

"Live, Laugh, Love" Patterns

Posted by Jeremy Walls | Labels: , , , , | Posted On Wednesday, July 08, 2015 at 11:00 PM

Live-Laugh-Love. We've all heard the saying, and by now its become so cliché that most of you probably want nothing to do with it. However, we've decided to make a post with old patterns we'd designed, yet had never posted, and in that collection happened to be patterns for "Live", "Laugh", and "Love".
The patterns are meant to be cut and hung in a row together, but could also work individually. The "Love" pattern has a heart in it, which kind of sets it apart from the other two, so it may suit you to not cut the heart out for the sake of uniformity.

Larger Map Here