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Happy Scrolling!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Real Fez

While you have your passport out, lets jump over to Algeria. Real Fez has a new blog where he shares his most recent works. If that wasn't enough, he was also kind enough to share some of his patterns! And who doesn't love free patterns? Recently, he's been experimenting with cork, which has been really interesting to read. It would be fun to try working with this often overlooked material. I think there are a lot of possibilities there. Anyway, check out his blog. He has a unique approach to his projects that might serve for some great inspiration.

Monday, September 29, 2008

La Bottegaccia

Time to grab your passport, because this time we're flying to Italy. Cristina Gallons is an Italian scroll saw artist with a relatively new blog called La Bottegaccia. Here she displays many of her portrait cuttings of the stars of the past, my favorite being this portrait of Charlie Chaplin. You'll find such stars at Abbot & Costello, Marylin Monroe and John Lennon. Her most recent cutting was a backlit lamp, that really turned out stunning. She has a lot of great stuff to look at, so be sure to stop by and check it out. Perhaps it will spark an idea or two for your next project!

If you don't speak Italian, don't worry. You can easily use Google Translate or Babel Fish to translate her website. Or you can just click here for a translation. The translation tools aren't perfect, but it should give you a pretty good indication of what's being said.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Scroll Sawing Egg Roller Toys

I wanted to end the week with a book review that got me started on this folk toy kick. I recently got Scroll Sawing Egg Roller Toys by Doug Turner. Don't look for it on your bookstore shelves, because you can only find it online. This is a self published 44 page ebook with detailed instructions, 12 egg roller patterns and 2 bonus craft show quick-sellers.

An egg roller is a wheeled folk toy popular in rural areas. A wooden egg balances between a set of wheels and spins as you push the roller. This mechanical movement is a lot of fun will provide little ones with hours of entertainment.

Traditionally, the egg roller was a pull toy. But the long string is now recognized as a strangulation hazard. So in the interest of safety, Doug left the pull string off the designs. He was also conscious about making sure that the wheels and egg would not be a choking hazard. To avoid toxic chemicals, he chose not to paint or finish his toys. However, he does offer suggestions for safe finishing.

The ebook comes on CD and mailed to your home. All you do is email Doug with your name and address, and he'll send a PayPal request via email. The CD was in my mailbox within 3 days. So I was very happy with the prompt service.

When I looked through the patterns, I immediately wanted to make the turtle roller. I read through the instructions and printed the pattern. I found the wheels and egg at a local craft store. I ended up using some scrap poplar and began cutting it out. The cutting, sanding and assembly took less than an hour. I wanted to add some color to my roller, so that took a bit more time. But in the end, I had a fun little toy for my son pictured to the right.

When I showed it to him, I was the greatest person in the world, at the same time the most unimportant person in the world. He was completely focused on his cool new toy. He grabbed it, sat down and immediately started to push the roller on the floor. It was quite a thrill to see my son enjoy a toy I built with my own two hands. At first, he wasn't terribly interested in the egg until I showed him how it worked. Then all he wanted to do is watch the egg spin! I think I have a winner! I'll be making a bunch of these for my nieces and nephews for Christmas!

Overall Impression:
I was pretty happy with Doug's book. The egg rollers were simple and easy to build. The charming design will certainly delight young and old alike. I can easily see how this would be a great seller at craft fairs. The patterns were a simple and effective. I found the turtle roller was a bit front heavy. But it certainly didn't affect the enjoyment or playability of the toy. The other designs look a bit more balanced. Doug provided great service, but I wish he had a shopping cart with instant download on his website. I'm an immediate gratification kinda guy. But the CD was at my home much quicker than I expected, which was a pleasant surprise. The book may not be as polished as something you'd find at a bookstore, but I didn't expect it to be. The information and the patterns contained within is where the real value was.

OK, here's the rundown:

The Pros

  • Full size patterns.
  • Descriptive assembly instructions and photos.
  • Instructions for production runs.
  • Jigs designs to make production easier.
  • Lists sources for pre-made parts.
  • 2 bonus craft show sellers.
  • Very good at answering questions promptly.
  • Prompt shipment and service.

The Cons
  • No shopping cart.
  • No instant download.
  • Turtle pattern was a bit front-heavy.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Jacob's Ladder

The Jacob's Ladder is a folk toy that dates back to the ancient Egyptians. This simple toy was especially popular during the American Colonial times and still played with children to this day. Donald DeVeny of Woodcraft Arts has a nice tutorial on how to make this timeless toy. While a scroll saw isn't necessary to make the Jacob's Ladder, the flat panels do offer an opportunity to embellish the design with fretwork. The panels can be made with any size lumber, and the ribbon can be any width. So get creative and make a few of these Jacob's Ladders for the little ones in your life.

PS - They make great stocking stuffers!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hobby Horse

My son loves cars. If it ain't got wheels, he just isn't interested. Mom and dad drive cars, and so does he. Much was the same for children of former times, but instead of driving cars, they imitated their parents by riding hobby horses. has provided a nice set of vintage plans with instructions to make your own hobby horse. Unfortunately, the horse's head graphic is not full scale. So, I recommend saving the JPG file and enlarging it with a graphics program until the grid measures 1 inch. You could also use a photocopier to enlarge the pattern. Then all you have to do is glue the pattern to the wood and cut out!

When finished, paint it with some non-toxic acrylic paints or leave it the natural wood color. Maybe break out your wood burning kit to add the details. Perhaps add some reigns, or some string for the mane. Intarsia artists, I think there's certainly a great project waiting to be born. There's so many possibilities with such a simple concept. Get creative. Have fun!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Climbing Bear

This little climbing bear folk toy has been around for generations. Originally, it was used to teach children the art of milking cows. But in today's day and age, it's just plain fun! Pull each of the strings in an alternating pattern and the little bear climbs to the top. Release the strings and he comes back down.

Shopsmith has a pattern and detailed instructions for this cute little toy.They recommend a tilting-table drill press, but a hand drill could be carefully used instead. The angle of the holes should be close to 45 degrees as possible, but it shouldn't matter if you're off a little. Just eyeball it and you'll be fine.

Give this cute little toy a try. They're easy to make, and will certainly delight young and old alike!

Safety Note: The strings dangle and can become a strangulation hazard for young children. So I'd recommend supervised play with very little ones.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Folk Toys: Patterns & Projects For The Scroll Saw

In this day and age of mass-produced plastic toys, it's so nice to see a hand-made wooden toy. Toys that have character in their simplicity, but never short in fun or imagination. There's definitely a sense of great satisfaction when a child puts down his Transformer to play with a toy you built with your own two hands. So I thought I'd step back into history and talk a little about Folk Toys this week.

To start things off, this week's Book of the Week is Folk Toys: Patterns & Projects for the Scroll Sawby Ken Folk. This book includes 19 patterns for the scroll saw with detailed measured drawings. The patterns range in difficulty from beginner to advanced. A great place to start if you're looking into creating some 'old fashioned fun'. Check it out!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Bobby's Scroll Saw Works

Bobby from Bobby's Scroll Saw Works has a number of great patterns, including the wonderful picture of the Columbia shuttle crew. The patterns are provided in JPG format for easy scaling. To save these patterns, just right click the image and choose "Save Image As" and save it to your desktop. This pattern is located under "Portraits (NEW)". Bobby has a lot of great patterns to choose from, so take a little time and explore his site. He has a deer shelf pattern that I have my eye on. Check it out!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Kat Cat Intarsia

Here's a fun site for you intarsia artists out there. Kathy from Kat Cat Intarsia offers a number of great things on her website which really makes it interesting. First, and formost, she has several original patterns for sale that might interest you. But my favorite area is her Catalog. Here she is able so show off her work and skill. There's nothing more inspirational than looking at another artist's work. Perhaps it will even spark an idea or two for yourself! While you're there, check out her quick history of intarsia and be sure to check out her workshop! She has provided a couple of great photos and a description about her work area. Fun website!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

How To Listen To SSG Podcast

First, I want to thank all of you for the kind words and encouragement. There are a lot of you just as excited about this podcast as I am, which is quite a relief. I was afraid no one would listen! Hopefully we'll be able to discuss a lot of great scrolling topics in the months ahead.

I received a few emails from people wanting more information on how to use the podcast. I've put together a little tutorial to show you different ways of listening to the Scroll Saw Goodies podcast. Steve Good has also put together a great video showing you how to subscribe to the podcast with iTunes. You can see his video here. If these videos don't quite answer your questions, feel free to email me with specific questions. I'll do my best to answer them for you.

I'm already in the planning stages for episode 2, which should be out in a couple of weeks. Until then, we'll get back on track tomorrow with our daily dose of Scroll Saw Goodies from the web.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ep01 - Getting Started in Scroll Sawing

Listen to Episode 01 - Getting Started In Scroll Sawing

Did you get through Episode 0 without falling asleep? If you're ready for more, here's the first official episode of the Scroll Saw Goodies podcast. In this episode, I talk about the bare essential tools needed to get started in this great hobby of ours. I've included the show notes, where I provide links, updates, and additional information mentioned in the podcast. If you have any questions or comments, or just to correct any misinformation, please leave a comment or shoot me an email at scrollsawgoodies[at]




  • Craftsman 16" (Note: This is not the same model I have. It looks like they've updated the design. The one I have is pictured here. Before purchasing, make sure this new model has thumb screws for changing blades, or you'll be hating life.)
  • Delta
  • Dremel
  • Black & Decker
  • Hitachi CW-40
  • Ryobi 16"
Saw Blades
Pattern Sources
Other Supplies
  • Drill Bits (1/16th or smaller)
  • Sand Paper (80 grit, 120 grit, 240 grit)
  • Blue Tape (3m or Scotch)
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Clear Acrylic spray (semi-gloss or gloss)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Scroll Saw Goodies Podcast!

I'm rather pleased and excited to announce the Scroll Saw Goodies Podcast! What is a podcast? A podcast is like a radio show for the internet. We'll be discussing all things related to this wonderful hobby of ours. You can listen to the podcast by clicking the POD icon above or by clicking here. If you have iTunes, you can subscribe by copying and pasting the RSS feed url at the bottom of the page, or by clicking here. It'll take a little time before Scroll Saw Goodies podcast is listed in the iTunes directory, but as soon as it does, I'll make a convenient subscription button that will do the work for you.

This podcast is episode 0. It's mostly an introduction to podcasts, what to do with them. I'll also introduce you to the Scroll Saw Goodies podcast and let you know what you can expect from future episodes. It's a short one, running about 10 minutes. I'll post the first official episode tomorrow! So keep an eye out for that!

Listen to Episode 0 - An Introduction to Podcast and Scroll Saw Goodies Podcast

Friday, September 12, 2008

Scrollin' America

The new presidential election is right around the corner in the US. Campaign slogans, bumper stickers and heated debates are everywhere. It gets a little crazy, but exciting at the same time. We may have different political views, but one thing that unites us is the love for our country. Here's a great patriotic pattern designed by Steve Hovious. You can find this and other patterns on his blog listed under "Free Patterns" on the left sidebar. Check it out!. While you're there, take a look at his blog postings. He has a lot of great pictures of his finished scroll saw projects. Perhaps it will spark an idea or two for your next project!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Too Good To Be True

A while back, I wrote an article about Great American Scroll Saw Patterns and their amazing deal. Although I've seen the price fluctuate a little, at the time of this writing you can get more than 1,800 high quality patterns for $27.

During their sales pitch, they continually emphasize this as a great business opportunity, as you are purchasing lifetime resale and reprint rights. This is a bit misleading, however. After you purchase the collection, you'll find a document called Read Me First which lists the End User License Agreement. While it's true you can sell these patterns, the method of sale is very limited. I've posted an excerpt from the EULA below:

. . . Licensor hereby grants to you and you accept a non-exclusive license to use the Patterns only as authorized in this license agreement. The Patterns may only be printed off of your home computer to either create woodworking projects from ( these downloadable patterns or these pattrns on a cd ) and/or to print the patterns off on your home computer to sell the print version to other individuals for their personal use. Any print copies sold to third parties must clearly show Licenser's copyright notice and contain a statement that the pattern is for personal use only. Licensor does not give you permission to sell these Patterns in any other form or manner including, but not limited to, off the Internet. You may not modify, transmit, create derivative works from, display, or in any way exploit any of the contents, in whole or in part for resale purposes other than as authorized above.

Basically it boils down to this. You can print the pattern out on your own printer and sell the printed pattern to an individual (The Patterns may only be printed off of your home computer . . . to sell the print version to other individuals for their personal use.). You are not allowed to sell the patterns online (Licensor does not give you permission to sell these Patterns . . . off the Internet), nor advertise the sale of these patterns (display. . .for resale purposes).

So I guess you can sell a pattern to your buddy at your scroll saw club meeting for a buck or two, but forget the dreams of opening up your own online pattern store. I know of one person who has already gotten into trouble for this (you can read his story here) and I know of several others who were about to take on this business opportunity. So I thought I'd throw out a little forewarning in hopes to save you from hungry lawyers and sleepless nights.

With that said, if you are only looking to add a great collection to your own library, this still looks like an amazing deal. The patterns are very high quality with a great variety of projects. They even have several samples on their website to whet your appetite. Great collection; great price. But it certainly isn't the business opportunity you think it might be.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Classic Lath Art Progression Pictures

I recently wrote about Rod Skramstad from Classic Lathart. He has updated his website to include a series of progress pictures that turned out quite nice. Although not necessarily a tutorial, it does give us some insight on how he goes about putting together one of his lath art paintings.

Rod has a series of 14 photographs showing different stages of a painting. Unfortunately, he doesn't include any descriptive text explaining what we're looking at. But if you read this tutorial from LathArt How To and Patterns, it should give you a good idea of what's going on. Definitely worth checking out if lath art is in your future.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Crescent Wooden Gear Clock

Here's a treat for you clock makers out there. Jeff from has a new design called the Crescent. This asymmetrical design will certainly make a statement and impress friends and family alike. You can purchase these plans and build it from scratch, using your own choice of woods and finish. Or you can buy a pre-cut kit that comes with everything you need to complete this unique clock. Check it out. And while you are there, be sure to check out his other clock patterns. He has some really great stuff!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Holiday Ornaments for the Scroll Saw

One of the problems with making holiday ornaments is everybody wants one! And why not? Handcrafted ornaments are much more interesting and offer an infinite amount of sentimental value. They're not hard to make, nor time consuming. But when everybody wants one, you'll soon be back-ordered until the following Christmas! So that's why I'm making Holiday Ornaments for the Scroll Saw this week's Book Of The Week. You'll be needing the extra time just to keep up with the demand. This book has over 300 ornaments, covering a wide variety of themes, so you should be able to find something for everybody on your list. Get a jump start on the Holiday season with this fantastic collection of Holiday Ornaments.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Ebonizing Wood

Allison of Wood Alley is an intarsia artist who is always in the need of ebony. Unfortunately the price tag attached to ebony is a bit steep. . .OK, a lot steep. When she came across an article on how to ebonize wood with vinegar and steel wool, she thought she'd try her hand at it. She wrote a wonderful article about her results. She has also included several pictures and a link to the original article. I'm sure someday you're going to need some ebony for a project. And when your lumber supplier tells you how much it is, you'll be glad you read this article!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Country Cow

Here's a fun little country craft pattern provided by Meliz Crafts n More that you can easily knock out in no-time. I tried this pattern and it only took me an hour and a half to complete (that includes the painting and watching TV). The pattern is a hand drawn scan provided in JPG format. You can clean up the pattern in a graphics program, or just print it and fly by the seat of your pants! I just printed it and went with it. The cutting is about as basic as you can get and the painting scheme is even easier. But the end results are fantastic. This would make a great project for your own home, or a gift for that cow enthusiast. Be sure check out her other patterns too. She has a lot of great and whimsical patterns for all occasions. Check it out!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Mini Jigsaw

Woodworkers of all walks of life all share one addiction to tools. We're always on the lookout for that new cool tool, whether we can use it or not!

I came across this miniature jigsaw the other day and I couldn't resist writing about it. This jigsaw easily fits in the palm of your hand and intended for delicate/intricate work. Bundle it with the power feedback transformer, this little tool will increase it's power when the load gets a little heavy. It looks promising, opening up possibilities for larger work. Or perhaps it can be used to cut down larger stock. Check it out. I'm sure your imagination will run wild too. While you're there, be sure to sign up for their catalog. Micro-Mark specializes in small tools, perfect for woodcrafters and model builders.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Windmill Project Video

Frank from has put together a great video, demonstrating how he put together a windmill plaque. This 3 part video shows you each step of the way as he cuts and assembles his windmill plaque. The steps are covered in detail along with plenty of commentary. A very cool project. After you're done watching these great videos, be sure to check out his website. He has some really great stuff in his gallery. He also has another video in the video section, showing you around the scroll saw.