Free Scroll Saw Patterns for Beginners [Tools and Techniques]
Are you looking to find free scroll saw patterns for beginners? Surely, a quick search online has provided you with hundreds of patterns to choose from. But then again, you would need more than just those patterns. What you have to learn are the tools and techniques needed to turn those patterns into works of art.
For most people, doing scroll saw patterns is considered a lost art. In fact, it is seldom that we see it in today’s modern construction. But why is that? The reason is actually not because it does not look good but has something to do with mastering how it is done.
In order for you to properly learn how to scroll saw patterns, you have to understand first how the saw works. In line with this, you also have to be familiar with the different saw edges, as well as the various techniques you can do with it. Other than that, sometimes, you also need to have other tools to supplement the creation of a design.
In this article, we are going to discuss how to turn scroll saw patterns into real, beautiful art. We will give you tips and tricks on how to easily finish a project, how to work with your current tool, and a bit more knowledge about scrolling and the tools needed in doing this kind of project.
This Video Shows Some Great Tips and Techniques to Get Custom Scroll Saw Patterns Online
Free Scroll Saw Patterns for Beginners: Learning the Basics
Before you can create either simple or intricate designs, you first need to have an idea of the factors you should consider in purchasing your tools. Here are those:
When it comes to turning free scroll saw patterns for beginners into reality, the saw is where the magic happens. You do not need to stress yourself about its accessories and other features, what you need to look out for is the fact that the machine can take pin-end blades and regular flat blades. What are these?
Pin-end blades do not need a clamp to slice through anything. At the same time, setting the tension is already done as soon as you lock in this blade. On the other hand, regular flat blades call for a manual tensioning system. You will know how to do this as we progress in the article.
There are also saws that can take both pin-end blades and regular flat blades. But if you are just starting out, then it is better to stick with one that can only fit one type of blade. You should also consider:
- Work surface area. Do you need a compact one? Will you be working on large blocks of wood?
- Speed. Do you like it fast? Do you want to have one with an adjustable speed?
- Lights and blowers. Do you need these accessories? Will they benefit your project?
- Brand. Are you brand-conscious?
- Motor. Will you go for electric? Or keep it classic and go manual?
Again, we will just remind you that free scrolling can be different for a lot of people. Your first saw may or may not be a keeper. As you learn to master it, you will realize if it is indeed the right saw for you. This is precisely why we suggest that you get a basic one first.
You do not have to worry about the specifics since, usually, the saw already comes with the blades. There are a lot of things to consider for this, such as size, detail, and type of wood you would be working on. But what you should know first is that there are blades that can cut thin or thick. For you to know how fine they cut, you can base it on its number.
Blades that are small are numbered 1/0, 2/0, and 3/0.
Larger blades, on the other hand, are numbered 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, and so on.
The rule of thumb is to stick with 1s when it comes to adding detail for both softwood and hardwood. On the other hand, for stacked wood, you need a thicker one, so we suggest to go for a 5.
Blades also come in different types, which are determined by how far apart the teeth are and its direction. Here are the different types:
This is what we are talking about previously. Tensioning is the process of preparing your blade, so you are sure that it will properly work before you use it for your project. It usually requires you to cut through some wood, until you hear a “ting” from the blade. At the same time, you will know that you properly tensioned your blade if it makes a single black line while it is spinning.
You can pretty much use anything for a pattern. Even art stencils from your local art supply store can be used. Most people use an adhesive to glue the pattern on the wood. They will then saw through both the paper and the wood. Afterward, they will just remove the pattern.
Another way of doing it is by tracing the pattern using a pencil. Start with an easy pattern that comprises basic shapes—you can either do a circle, a heart, or even a triangle. You can then move on to other complicated patterns when you have already mastered how to work with your saw.
Cutting with the Saw
So, now we go through the cutting part. This is really not an exact science, though. What you need to keep in mind is that you do not take too much control of the wood. In fact, you should just let the blade do its thing. You only have to try and keep it moving so as not to break down the fibers of the wood.
Practice cutting smooth straight lines first and make sure that you are gracefully moving the wood. You can then make curves with a slow but fluid motion. If you make a mistake, you should not pull back the wood. Instead, you have to adjust the angle of the next places that need to be cut.
As much as we want to give you precise techniques on how to go about this, there are really none. You create your own techniques after several tries. One important tip we can give you, however, is to always be mindful of your fingers. You do not want to slice them off, right?
It may be cliché, but practice really does make perfect when it comes to this kind of project. So, just keep on perfecting a simple pattern over and over again until you can move on to a more challenging pattern. By that time, you would have already known if you need another type of blade or other accessories to help you with your next pattern.