Some of the coolest things I have ever seen cut on a scroll saw have been cut using a pattern. While sometimes I’ll just sketch right on the surface of the wood there are many instances where a customer wants something more intricate that would be to time-consuming to draw free hand. That’s when I employ a good pattern.
Patterns are readily available online or in a trade magazine that I frequently pick up off the news stand. One of my favorite sources is a company called Wooden Teddy Bear. Their selection is impressive and their prices are competitive. But a lot of patterns are open source and there is software available to make your own out of your own photos. Very cool indeed.
After you have found the pattern you want to use and the wood stock to use it on the work begins of attaching it to the wood. The method I use is as follows:
- Lightly sand the surface of the wood and remove the dust with a soft brush or air hose.
- Apply a good quality painters tape to the wood. Make the strips of tape long enough to wrap around the edges of the wood and onto the back of it.
- If your pattern is printed on a sheet that is much larger than the pattern itself trim off the excess paper.
- Place your pattern face down on some cardboard and apply an adhesive to the back. I use an Elmer’s spray adhesive. Any spray glue will work just make sure to liberally coat the pattern all the way to the edges.
- Carefully pick up the pattern and place it on the taped side of your wood stock.
- Use a rubber roller to press the pattern flat onto the stock.
- Allow the glue to dry completely before drilling and scrolling on your project. I usually wait about 20 minutes or so.
I have seen the pattern glued directly to the wood but I always felt that would make the cleaning and sanding much more difficult after the cutting was done. I prefer taping over just about any other way I have seen patterns applied and probably always will especially on things with small intricate designs.
In the next article I will talk about drilling the blade entry holes and cutting your work out of your pattern.
Thanks for reading. Be good. God bless.