Scroll Sawing At The AWA Meeting

Our meeting of the Atlantic Woodworkers Association tonight was certainly an educational and entertaining one! We were treated to the scroll sawing wizardry of Bill Luther.

Bill is manager of our local Busy Bee Tools as well as president of the Nova Woodturners Guild (yes, the one and the same!). In between these responsibilities he has found time to scroll saw, a hobby he says he finds relaxing and rewarding.

Bill began scroll sawing after his brother-in-law lent him an old scroll saw. After cleaning it up and getting it working he found that he really enjoyed scrolling. Over the years he has honed his skills and now creates a wide variety of professional quality pieces from puzzles, ornaments, plaques and more in both one dimension and the harder three dimensional types. He uses pine, variety hardwoods and Baltic birch plywood for his projects. Here are a few photos of his work:

Scroll Sawing At The AWA Meeting
Scroll Sawing At The AWA Meeting
Scroll Sawing At The AWA Meeting

Some of his unique pieces included very small reindeer (with antlers!) and some pieces that looked like different things when viewed from different angles. For example, a pelican on a post that changes to a sail boat and a seahorse that changes to a dolphin!

Bill now uses the Dewalt DW788 which he prefers because of it’s 20″ throat capacity, variable speed, large table, convenient controls and easy blade change. He gave a great explanation of how a scroll saw works and many tips on its use:

  • Tilt your saw for better use.
  • Sit down on an appropriate height chair while scrolling.
  • Face the saw’s air blower to the back to blow sawdust away from the work.
  • Blades are cheaper when bought by the gross.
  • The Olson Saw Company makes quality blades. The #3 Mach series are a favourite.
  • Use a quality brand clear packing tape to hold on pattern. The tape also helps to lubricate the blade.
  • Use a bit of lighter fluid to remove any glue residue.
  • Plaques cut on a slight bevel will give a more professional look

The demonstration ended with the membership keen on learning more with many questions being asked and answered.

Scroll Sawing At The AWA Meeting

Bill clearly showed his enjoyment of the craft and how we could too. It was certainly nice to receive tips from someone with this much experience and to be able to see up close how many of these pieces are made. I just might have to dust off the scroll saw I have in the shop where it has sat since my few failed attempts at creating a simple design. 🙂

Tonight’s meeting, with 19 members in attendance, began with a short Q & A session and an auction for a tapered drill bit, a couple of heavy-duty industrial locks and a ‘LegUp’ tool for easily placing a sheet of plywood on your tablesaw. The auction started off slow but quickly ramped up to a fun-filled bidding frenzy. 🙂

Next month our meeting will be held at Lee Valley for our annual Christmas meeting that features lots of good eats and our annual Toy Drive.

This was another great meeting and special thanks to Bill Luther for sharing his world of scroll sawing with us!

Back to the shop…

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