I am wondering what kind of wood to use for a scrollwork piece that has a
lot of "swirls" and "loops" and it will be about 1/4 inch thick. I worry
about the ends of the swirls breaking off if I use pine. I don't want to
use plywood, would oak or walnut be a good choice? Or is there a better
choice for density. Hope this makes sense to everyone.
Most common hardwoods would probably work well, the oaks, cherry,
poplar, walnut, maple, etc...
Mahogany would probably be one of the best, as it's a fantastic wood
to work with.
** http://www.bburke.com/woodworking.html **
For solid wood your best bet is to find something with interlocking
grain. With intricate scroll work you could end up with little spikes
hanging out in a cross grain situation. At 1/4 thick you might have
some real vulnerable pieces that could easily break off.
I think Hicory has interlocking grain if I'm not mistaken, maybe black
locust too. Also I think curly maple is considered interlocking.
If it's good enough for die board that can have some interesting
scrollwork, should be good enough for art work.
Stay away from the Russian crap, stick with the Finnish stuff.
While I can agree that standard plywood is not a workable option,
there are a number of varieties of baltic plywood that do work well
for intricate pieces. They have more layers and are always gap free.
The real secret is to always use a sharp blade.
Another option is cedar.
For more advanced questions about scrolling, I suggest the forums at
http://www.saw-online.com /. They will also have information about any
organized groups and picnics in your area.
you don't say how this will be finished.
if you're using dark woods and finishing with transparent finishes,
rosewood holds up well in that kind of situation. if it's gonna get
paint, get over yourself and use baltic birch ply.
oak is probably not so good.
I know you know this already, but just to double check:
Thin solid hardwood has a tendency to warp, twist, and cup over time if it
was not kiln dried correctly. If you do use solid hardwood, and you resaw
and thickness plane it your self to thin wood, be sure to allow a couple of
weeks in your shop before you start to scroll saw the wood. Extreme
frustration sets in if after spending many hours cutting a scroll saw piece
and you go to apply the finish, and then discover the project is starting to
Many scroll sawyers, like my self, only deal with solid wood for 'special'
projects due to the cup and warp problems. One project of mine only started
to cupped after exposure to a few months of indoor Michigan Winter. But on
the other hand we do use specific plywood for scroll sawing which has no
interior voids, the veneer plys were dried before glue up, and in general a
superior product for our intended use.
Oh, and yes, the grain of the solid wood does make a difference on breakage.
Just make your best guess so the grain is not running perpendicular to the
length of the thinnest piece. With thin solid wood it is just your best
guess, as too many trade-offs in position of the pattern on the wood to
avoid all grain problems. You will generally always have a few narrow areas
that could easily break off.
Eli Terry's factory made hundreds of clocks with cherry gears, so that
should cut clean with a scroll saw. Make a zero clearance throatplate
the wood right up to the blade. Either an insert, or a large piece of
that you can clamp or screw to the machine's table, with a slot for
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.