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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Shop Made Scroll Saw

I have seen many designs for home made scroll saws that were foot powered by way of pedals or a treadle, like old sewing machines. I have always wanted to build my own scroll saw ever since I got into scrolling and seen one of these designs. Because of my ongoing back problems though, I was always worried about building one. If I built it, I wouldn't be able to resist using it, and possibly hurt myself again. So when I seen this design, it was an instant must do project for me. I just had to build it as soon as I got the chance.
A while back, a good friend of mine who knows I like woodworking magazines for when I'm down, saved a huge lot of them from a dumpster with me in mind. It was in one of those magazines that I found this scroll saw design. I like these magazines because when I'm down, even if I can't do much in the shop, I'll put on a cup of coffee and look through them for future project ideas.
This scroll saw design came from the August 1986 issue of WOOD magazine.

I made this scroll saw out of all pecan wood. I chose it over oak, which is recommended in the magazine article, because of it's strength and beauty. To me, when finished with a clear finish, pecan is one of the most beautiful woods around.

All the corner joints in the saw stand has open mortise joints, which are then pinned with three quarter inch hardwood dowels. This, in addition to other interlocking joints in the design, create an amazingly strong frame for the base of this saw.

It has a twenty five inch throat and an eighteen inch wide table for plenty of work area. The plans give clear instructions on how to make your own blade holding mechanism for pinned end blades. However, I had a Craftsman aftermarket set laying around the shop that will allow me to use pinned or plain blades. So I opted to use that set instead. I also made a few other minor changes to the design, but nothing major. The design, as it's printed in the magazine, is a great design if you didn't change a thing on it.

I think the photos pretty much tell the rest of the story. It is an interesting piece. I'm not exactly throwing out my other scroll saws. This will be more or less a conversation piece and a little eye candy for anyone coming into my shop. I hope you all enjoy seeing it as much as I enjoyed building it.


  1. ...just beautiful !! I'm not making anything like this gorgeous piece, though, I am trying out a few bush-craft scroll saw ideas - so, if you don't mind, What is the hardware that the blade is fastened to - I'm wanting to find something strong, of course, I'd also like to be able to switch blades easily - would love to hear from you thnx!! - again, awesome work !!

  2. Very good piece of work! I am jealous.
    I remember this project. I no longer have a copy of that issue of Wood magazine. What would be the chances of getting a copy of the project, woods, hardware and where to get them at.
    Let me know at

  3. I will check on this copy and see what I can do as soon as possible.
    Worst case scenerio, I am sure I can find a source where you can backorder a copy.

  4. I will check on a copy of that issue of Wood magazine. Let me know at

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  8. Hi William,
    You've done an amazing job with this scroll saw well done!