Sheila (Landry) and I have been working to expand our business into new directions and in trying to appeal to a broader audience. One of our recent ideas was to make a simple carving from a scroll saw pattern in the hopes that we might interest some carvers or even people that may have an interest in carving, but not in scroll sawing.
All you need to do this is plywood, varnish, paint (dark brown or black would be best), a brush, Dremel with a few bits (or any similar rotary tool) and orbital sander. (EDIT: and scroll saw, bandsaw or jigsaw to cut the perimeter unless you just want to make the carving on a square surface)
I hope that some of you will give this a try!
First off, a disclaimer: I have next to no carving experience!
The only carving I have done, was for a handful of scroll saw segmentation projects. So this process is quite easy to do, easier than scroll sawing. I think just about anybody can do this with very little practice.
The project was built from one of our “Forest Leaf” scroll saw patterns enlarged to about 20” wide which was just over double it’s original size. It worked out quite well at this size although larger would only be easier. I think any smaller than this would be a little challenging.
This size also worked well since it allowed me to enlarge and divide the pattern into 4 pages, print it on standard paper, and tape the 4 pieces together with little difficulty. The free pattern sample that I am providing here is not our standard pattern format. I am providing only the line work for you so that you can try it for yourself.
In the future, we may be selling large format prints of our patterns through our wholesaler or on our website specifically for this purpose. For now, if any of you are interested in getting another pattern from our site enlarged like this, you can email us and we can arrange it into multiple standard pages that you would tape together like with this sample. We can do this up to a reasonable size at no extra charge for the time being. We just want to get our idea out there for people to try.
You will need plywood with a very thick outer layer since you have to do a lot of surface sanding. Begin by sanding the surface with fairly coarse sandpaper until it is smooth and void free. I used shop grade plywood so it needed a lot of sanding. Any voids will get filled with paint later so it’s important that it is smooth.
Trace the pattern onto the wood and use a scrollsaw, bandsaw or jigsaw to cut out the perimeter.
Carve out the negative areas. I used 3 bits in the Dremel. A pointed diamond bit was used for the kerf lines and narrowest slits. A small round steel carving burr for larger slits as well as the outer perimeter of all the large areas since this bit was by far the easiest to control. Then a “flame” shaped carbide burr was used to clear out the large areas. I tried to carve at least 1/8” deep. A flex shaft for the Dremel or a real power carving rotary tool such as a Foredom will make this a lot easier on your hands!
Be careful that you don’t get confused with your lines and carve in the wrong area.
These are the bits that I used:
After carving out all the areas, do a quick pass over the raised surface with an orbital sander to remove any
fuzzies that are left sticking up. The larger the sander, the easier the sanding steps will be since you need to be able to keep the sander sitting flat on the raised surface.
After sanding, seal the entire front surface with several coats of varnish allowing it to dry between coats and after the last coat. (I used a spray polyurethane). This step is so that your paint is not absorbed into the wood.
Now you can paint in all the carved out areas with a dark color. Absolutely no painting skills required!
Once the paint is thoroughly dry, you simply sand it off of the raised surface, being careful to keep the sander sitting flat. If you didn’t carve deep enough, the sander may remove a bit of paint from inside the recessed areas. This happened to me in some of the larger areas, but it only took a few seconds to touch up with paint afterwards. At this point you may find a couple small dents that have paint in them. Mine were very tiny and I don’t feel they detracted from the project but if it bothers you, I think you should be able to scrape the paint out of those tiny areas fairly easily
Once you have sanded away all of the paint, you can just seal the whole thing with varnish and it’s ready-to-go.
Download the free sample pattern for printing here: http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com/store/437434/uploaded/grizzly%20forest%20leaf%20linework%20only.pdf
Note1: You will need a PDF viewer to open the file (such as Adobe Acrobat Reader at: http://get.adobe.com/reader/)
Note2: Be sure that in your print options you choose “No Page Scaling” so that all the pattern pages are printed at the exact same size
-- Scroll saw patterns @ http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com