Evolution of Man Scrollwork - 2nd Attempt

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Project by KnotCurser posted 10-12-2011 02:36 AM 2174 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my 2nd cutting of this well-known drawing by Charles Darwin.

I sold my first cutting and have wanted one for my own wall ever since, so I finally got up the nerve to try this one again. This takes a bunch of patience and steady hands – and no caffeine for the day either! ;-)

I found a piece of Sugar Maple that suffered storm damage in my back yard a few years ago and slabbed off a few pieces to use for cuttings. I was able to choose a piece that showed a TON of character and complimented this fine piece of art.

Darwin has shown us that even though we are NOT descended directly from an ape or chimpanzee, we most certainly share a common ancestor. To me, that is a very cool thing.

Enough said.

Piece measures around 11×7 inches and is 3/16 of an inch thick.

As always, finish is a soak in lemon oil and a backing of thick felt.



NOTE: Please, Please PLEASE do not post any religious rants in the comments section – I had “issues” with my first posting of this work and really do not want a repeat. Thank you.

-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

7 comments so far

View shredkeenan's profile


61 posts in 3423 days

#1 posted 10-12-2011 03:14 AM

Love the choice of wood for this project, it compliments the design well.

View RussInMichigan's profile


600 posts in 2746 days

#2 posted 10-12-2011 03:25 AM

Just gorgeous work, KnotCurser. You do indeed have a great talent with scrollwork.

Maybe I’ll commission your next one. If I read it right you’ve got roughly two inches per million years(I’m thinking your leftmost ancestor is about three million years back and the image width is about 6 inches). Then, if we go back to the advent of metazoans, let’s just say 600 million years back, you would need to provide me with 300 inches(25 feet) of human evolutionary history. Of course, you might not be able to move that about your scroll saw, so you’d need to improvise. So, maybe we should stop at tiktaalik. Nope still too long. Possums? Nope. Lemurs? Still no. Well, I guess you could stop with our common ancestor with orangutans. You could still get that on your saw. I think blood wood with holly as a backer would be nice.

Thanks for sharing your work.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9222 posts in 2885 days

#3 posted 10-12-2011 11:04 AM

Very cool. Your cutting is so nice and clean. You chose a beautiful piece of wood too. Another great project from you! :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View flintbone's profile


201 posts in 3122 days

#4 posted 10-12-2011 12:49 PM

Nice. I like your choice of wood.

-- If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. - Albert Einstein

View woodzy's profile


418 posts in 2644 days

#5 posted 10-12-2011 02:05 PM

I have always liked this image.
You’ve done it real justice.

With work like this do you have to finish it with anything in particular?

-- Anthony

View KnotCurser's profile


2025 posts in 3034 days

#6 posted 10-12-2011 02:27 PM

Thanks for all the compliments!

Woodzy, I finish 99% of my projects the same exact way.

Following Steve Good’s suggestion, I have a rather large, shallow container with a few inches of lemon oil in it. I simply submerge the freshly cut piece in the oil for around a minute and then let it drip-dry over the container to catch any drips. If there is a lot of oil still on the piece after five minutes or so, I’ll take an air hose and lightly blow some of it off and then sit it to dry overnight.

The next day I will glue on the felt to the back.

Hope this clarifies things!


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2935 days

#7 posted 10-13-2011 01:13 AM

That’s an amazingly intricate bit of cutting. I thought that level of detail was only achievable using a laser. I really like what you’ve done with this iconic and historic image.

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