4 Scroll Saw Portraits

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Project by Bryan Cramer posted 03-07-2013 06:13 PM 1551 views 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
4 Scroll Saw Portraits
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This is my most recent scroll work I did for a client who requested the pattern. She wanted it to be cut out of hickory. I made the matching frame with hickory and walnut. To cut the image I used a #3 and a #5 spiral blades. I stack cut three other blanks and cut four images at the same time (each was 1/8” thick for a total of 1/2”). The other woods are maple, cherry, and (not pictured) red oak I cut with my band saw to 1/8”. I made all the frames that match the portrait wood. The pattern came from Old Griz Scroll Art and the frame idea was in an American Woodworker magazine. I finished the frames with spray lacquer and the portrait wood was oiled with boiled linseed oil. The black backing was picture frame matting purchased at a local hobby store. It is rigid like cardboard so it eliminated the need for plywood support. I covered the back with butcher paper to prevent dust from getting inside.

Fun Facts: 319 entry points; 22 hours of scroll saw cutting; 4 hours to make frames

9 comments so far

View Hawaiilad's profile (online now)


2304 posts in 1866 days

#1 posted 03-07-2013 08:47 PM

And after all the time spent making those, you have a great looking piece of art. I remember all the cutting I did with a saber saw long before I heard of a scroll saw back in the 70’s. Sure is much easier these days isn’t it.

-- Larry in sunny and warm Hawaii,

View daves1's profile


159 posts in 1611 days

#2 posted 03-07-2013 11:21 PM

Very Nice! Is there a secret to using spiral blades? I seem to have a hard time with them while trying to cut out designs.

View christopheralan's profile


1118 posts in 2565 days

#3 posted 03-07-2013 11:48 PM

Great job! Spiral blades are the way to go.

-- christopheralan

View Bryan Cramer's profile

Bryan Cramer

31 posts in 755 days

#4 posted 03-08-2013 04:01 AM

Hawaiidad; all the long hours paid off when I sell them for $250 a piece!

daves; here is what I recommend: practice; practice; practice; you wll be able to predict the way they cut better they need a lot of tension; but not so much they break slow your saw speed down let the blade do the work, don’t force them flatten the ends so the blade clamp can grip them
I get my Flying Dutchman blades from Mikes Workshop

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 1020 days

#5 posted 03-11-2013 02:30 PM

Wonderful portraits! Great attention to details. Frame is beautiful and the finish is amazing.


View dee2's profile


277 posts in 1181 days

#6 posted 03-16-2013 02:05 PM

Great work on the scrolling. Those spiral blades take some getting used to, but are faster on certain projects. Over the years I’ve learned to make multiples at the same time. Even for other projects, with machines set up, why not do more than one. I found scrolling is almost easier when stack cutting.
You’re work is amazing. Good luck this fall at college, great to hear you are following your passion.
I like the fun facts also.

-- Dee2, OH Aromatherapy....fresh cut wood!!

View SawTooth1953's profile


282 posts in 2151 days

#7 posted 03-17-2013 08:28 AM


Very nice scroll saw workpieces and frames. I am happy that you set your price as you did. While there is no way to know what price is “correct”, I am merely referring to the facts that, 1- way too many people would have set their price for what you did at something pitifully too low, and 2- way too many people are willing to buy workpieces like that only when the price is pitifully low. The customer willing to pay that price is demonstrating respect for your talent and your time.
Whenever I show my woodwork to anyone, it is inevitable that they are curious how long it took to make it. I never know what to say. How did you track the time you spent?


-- Spence in Skokie, IL

View Bryan Cramer's profile

Bryan Cramer

31 posts in 755 days

#8 posted 03-18-2013 12:42 AM

Saw Tooth;
I track my time in a notebook by looking at a clock when I start; write down the time; then when I stop I write down the stop time and date. I figure the time lapsed and add the entries up.

View SawTooth1953's profile


282 posts in 2151 days

#9 posted 03-18-2013 05:21 AM

Makes sense. I never stop to record that stuff.
I assume the 22hr “scrolling” time includes pattern research, wood prep, drilling holes, sawing, sanding, finishing, etc. Now that I think about it, if you didn’t stack cut that, you’d have only got ~$10/hr and that isn’t enough! But you got a respectable fee to cover materials and something for the time spent. The profits will come when you sell the others.

-- Spence in Skokie, IL

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