Christmas Ornaments, compound cut on scroll saw

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Project by jfk4032 posted 01-08-2014 04:40 PM 9606 views 8 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Christmas Ornaments, compound cut on scroll saw
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This pattern was on the cover of Holiday 2013 Scrollsaw Woodworking & Crafts. I never tried a compound cut before, but was always amazed at seeing those reindeer cut out so fast at the woodworking shows. Also, some of the great chess sets posted here as well gave me inspiration to try these. So, this was my jump into compound cutting.

I made 3 of them, but only took pictures of these two. One is black walnut and the other hard maple. The third, not pictured was a laminated combination of those two woods. All three came out really nice. I gave them all away as holiday gifts and all 3 recipients loved them and couldn’t figure out how I made them.

I drilled the large hole with a forstner bit and the hanging hole with a brad point bit on each plane prior to cutting. The blank was 1.25” thick, so it took a while to cut these out through very hard wood. I tried a rocking in and out motion on the cutting which I think kept the blades cooler than just ramming it straight into such a thick hardwood. The finished piece is about 1” in diameter and 5” high.

One new wrinkle in cutting these was the transitions between cutting areas that had the full wood thickness versus areas that had less than the full thickness to cut. You had to pay special attention to this or when you transition from a full thickness cut to a less than full thickness cut, the feed rate increases and your work can get away from you if you’re not paying attention to it.

Sanding was tricky, but I hand sanded these up to 320 and and finished several coats of sprayed Deft satin.

-- ---Joel; Central MD...rookie empter nester and getting back into woodworking!

6 comments so far

View luv2learn's profile


2848 posts in 2448 days

#1 posted 01-08-2014 05:26 PM

Joel, you did a great job on these ornaments. I tried these last year for the first time and experienced some of the same issues that you did.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29876 posts in 2483 days

#2 posted 01-08-2014 08:38 PM

These are really awesome

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Woodenwizard's profile


1340 posts in 3188 days

#3 posted 01-09-2014 12:22 AM

Nicely Done!

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View nitewalker41's profile


462 posts in 2837 days

#4 posted 01-09-2014 04:38 AM

Nice workmanship:-)

-- "older I get, the more fun I have"

View Notw's profile


667 posts in 1898 days

#5 posted 01-09-2014 01:39 PM

Those look really nice, what blade did you use for cutting those?

View jfk4032's profile


365 posts in 2672 days

#6 posted 01-09-2014 01:46 PM

I used a FDUR #5 blades for most of the cutting, switching them out every 20 minutes or so. It took about 2.5 hours to cut each one out (remember you’re actually cutting the same pattern out twice) and another 2.5 hours to prep the blank, tape, drill, sand and finish them, so about 5 hours total for each.

-- ---Joel; Central MD...rookie empter nester and getting back into woodworking!

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