Scrollsaw

How to make a 3D Star Christmas Ornament

1. Organized scrap wood.
1. Organized scrap wood.

The Mission: Make use of scrap wood and create some Christmas gifts.

The Total Cost so far: $0 materials

The Total Time: 3 hrs

 

The Process: Obtain a scrollsaw plan to make a star shaped 3 dimensional.Christmas ornament. This pattern is currently available for free here

Let’s start at the workbench and set up the scrollsaw and get our hands on some 1/8 inch thick scrap plywood from the bin.

Sort the scrap wood for your scrollsawn Christmas ornaments.
2. Sort the scrap wood.

To stick the pattern to the plywood I am going to use some 2 inch wide regular packaging tape. I’ll then spray some adhesive to the back of the paper pattern and stick it to the packaging tape. That way, when all done, the pattern will peel off really easy since the packaging tape is just tacky enough to stick, but not too tacky to be difficult to remove.

3. Assembly the supplies for your scrollsaw Christmas ornaments.
3. Assembly the supplies.

I am also going to stack cut. By that I mean I am going to cut out several layers of the plywood pattern at the same time. So what is needed is a way for each layer of plywood to stick together temporarily. I have a supply of some 1/2 inch wide 2 sided tape. Years ago, and I mean like 15 years ago, I bought 2 rolls of this 3M 2 sided tape. I bought it in a clearance bin at a office supply store for a couple bucks. Very sticky stuff and amazingly still very tacky. There’s not much on a roll, what you see there is about 3/4 of a roll. What I am going to do is apply a piece of packaging tape to one side of each piece of plywood. And then place a piece of the 2 sided tape in place, right up the middle.

4. Apply the tape.
4. Apply the tape.
Scrollsaw prep work.
4a. Scrollsaw prep work.

With the paper pattern glued in place and three layers taped, I drill holes to feed the scroll saw blade through.

5. Drill the pilot holes.
5. Drill the pilot holes.

The blade I have in the scrollsaw is an old one. About near the end of its life. And typically a person would scrollsaw right on the scrollsaw table. But there is still some sharpness to the blade. All you have to do is move your cutting up the blade. Shown below I position a couple pieces of scrap boards 3/4 inch thick. While cutting I clamp the boards in place with spring clamps. But there’s also times to where I simply free hand it. It all depends on how much attention I need to put into cutting a specific area. At least when the boards are clamped, there is no need to thinking about them too (moving around). as you spin your work piece.

6. Stacking cutting the ornaments.
6. Stacking cutting the ornaments.

All done this half of the pattern, here I show how easy the pattern peels off as its glued to the packing tape underneath. As since the packaging tape is low tack, it comes off easily too. Notice in the background that I used the 3/4 inch thick board and cut right into it with the blade. That is what is referred to as zero clearance cutting. While using a normal, sharp scroll saw blade, it will deflect somewhat, especially side to side. And usually what a person would do is tight the blade but as I said, this is an old blade and I’m at the limit of the saw for tightening (blade has stretched). So I use the board to cut at that position and keep the blade from wandering side to side.

7. The scroll saw pattern peels off easily.
7. The scroll saw pattern peels off easily.

As I said earlier, that 2 sided tape is very tacky. and can be difficult to separate the pieces, as I soon learned..In this close up photo you can see the top layer is the 2 sided tape, then there is the packaging tape and then the plywood. Notice how thin that veneer is on the plywood!

8. Close up of the tape layers.
8. Close up of the tape layers.

Difficult it was.. as you will see below. I can’t take blame for this as I think there was a fault in the plywood. No worry though, a dab of glue and this piece will go back to being used.

9. Fractured plywood Christmas ornament.
9. Fractured plywood Christmas ornament.

So here we are a few hours later. A simple design that allows the ornament to store flat in a box if you choose. I am not sure how I am going to finish these. A clear spray would work well. Or maybe all white stain. Or maybe half red/half white.

10. Christmas ornaments on the scroll saw.
10. Christmas ornaments on the scroll saw.

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A Newfoundland born Canadian with a life long interest in woodworking, baking and anything else that peaks my curiosity.

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