what to make with a scroll saw

Are you looking for a new hobby that will let your creative juices flow? Have you ever thought about making things with a scroll saw? It’s an easy and fun way to create beautiful wooden objects. From simple beginner projects like cutting out shapes or letters to more complex designs such as intricate patterns and 3D sculptures, the possibilities are endless when it comes to what can be made with a scroll saw. In this blog post, we’ll discuss everything from getting started with your scroll saw and project ideas for beginners all the way up to advanced-level projects – so grab yourself some wood and get ready for some serious scrolling.

Table of Contents:

What Is a Scroll Saw?

A scroll saw is a type of power tool used for intricate cutting projects. It’s ideal for making curved cuts, such as circles and swirls, in wood, plastic or metal. The blade on a scroll saw moves up and down at high speed to make precise cuts without chipping the material being cut.

Scroll saws come in two main types:

Parallel arm and C-arm designs: Parallel arm models have an upper arm that holds the motor while the lower arm supports the table where you place your workpiece. C-arm models feature one single long arm with both ends attached to either side of the motor housing. Both types are capable of making accurate cuts, but some people prefer one design over another depending on their needs and preferences.

The blades used in scroll sawing are very thin, usually between 0.2mm and 1mm thick, which allows them to make tight turns when cutting curves or circles into materials like wood or metal sheeting without breaking apart from vibration caused by thicker blades moving too quickly through dense materials like hardwoods or plastics. Blades also come in different sizes, so you can choose one that best suits your project requirements; larger blades will be better suited for wider curves, while smaller ones can handle tighter turns more accurately than bigger ones would be able to do.

When it comes to choosing a scroll saw, there are several factors you should consider before buying one: size (both table size and throat depth), speed settings (how fast it can move its blade) as well as features such as dust collection systems, adjustable tension settings for controlling how much pressure is applied during each cut, variable speeds for different materials/projects etc. You should also look out for safety features such as anti-kickback mechanisms which help prevent kickbacks when using certain materials like metals that may cause vibrations during use if not handled properly with care taken not only when setting up but throughout each project too.

Getting Started with Your Scroll Saw

a 3D object made of teak

Setting up your scroll saw is an exciting first step in the world of woodworking. Before you get started, it’s important to understand the basics and take some safety precautions.

First, make sure that your workspace is clean and well-lit. Place a piece of scrap wood underneath the blade, so it doesn’t cut into any other surface. Wear protective eyewear to guard against flying debris or splinters.

Next, install the blade correctly on your scroll saw according to manufacturer instructions. Ensure both ends are securely fastened and properly tensioned before turning on the machine. Check for loose screws or parts, as these can cause damage or injury if not secured properly.

Once everything is set up, familiarise yourself with how to operate your scroll saw safely by reading through all of its features and controls carefully before using it for real projects. Pay attention to details such as speed settings, blade type, and dust collection system (if applicable) – all these will affect how successful you are at cutting intricate shapes from wood accurately and safely.

Project Ideas for Beginners

Scroll saws are a great tool for creating intricate woodworking projects. If you’re just getting started with your scroll saw, there are plenty of simple projects that beginners can make. Here are some ideas to get you started:


Keychains make great gifts, and they’re easy to create with a scroll saw. All you need is some thin plywood or hardboard, plus a few small pieces of hardware like split rings and jump rings. You can use templates or draw your own designs on the wood before cutting them out with the scroll saw.


Coasters are another fun project for beginners using their scroll saws. Start by tracing circles onto thin plywood or hardboard and then cut them out using the scroll saw blade set at an appropriate speed and depth setting for the material being used. Once all four coasters have been cut out, sand them down until smooth before adding any decorations such as paint, stain, decoupage paper, etc.


Ornaments make wonderful holiday decorations that look impressive but don’t require much skill to create with a scroll saw. Simply trace your desired shape onto thin plywood or hardboard (such as stars or snowflakes) before cutting it out carefully with the blade set at an appropriate speed and depth setting for the material being used. Afterwards, sand down any rough edges before decorating it however you’d like.

Picture frames also make great beginner projects when working with a scroll saw. Trace two identical rectangles onto thin plywood or hardboard before cutting them both out carefully using the blade set at an appropriate speed and depth setting for the material being used. Then glue together two sides of each rectangle so that they form one frame; this will give your picture frame more stability than if it were made from just one piece of wood. Finally, add any decorative touches such as paint or stain if desired.

Key Takeaway: A scroll saw is a great tool for making small woodworking projects such as keychains, coasters, ornaments and picture frames. You only need thin plywood or hardboard plus some hardware to get started.

Intermediate Projects

They allow you to make intricate cuts with precision and accuracy, making them perfect for creating beautiful pieces of art or functional items. Whether you’re looking to make picture frames, wooden boxes, puzzles or something else entirely, scroll saws can help you create stunning results.

Picture Frames

Picture frames are an excellent project for those who have some experience using a scroll saw. You can cut out the frame from one piece of wood and add decorative elements such as grooves or bevelled edges to give it more character. If you’re feeling adventurous, try cutting out shapes in the corners of your frame – hearts, stars, or other designs look great when done properly.

Wooden Boxes

Wooden boxes are another popular project that requires some skill with a scroll saw. Start by cutting out two identical sides from one piece of wood – this will form the base and lid of your box. Then use smaller pieces to create dividers inside the box, if desired, before adding hinges and handles so that it opens and closes easily.


Puzzles are also fun projects that require precise cuts on a scroll saw in order to fit together correctly without gaps between pieces when assembled into their final shape. Try starting with simple shapes like circles or squares before moving onto more complex ones such as animal or people silhouettes – these look especially impressive when finished.

No matter what type of project you choose to do with your scroll saw, always remember safety first – wear eye protection at all times while operating any power tools. With patience and practice comes success; happy scrolling.

Key Takeaway: With patience and practice, you can make intricate picture frames, wooden boxes and puzzles with precision and accuracy. Remember to wear eye protection at all times when operating power tools.

Advanced Projects

Advanced projects with the scroll saw can be a great way to challenge yourself and take your woodworking skills to the next level. Whether you’re an experienced craftsman or just getting started, there are plenty of intricate designs that require advanced techniques and skill.

3D Objects


Creating three-dimensional objects with a scroll saw is possible but requires extra steps compared to two-dimensional cutting. To start, you will need to create templates for each side of the object using thin plywood or cardboard so that they can be cut out separately. Once all sides have been cut out, they must then be glued together in order to form the desired shape. Depending on what type of material you are working with, additional sanding may also be necessary in order for everything to fit together properly.

Intricate Designs

Intricate designs such as fretwork patterns and marquetry pictures require patience and precision when cutting them out on a scroll saw. When creating these types of designs, it is important not only to use high-quality blades but also to make sure that they are sharpened regularly in order for them to remain effective at making tight turns without breaking off during cuts. Additionally, having a steady hand while guiding the blade along curves is essential if you want clean lines and smooth edges on your finished product.

Practice Makes Perfect

No matter how complex your project may seem at first glance, practice makes perfect when it comes to mastering advanced projects with a scroll saw. Start by trying simpler versions of whatever design you plan on tackling before attempting something more complicated; this will help build up confidence as well as give insight into which areas might need further attention from an accuracy standpoint before taking things up another notch.

Key Takeaway: Advanced projects with a scroll saw require precision, patience, and practice. To achieve success: create templates for 3D objects; use high-quality blades; sharpen regularly; have a steady hand while guiding the blade along curves.

FAQs in Relation to What to Make With a Scroll Saw

What can you make using a scroll saw?

It is often used for creating decorative items such as wooden boxes, picture frames, puzzles, ornaments and more. With the right blade type and technique, you can make anything from detailed fretwork to 3D objects like toys or sculptures. The most common use of a scroll saw is cutting out curved lines or circles in thin sheets of material such as plywood. You can also use it to cut out straight lines with precision and accuracy if needed. All in all, the possibilities are endless when it comes to what you can make using a scroll saw.

Can you make money with a scroll saw?

Yes, you can make money with a scroll saw. Scroll saws are versatile tools that allow users to create intricate and detailed designs from wood, metal, plastic and other materials. With the right skill set and some creativity, it is possible to turn your hobby into a profitable business by selling custom-made items such as furniture pieces or home decor items. Additionally, there are many online platforms where you can list your products for sale and reach potential customers around the world. With the right marketing and pricing strategy, you can make a good profit from your scroll saw projects.

Is a scroll saw worth it?

Yes, a scroll saw is worth it for those who need to make intricate cuts in wood or other materials. It’s an invaluable tool for any DIYer or hobbyist looking to create detailed projects with precision and accuracy. The ability to make curved and angled cuts makes this saw ideal for creating complex shapes that would be difficult or impossible with other tools. Scroll saws are also relatively inexpensive compared to other power tools, making them accessible even on a tight budget.

What is the easiest wood to cut with a scroll saw?

The easiest wood to cut with a scroll saw is softwood, such as pine or spruce. These woods are softer than hardwoods and have a more even grain pattern which makes them easier to work with. The thinner the wood, the easier it will be to cut. When cutting thicker pieces of wood, use a slower speed setting on your saw for better control and accuracy. Be sure to use sharp blades when working with any wood, as dull blades can cause splintering and tear-out along the edges of your cuts. With practice, you’ll become more proficient at using your scroll saw and be able to make intricate cuts in no time.


No matter what level of experience you have with a scroll saw, there are plenty of projects that can be made with it. From simple beginner projects to more advanced ones, the possibilities are endless. With a little bit of practice and patience, you’ll soon be able to make amazing things with your scroll saw. So get out there and start creating something beautiful today.

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