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Finding scroll-sawing patterns


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Hugh Foster writes:

Scroll-sawing patterns can be bought full size. Additionally, there are many pattern books available. A source for patterns that is just as good and less expensive is children's coloring books or photos from newspapers and magazines.

A photocopier with reducing and enlarging capabilities will help you make patterns the size you want them.

Some experts believe that readily available, inexpensive copiers make more labor-intensive methods obsolete. However, I don't believe that pantographs or gridding are altogether out of fashion; there have been plenty of occasions when I haven't had a pocket full of quarters!

A pantograph is a device for reducing and enlarging drawings that is readily available and reasonably inexpensive at art stores or woodworking supply houses.

Gridding is free. The patterns in the book are all laid out on quarter-inch grid. To copy them to a different size, lay out horizontal and vertical lines on paper or directly on the stock onto which you want to copy the patterns. If you want the pattern to be four times bigger, make yours a one-inch grid. Approximate the distances within corresponding grid squares and sketch in the pattern, one grid at a time.

At first the design will appear rough, irregular, or uneven, so the next step is very important: go back over the whole design to smooth it out. Unless the design to be copied is very complicated, there is seldom a reason to use a grid smaller than 1/4".

Finally, cut out the pattern, transfer it onto the stock, and get ready to do some serious cutting. Some will find that a seamstress's tracing wheel and carbon paper will transfer the pattern to the wood much more smoothly than will a pencil. Of course, if the enlarged pattern will be used only once, glue it directly to the wood or template stock with rubber cement.

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