How Do I Choose the Best Scroll Saw Patterns?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 11 December 2019
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The best scroll saw patterns will depend on what it is that you want to make with your scroll saw. You should choose plans based on your needs as well as your ability level, as some scroll saw patterns are more difficult than others. The best patterns will also depend on the type of scroll saw blade you are using, as thicker blades will often not be able to handle tight turns. Pin-end blades are usually thicker than flat-end blades, so if you have a pin-end blade, you will probably want to choose a more open design.

Beginners should choose scroll saw patterns that are easy to complete and feature few inside cuts that will require drilling. A simple puzzle, for example, is a good place to start for a beginner. The cuts will be larger and less detailed, which will allow you to get a feel for the cutting process and the power of the tool. As your skills develop, you can choose scroll saw patterns with finer cuts, inside cuts, and other more challenging features. It is often best to start with softer woods, since these are easier to cut and do not require as thick and rigid of a blade.


The intermediate scroll saw user can look at plans that will push his or her skills. Finer cuts, sharper curves, inside cuts, and other techniques will need to be used on more advanced scroll saw patterns, which will require patience and practice. You will also need a varied stock of blades to accommodate the different types of cuts you will be making. Some toys, decorative pieces, and even furniture will be appropriate scroll saw patterns at this skill level, though you should expect to require some practice before perfecting the pattern. Try using the pattern on a scrap piece of wood first to avoid ruining a good piece of wood.

Many people choose to glue the scroll saw patterns to the wood when cutting to allow easier guiding through the process. If you do this, make sure the paper on which the design is drawn is thick enough to be glued without tearing or warping. Once the pattern has been cut, the paper will need to be pulled off, which means it is important to use glue that will not adhere so severely that sanding will be necessary. The pattern itself should be thick enough to be seen when being worked in the scroll saw.


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Post 2

@drtroubles - If you are looking for free scroll saw patterns you should try doing an online search for wood puzzle patterns. You would be surprised at the amount of websites offering downloadable free scroll saw projects for you to copy.

Just last year I got the best Christmas scroll saw patterns for free and I didn't have any trouble printing out what I downloaded. I made some great snowman puzzles for the kids and had fun with a Angel wall hanging I made.

As far as adhesive goes I would suggest using an all-purpose spray adhesive. You can pick it up at most big box stores.

Post 1

Does anyone know where you can get scroll saw patterns free?

I am looking for some absolutely free scroll saw patterns, as the ones I have seen in stores can get quite expensive. If you can recommend a place to get downloadable scroll saw patterns it would be much appreciated.

Also, when choosing an adhesive for the back of your scroll saw patterns, which glue do you find is the best to use?

I have considered just using some double-sided tape, but I don't think that will hold well enough with some of the more complex patterns I would like to try out.

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