Those confection-like scrollwork designs on old houses are attractive, but if the price is making you think twice, take heart. Your gingerbread house fantasy may be more affordable than you guess, if you have access to a scroll saw and a few other simple tools. Simply buy one pretty bracket to use as a pattern and make the others yourself at considerable savings in your workshop. You may also consider designing your own using vintage catalogues or architectural photos for inspiration.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Porch bracket in your design choice
- Board or plywood, clear-grained and blemish-free (of a width and depth to match the purchased bracket)
- Safety goggles
- Ear plugs
- Paper mask
- Hand or circular saw
- Scroll saw
- Sandpaper (assorted grades, coarse to very fine)
- Tack cloth
- Wood putty
- Putty knife
- Paint or stain
Go over the purchased bracket lightly with sandpaper to smooth the edges and remove any flaws that might mar your pattern.
Trace the pattern directly onto the chosen board or plywood as many times as necessary to create the number of brackets you need for your porch.
Don safety goggles, ear plugs and a paper mask.
Separate the board into sections with a saw -- one bracket outline per piece -- to make using the scroll saw easier.
Cut out each bracket as carefully as possible using a scroll saw to make the fine turnings.
Use sandpaper in progressively finer grades to shape and smooth the cutout brackets.
Wipe each all over with a tack cloth to remove dust.
Fill any holes or blemishes in the wood with wood putty and a putty knife.
Mount the brackets in the angles between tops of porch posts and edge of roof supports, using the original bracket as a guide for installation.
Paint the brackets and allow them to dry.
Tips and warnings
- Some more complex brackets have angled boards attached to the scroll work pieces. Duplicate those with purchased trim boards, cut to length and glued to the outside corners of the brackets. You can then easily mount the brackets using screws through pre-drilled holes at each end of the trim boards.
- Always wear eye and ear protection when operating power tools, and use a paper mask to avoid inhaling fine sawdust.
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