How to Cut Scalloped Edging

Written by jonah morrissey
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How to Cut Scalloped Edging
Cut and shape the scalloped edging using a band saw. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Scalloped edging is an attractive and effective way to edge your garden beds. It comes in a variety of materials, including cement, vinyl and wood. You can also cut your own scalloped garden edging out of cedar shakes. Shakes work well to cut edging from because they are a suitable length and are bevelled so that they can be easily driven into the soil surrounding garden beds. The shake is cut on a band saw to achieve the scalloped shape.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Cardboard, larger than size of cedar shake
  • Bundle of cedar shakes
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Compass
  • Utility knife
  • Band saw

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  1. 1

    Place cardboard flat on a work surface. Remove one shake from the bundle and place it flat in the centre of the cardboard. Trace around the perimeter of the cedar shake onto the cardboard with a pencil. Remove the cedar shake.

  2. 2

    Measure the width of the cedar shake outline on the panel and mark the centre. Measure down from the top end the same distance as the width measurement and mark the measurement. Place a compass at the intersection of the two marks and draw a curved edge along the top end of the outline. This will create the scalloped edge.

  3. 3

    Cut around the pencil lines on the cardboard with a utility knife to cut out a template for the scalloped edging. Always place the scalloped end of the template on the thick end of the cedar shakes, which is the top. The bottom end is thin so that it can be driven into the soil.

  4. 4

    Set a cedar shake onto the work surface and place the template over it with the scalloped end at the thick end of the shake. Trace the scalloped curve onto the shake. Repeat this process for the number of edgings that you desire to cut.

  5. 5

    Place one shake at a time flat on the band saw table. Guide the shake through the saw in a steady motion, going just fast enough to allow the blade to cut the wood as you push it through to complete the cut. If the curve is too sharp for the saw, you can make a series of tangential cuts until you have complete the curve. Tangential cuts trail off the curve outward to remove part of the excess wood to prevent blade from binding while cutting tight curves. Start at the pencil line and continue cutting the curve after each tangential cut until the curve is completed. Repeat this process for all of the marked cedar shakes.

Tips and warnings

  • Drive the shakes into the ground, side by side, with a mallet; connect them together if you want by stapling copper wire across the centre of the back edge.
  • Wear eye protection when operating a band saw.

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