Wood projects for scroll saws

Updated February 21, 2017

Scroll saws use thin blades driven at high speed to make intricately-shaped cuts in wood. This ability makes scroll saws extremely useful for craft projects---especially ones that require cut-outs inside a block of wood. Intricate lattice-like cuts are the sort of work that made these saws popular, and such projects are simple when you have a scroll saw.

Alphabet letters

Cutting letters with curved shapes is one of the first kind of projects that come to mind when you mention using a scroll saw. Letters can be used for house signs, to decorate the walls in a child's room, or as a basis for other projects like lamps and bookends.


Whether you think of wooden cars and trains that a child pushes along with his hand, a rolling toy pulled with a string, or intricately-jointed marionettes, scroll saws are ideal for creating toys. The small pieces that are inevitably required for details, as well as the graceful shapes that make such toys a joy to see, are all easily formed with a scroll saw.

Christmas tree ornaments

If you want to make Christmas tree ornaments, you need to use thin light wood that might be broken by a saw with large blades. In addition, the typically small size of an ornament requires small blades to cut out intricate inside shapes (such as the shapes inside a snowflake-shaped ornament). These are perfect for a scroll saw project.


Not only is a scroll saw perfect for cutting the ornate latticework often used for decoration on wooden clocks, but truly adventurous builders find the scroll saw is perfect for shaping the wooden gears used in replicas of vintage clockworks. If the builder chooses to use the compact battery-powered clock mechanisms available to hobbyists, scroll saws allow them to create a clock in almost any shape they can imagine.


Wooden puzzles are a durable alternative to the cardboard puzzles available in most stores. With a scroll saw, you can create custom puzzles with as many or as few pieces as you wish.


Intarsia is a form of artwork similar to glass and tile mosaics---you cut different shaped pieces from woods of different colours and grains, then assemble them with glue to create mosaic pictures. The effect can be anything from a flat stained-glass effect to a three-dimensional sculpture. Intarsia is a demanding artform made easier by the scroll saw.


Wooden latticework is something that is almost impossible for any other power tool besides a scroll saw. With enough patience and a good scroll saw, you can turn a thin sheet of wood into a masterpiece of ornamentation. The grillwork can then be used as a component to enhance other projects.

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About the Author

North Carolina native Mike Southern has been writing since 1979. He is the author of the instructional golf book "Ruthless Putting" and edited a collection of swashbuckling novels. Southern was trained in electronics at Forsyth Technical Community College and is also an occasional woodworker.