Christmas Tree Decorations

Wednesday 11 July 2018

What could be nicer at this time of the year than handmade decorations for the Christmas tree, easily made from small scraps of wood?

We guarantee they’ll be cherished by everyone year on year.

The two designs have a contemporary look but are made conventionally using a two-piece method that slot together at 90°.

They can be made from a variety of 3mm wood – we have used Obeche but the choice is yours. They can easily be stacked together for cutting – two for the price of one so to speak – great as friends and family are sure to want lots!

Getting started

Start with preparing your 3mm wood selection by sanding both surfaces using the sandpaper and block going through the grades. Cut the prepared wood into 4 x 210mm (81/4in) lengths, enough for both patterns to sit comfortably (see photo 1).

Tightly wrap the stack with the masking tape (see photo 2) – this serves two purposes: (a) it holds the pieces securely together while cutting and (b) is far easier to remove than either spray adhesive, glue stick or wonder paper.

Make two copies of each pattern – one to be used later.

Position and then attach the patterns on top of the masking tape (see photo 3), then drill all the blade entry holes using the 1mm drill bit.

Cutting out

It’s a good idea to fit the Zero Clearance Insert into your scrollsaw table if you have one, to support the fragile pieces – if, like us, your scrollsaw predates this technology and you haven’t one, making a false table top with a sheet of 3 or 4mm perspex works a treat.

First cut out and remove all the inner pieces (see photo 4) then cut around the outer edge in one continuous run (see photo 5) – this will help to keep the stack together for as long as possible.

Do not cut out the slots at this stage.

After cutting out each complete pattern, separate each stack of four into two, keep the original pattern to the top of the first stack, and use the spare pattern/s for the second stack/s, then re-secure each stack with more masking tape.

To prevent any mistakes being made at this stage, shade in the lower section of the slotted area to be cut out on the original pattern, and the upper section on the spare pattern/s (see photo 6)

which will also include the removal of the top most piece/s for hanging.

Carefully cut out each slotted section keeping the blade to the inside of the line (see photo 7) to make for a slightly tighter fit when slotted together (see photo 8).

Remove all remnants of patterns and tape, then very lightly nib any bur away with the 320grit sandpaper, and apply a finish of your choice. ¦