Scroll Saw

Shop Stuff

I bought a scroll saw in the beginning of 2015. I decided a scroll saw is an ideal tool for me to work with since I like making small detailed things using wood. I spent a lot of time researching scroll saws since I know this would be one of the main tools I would use in many of my projects. I wanted one that was reasonably good quality and thus not the cheapest, big-store, specials (although there are often some good quality specials on tools which I have bought).

This is the machine I bought:

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The scroll saw in my shop

It is a Hegner, variable speed, scroll saw with a throat depth of 365 mm. In addition I bought a foot switch which allows me to start and stop the machine without removing my hands from the work piece – similar to a sowing machine . It is also reasonably quiet (64 -74 db). I also got the stand with the saw which is very nice since it is very sturdy but also has a small footprint. I did, however, cut the legs a few centimeters shorter to fit me better when I am seated at the machine.

A number of people have asked me how the saw work. I have made several videos where I use the scroll saw. Below are one but more can be seen here:

the sawing begins at 0:42

Initially I was worried that it would be very difficult to use and thus money down the drain. Luckily I did quite a bit of sewing just after moving (curtains required, also made a denim tarp), and this helped since the operation is very similar to a sewing machine. I also found a number of online resources (links at the end of the post*). These were quite helpful to work through and I learned a lot – from the of the basic theory and techniques to the more complex  techniques and difficult cuts.

The first few pieces had a few flaws but I was happy with my first attempts:

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The first scrolled letters I tried

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The first item I made

I bought some cheap plywood and were able to cut several images. I think I improved a bit and moved on to birch plywood of a better quality. My favorite items to make are book covers and I think some of these are quite nice (or at least unique) and I sell some of these on my Etsy store – Induku.


My most recent book – read more here


One of the most detailed patterns I designed and cut


A small puzzle from the leftover pieces of the cat book cover

I have also made loads of pendants which I also sell.


My favorite pendant to celebrate surviving Borrelia


Dog paw pendant


South Park on a Sting


A bit grim for every-day wear

I like to make other random things.


A commissioned mood barometer – read all about it here


Commissioned keychains

I am quite proud of the dart cabinet that I made. I designed the front picture and score sheet. I wrote a full post on how I made it – read it here.

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Cover on dart cabinet

Finally, I got the plans for a wooden clock for my birthday from Carina. This is something that I looked at for several years bored many people with my stories of how I am going to make one. I thus bought the wood and started cutting the pieces. The going is a bit slow but the process thus far is quite fun. I will post more updates as I go.

I am really quite happy with this machine and can recommend it for anyone who want to make small wooden objects. I will continue to post some of the projects I make. I also really want to make a few chess sets in my lifetime and at least one using a scroll saw. I have not done this yet…


**Useful links I used for learning how to use a scroll saw:




DIY, New Item

Some of the items that I really enjoy to make are notebooks with wooden covers, bound with Coptic-stitching. The front cover often have an image cut with a scroll saw. In this post I make notebooks with the image of the Guy-Fawkes mask, currently associated with the hacktivist group Anonymous:


Completed notebooks – 3 different colors


There are three parts to making these books. The first is making the covers, the second is making the signatures and last part is binding everything together. I start making the covers. For this book I use A6 sized pine covers.


Blank A6 covers and pattern

I use tape three blank covers together, to make a stack to be cut at the same time, and stick the pattern on. I add clear tape over the cover to kelp with lubricating the blade while cutting and also not to smudge the printed image (I need a better quality printer…). The next step is to drill the entry holes.


Drilling the entry holes

After the holes are drilled, I can begin with cutting the image. I use a #5 reverse tooth scroll saw blade for this image. This image is quite easy to cut since it is reasonably big and it takes approximately 40 minutes (at some stage I hope to be a faster).



Before I remove the pattern I add the back covers to the stack and tape them in place. I drill the holes for binding through all 6 covers before removing the pattern and all the tape. Using masking tape (painters tape), before sticking on the pattern makes removal easy. The next step is sanding. I sand the covers to 400 grit and use several small strips and emery boards on the inside of the image.


Sanding – one constant in woodwork

I made three notebooks and decided to make each one slightly different in color. The first I kept natural pine cover. The second I painted with a diluted, water based, acrylic paint to give a slightly white wash appearance. The third cover was stained with a home made stain of vinegar, steel wool and coffee. This gives the wood a grayish aged look. After the stain and paint dried, I added 4 layers of glossy lacquer.


Painting with diluted white paint


Drying after staining


Painted, stained and lacquered – from left – White wash, Natural, Stained

After the covers are done I make the signatures. For each book I make 9 signatures with 12 pages – 108 pages per book. To make each signature I take three A4 pages and fold in half 2 times. I stack the 9 signatures together and place between 2 pieces of sacrificial wood. I tape the wood together and cut approximately 5mm from three outside sides on the scroll saw using a #9 blade. While bound I also cut the slits in the back of the signatures through which they are bound (see here for more information).


Cutting the pages to size

I roughly paint the first page of the first signature black. This is to give a nice contrast to the image when the book is closed.


Painting the first page – note the slits for binding

The last item to prepare is the thread. I use black thread that I pull through beeswax to make my own waxed thread.


All the items ready for binding

The final step is to bind the book. I use Coptic stitching since it makes a nice pattern on the spine. It also allows for the notebook to open completely. Currently it takes approximately 50 minutes to bind each book (if no mistakes are made).


Hand stitching


Halfway done

The completed books turned out very close to the image I had in mind when starting this project.


Front cover


Inside front cover


Spines with Coptic stitching

I currently have several notebooks and will continue to make more with different designs (I also take requests for custom covers). These three notebooks are however the only “Anonymous cover notebooks” I have and are available here.

I have tried other binding methods and plan to try a few more in the future. I am however working on several other projects that are not notebooks and I will write about these soon…




January/February competition results


The Dart Vader book competition closed on the 29th of February 2016 and I drew the winner on the 1st of March (this was the 61st day of the year and also the seed number for the random draw). Below is the script I used to draw the winner, implemented in R.


Cover of the Darth Vader notebook

The competition was quite a lot of fun with many entries and 116 correct answers.

Thank you for participating!

I am planning to have more competitions through the year with prizes like this or other items I make (examples here).

To remain informed on what is happening at Induku and when there is a new competition please subscribe to the Induku newsletter:



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Script used for Darth Vader competition draw.

Number of contestants 116 – in alphabetical order.

Seed value 61 – This is the day number of the draw.

#Random draw script - written to be implemented in R 
#Darth Vader Notebook

#(added in alphabetical order using the names provided by them (if 2 names are the same a unique number will be provided to each))
contestants <- c("aarone mawdsley","Alex Fowler","Alexandru Rusu","Amanda","Amy","andrea tinkler","Andrea V","Andrew","Angela Hogan","angela parkinson","Anneka Hulse","Annie","Audrey Stewart","Audrey Tebbs","Betony Bennett","Birgit","Brian Hatch","Carol boffey","carolyn joyce","catherine burke","Cathleen King","cazzie","Champaklal Lad","Charmian Filewood","Chris kind r (sssixxx)","Christian Bush","Cindy Nelson-Viljoen","CJ Macmanus","Colin Gault","corinne peat (@corinne555)","cosmonauty","Crystal Donohue","Dan Goodfellow","Dave Harrington","Dawn Wright","debbie","debbie jackson","Deborah Colucci","Deborah mcilwham scanlon","Dilshu","don erwood","duke lane","elle.dee.see","ellie spider","Fabian R","Gabriel Atienza","Hayley Austin","hayleywigboldus","Heather","hoofsweep","Howard Sleight","iain maciver","Ida Lindberg","Isla Salisbury","Jess M Woods","Jesse L.","John McNamara","Jonathan Khoo","Joy Kehoe","Julia Mason","Justin Anderson","Karen Dixon","karen hill","Karen Howden","Karin Olsson","Karla R.","keely smith","Kirsty Woods","Kyomi Johnson","laura power","lisa ann tebbutt","Lorraine","lynn neal","Lysa JP","Magdalena","Mandy Doherty","martin smith","mechelle williamson","Michelle Bruce","Morag Downie","Mrs Rachel Heap","Nathachia Pierre","Neil Dobson","Nicola Glover","Nikki Jones","olgavp","Pam Smith","paul jackson","PJ (@DudeVaper)","Racheal M","Rachel","Raine","rita martins","Rosanna Corpin","Ruth Wollerton","Ruy M.","Samantha Sophia Felton","Sami K.","sandy ralph","sarah rees","Scott Fallon","sean","Shaun tutt","sheridarby","shreya y","Simon Harrington","skye","Stella Martis","Susan Trubey","Suzy","sylvia spall","Tegan","Tim Graham","Wanda Patterson","wibeke fredell","Victoria Thurgood")
#the seed is the day of the current year on which the draw is held
#1 March 2016 = day 61

#--The Draw
winner <- sample(contestants, size=1, replace = FALSE, prob = NULL)