Carving a 3D reindeer ornament on the scrollsaw

Ronald Walters sent me some pictures of neat little 3D reindeer ornaments he carves out on the scrollsaw.

He also made a nice YouTube video demonstrating the process



Wood block: 2-5/8" x 1-1/8" x 3/4" (that's 67 x 28 x 19 mm)

I used Pine. Bass Wood cuts easier but it is expensive. The block sides must be square to each other. Make sure your scroll saw blade is square with the table.

Scroll Saw Blade I used: POLAR FD-P No.5 (0.041 wide 0.015 thick 16.5 teeth per inch) available from Flying Dutchman. One blade usually lasts 4 or 5 deer.

You can draw your own pattern using the photo as a reference. Glue the paper pattern to the wood block and then wrap the block with two layers of packing tape. The packing tape lubricates the blade resulting in longer blade life and easier cutting.

[Matthias] I used Ronald's pattern to make a Reindeer CAD model and scrollsaw pattern, as well as my own larger reindeer on the bandsaw.

These little deer are fairly easy to cut, especially after practicing on a few. The cutting sequence will affect the final result. I suggest following the cutting sequence shown in the video. It has proven to work well. The grain in the wood, a knot or excessive pressure on the blade can cause the blade to drift and ruin the part. Allow the blade to do the cutting… slow and steady gives the best result. Keep your fingers away from the saw blade in case it breaks unexpectedly.

The deer will break if dropped onto a hard surface. Usually the legs or neck will snap in the direction of the wood grain… so be careful!

The front and back scrap pieces can be sanded flat on a disc sander resulting in two additional ornaments. Drill a hole as shown so the ornament will hang straight or attach a pin to make a brooch for the ladies.

I applied two coats of varnish. The saw blade produces a fairly smooth surface but the first coat of varnish will raise the grain and light sanding will be necessary.

The nose can be a map pin or a glass bead with a straight pin. The eyes are just a dot made with a felt tip marker. Don't forget the metal loop inside the antlers so the ornament can be hung. I drilled a tiny hole with a Dremel Tool for the hanging loop and the nose. The hanging loop was installed with epoxy. The nose was glued with cyanoacrylate (super glue). The bow can be small ribbon or yarn.


Ron Walters also has a video on making
3D icicle ornaments on the scrollsaw
on his YouTube channel

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