Making a ram puzzle on the scroll saw

Thoughts from making a ram/Aires upright puzzle on the scroll saw

This scroll saw project makes a nice keepsake or gift; it is also is a good beginner project that just looks great. 

I picked up the ram template for this piece from the book: Zodiac Puzzles for Scroll Saw Woodworking: 30 Projects from the Eastern and Western Calendars (Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts Book) which includes all the zodiac signs and locations of where to inlay gems or other items to represent at their appropriate constellation locations. It is a nice book and it also has a lot of useful information on using a scroll saw and finishing your work. 

There isn't much to artistic scroll saw projects like this, apply your template to your work piece and follow the lines! No really, it is all about being patient and keeping a steady feed rate and knowing your saw and blade so that you can make turns, and this comes with practice.

I used an old piece of 3/4" pine board, but the project may come out nicer with hardwood and easier to sand.

Front
Side

A tip on adhering a printed template to wood: I first apply painters blue tape to the wood surface then glue the template down with spray adhesive to the tape, not to the wood directly. This makes removing the template later even easier and without any glue remaining on the wood (the painters tape will not leave any residue in my experience). 

As you can see, two shades of stain were used to give the base of the puzzle a ground-like look. Possibilities are wide to be creative here, you could add paint, inlays, pyrography, etc... 

Tools 

I used a Wen 16" scroll saw for this project, as a beginner it seems great to me and was quite affordable. Also, I first made the mistake of using the blades that came with the saw, instead get a decent pair of reverse double tooth blades, this pack with different sizes/teeth density is great for a start.  Try the different blades to get a feel for them. The cool thing about scroll work is that once you have a saw and some blades (less than $150 investment) you can do just about anything you want, other tools like sanders are optional!



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