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Fans of s’mores, stargazing, and sweater weather all know that a well-built campfire is a thing of beauty. Set some quick-burning tinder under a shelter of dry twigs, light it up, and feed the flame with logs and moving air to keep it strong through whatever the night brings. There are, of course, variations in form, but the right building blocks in the right order (tinder + kindling + fuel) make for a fire that lasts longer than one hastily made. The construction makes all the difference, and sometimes beauty is just that: a thing constructed well.
In this issue, hone your own “construction” skills, first on a crackling campfire segmentation by Ben Hazlerig (page 30). Don’t blink! You might just catch it spitting sparks! Next, raise the roof with an easy (and charming) freestanding village by Bill Miller (page 26), or delight the little woodworker in your life with Rita Cels’ toy chainsaw, whose dials and pull cord really move (page 19). Built to last, these projects are a study in clean execution—and they’ll make your loved ones smile to boot.
Since you have them smiling, show off another clever build just in time for Thanksgiving: a bakery-ready pumpkin pie box complete with whipped-cream handle, by Carole Rothman (page 55). For those who prefer spooky season, give your serving dishes a good foundation with two stunning gothic trivets by Keith Fenton (page 53). Can’t decide on a favorite season? Try a peaceful swimming koi fish by Brad Matthews: you can vary the wood types and number of “river stones,” but follow the basic formula and you’ll achieve stunning results (page 44).
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While you’re at it, show your friends and family that visual delicacy and good construction can exist together with a layered scene by Charles Hand (page 40); stable despite hundreds of cutouts, it will teach you to see fretwork in a whole new way. When you’re done, challenge
your fretwork skills yet again in two majestic portraits by Wayne and Jacob Fowler—a white-tailed deer and a retro spaceship mid-liftoff (pages 23 and 61). These designers meticulously test each pattern for structural soundness and scroll-ability so you don’t have to; here, to
achieve an attractive “build,” simply follow the lines.
Campfires take little pieces of forgotten wood and form them into something greater than the sum of its parts. The projects in this issue are the same. Follow the formulas, deviate when you can, and you’ll have something wholly new, too—something that is beautiful because you built it.
By Sue May and Cut by Joe Pascucci
These bird designs are fun and challenging in their own right. Take special care on the owl’s facial details, the eagle’s talons, the hummingbird’s beak, and the flamingo’s long legs. Use a wood of your choice; I opted for pine and rich hardwoods such as walnut and spalted maple.
Intarsia Koi Fish
By Brad Matthews
Situate a stunning, swimming creature above a bed of river “rocks”. The inspiration for this piece came from my best friend, who has always wanted to keep koi fish. But since he lives in Australia, he is not allowed to have them, as they are seen as a noxious aquatic species. His 50th birthday was coming up, so I decided to gift him a long-awaited “pet.” I wanted the piece to look 3D, so I mounted it in a shadow box. Find this step-by-step project on page 44 of the Scroll Saw Fall 2022 Magazine.
Pumpkin Pie Box
By Carole Rothman
What would Thanksgiving be without pumpkin pie? This wooden replica, complete with a dollop of whipped
cream, will be a happy reminder of the festive holiday all year long, while serving as a repository for candies, keys, or keepsakes of all kinds. Cherry was an easy choice for the crust, and aspen was the perfect wood for the “whipped cream” handle. While the construction contains some challenges, the techniques are not difficult and result in a satisfyingly realistic effect.
By Charlene Doucette and Brent Herridge
Every year, we like to make our grandchildren a homemade gift they can keep forever. While brainstorming ideas, we landed on tic-tac-toe. It’s a fun game for children, and we often play it throughout the year with them on scraps of paper or with sidewalk chalk. While creating the pattern, we took into consideration the little hands that would be using the game. We inlaid the board with a contrasting wood and used complementary colors for the X and O pieces.
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