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Fall-themed Napkin Holders

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Simple yet practical pin-end projects

If you’ve been searching for a simple project that’s perfect for your pin-end blade scroll saw, your search is over. These napkin holders were designed for scrollers of all skill levels, and especially for those with pin-end machines. With a little planning and some stack cutting, you’ll be amazed at how quickly these treasures can make their way to your holiday table.

Picking the Wood, Making the Cuts

The pieces you see in this article were cut from Maple and Walnut. I enjoy working with Walnut, and the Maple is a good wood to paint. Certainly, feel free to select your favorite wood. Just make sure that the thickness is in the 1¾4" and 1¾2" range.

Photocopy the pattern you wish to cut out. (Patterns for the sheaves, ghost and pilgrim hat are on the pull-out pattern section.) You’ll note that the patterns have lines on them. These lines indicate a suggested grain direction, so you should select and cut your wood with the lines in mind. Next, mark the centerlines of each piece of wood.

Whether you’re making the turkey featured within the pages of this article or using one of the bonus patterns, you’ll follow the same general procedure. You begin by spraying the pattern back with the temporary bond adhesive and affixing it to the appropriate piece of wood, aligning the centerline of the pattern with the centerline of the wood.

Making sure that your blade is properly aligned and tensioned, cut out the pieces. (To make more than one turkey at a time, see the sidebar on stack cutting.) Once completed, sand them with the palm sander using 100-grit sandpaper. Now apply the spray finish. Once this first coat is dry, use 150- grit sandpaper and sand by hand. Spray again, hand sand again with 200-grit paper, and spray with a third coat.

The next step depends on whether you want to paint your napkin holder or not. If you want to paint the finished piece, it’s easier to do that prior to assembly. This information comes from a very reputable source, Kris Johnson. She’s a good friend of mine who graciously took time from her busy schedule to paint the holders you see in the article. She also recommends leaving the areas to be glued unpainted to ensure the glue will adhere properly. To assemble the turkey napkin holder, refer to the assembly diagram. Glue and clamp the feet to the bottom. Do the same to attach the head/breast to the wings. When the glue has dried, glue and clamp the tail feathers and wings to the bottom at the same time.

Once the glue has dried, your piece is ready for the self-sticking felt pads. (If you’ve chosen one of the other patterns, you can assemble the front and back at the same time.)

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Tom Zieg
Tom Zieg is the author of 300 Christian and Inspirational Patterns for Scroll Saw Woodworking. His work has appeared in Better Home and Gardens' WOOD magazine. He lives in Lincoln, Nebraska. more