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Owl Family Puzzle

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image Scroll this freestanding puzzle for the animal-lover in your life

A cute, stand-alone puzzle that's easy to scroll

Scrolled hardwood animal puzzles are always a hit, both as gifts and at craft shows. To give scrollers plenty to choose from, Judy and Dave Peterson have gathered their popular animal puzzle patterns into a new book, Animal Puzzles for the Scroll Saw, which will be available in September, 2005.

While the book provides a wide variety of animal puzzles--it just wasn’t possible to include every species. Scroll Saw Workshop is proud to offer this exclusive owl family pattern courtesy of Judy and Dave Peterson--available to SSW readers only!

The most difficult part of the puzzle is the eye details of the owlets’ faces. Drill a blade-entry hole for one eyeball, and then cut the “monkey face” of the owlets, starting in one eyehole.

Everyone cuts differently--Judy cuts to the right side of her blade (on the left side of the line)--so all her patterns are set up to cut on the right side of the blade When she started scrolling, she wasn’t consistent about the position of the board and pattern, in relation to the scroll saw blade--and ended up with burnished surfaces. These burnished surfaces show up glossier than the surrounding areas after the puzzle is finished--so she spent a lot of time sanding the burnished areas off.

A presenter at a scroll-sawing demonstration suggested that she cut on the right side of the blade. Because of the way scroll saw blades are manufactured, the teeth end up canted to the right. To compensate for this, push the board into the blade so the teeth are tilted toward the line you are cutting. When you come to a turning point in the pattern, turn the board clockwise to keep the blade in the correct position with respect to the line you’re cutting. If you cut on the left side of the blade, it is more likely to burnish the wood.


  • 7/8" x 8" x 8" hardwood of choice (I use spalted cherry)
  • Repositionable spray adhesive
  • Sandpaper, 220 grit
  • Sanding disk


  • #9 skip-tooth or reverse-tooth blades or blades of choice
  • Square
  • Disk pad
  • Drill with variable speed lock
  • Drill stand
  • Flap sander

Tip: Squaring the blade

Make sure your blade is square to your saw table. There are several ways to check for square such as using a small square against the blade or cutting a piece of scrap and checking that for square. If your table and blade are not square when cutting a puzzle, it will be difficult to reassemble the completed puzzle.

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Comments (2 posted):

Toninho on 02/26/2010 08:53:43
Very good site!! My Congratulations! I am a beginner and passionate fretwork! Will send magazines and books to Europe (Portugal)? Lengths, Tom!
Shannon on 02/26/2010 10:59:19
Sure! We ship anywhere. You can order online or give our customer service team a call: 717-560-4703.
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Author info
Judy & Dave Peterson
A former school teacher and librarian, Judy Peterson found her niche in life as a woodworker. She bought her first saw in 1990 and within the first six months was cutting and creating her own designs. She does business as Fan Tanimals, selling wood-crafted puzzles at art and craft shows around the country . A winner of many prizes, Judy was featured in the December 1997 issue of Wisconsin Trails. She has been published in Scroll Saw Workshop magazine. She teaches scroll sawing at Woodcraft in Madison, Wisconsin.

Dave Peterson is a Senior Systems Analyst for a small mail order company and provides business support for Fan Tanimals. Judy and Dave can be reached via e-mail at FanTamdsp@aol.com more