Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Simple Nativity Scene Scroll Saw Pattern.

This is a very simple scroll saw pattern. There are only two interior cuts. It is cut from 3/4" thick wood. It is only four inches wide so you can easily find a board to cut it from. 

This would be a nice project to have at your next craft show. You can cut several of these in a relatively short time.

Wenge Hardwood:
I cut this project from Wenge. Wenge is a hardwood from central Africa. As you can see it is very dark brown in color. The grain is relatively straight but course. The pours of the end grain are very large so it soaks up finish fast. To get a nice finish on the end grain may take three or four coats. 

Wenge is very hard. On the Janka scale, it is 1930. To give you some perspective, Cherry is rated at 950 on the Janka scale

The Janka scale measures the force required to embed a .444 steel ball into the wood to half its diameter. 

You may find that you will have reactions to Wenge that are not good. You don't want to breathe the dust so wear your mask if you decide to give it a try. Splinters will often cause skin irritation. My finger will turn red and be sore for a couple days from a Wenge splinter. I react similarly to Bubinga and other African continent hardwoods. 

You may also have a reaction to the price of Wenge. It's not uncommon to pay ~$25 a board foot. A six-foot board six inches wide will cost around $75. 

This simple project took me at least three times longer to cut because I used Wenge. My blades dulled quickly and I had to slow my feed rate to let the blade do its work. Sometimes the wood is the star of a project and it's worth the extra work to use an exotic species. 

I would not say Wenge is one of my favorite woods to use. I think it is best suited for accent pieces because it is so dark. The grain is not overly attractive and it's a pain to cut. In this pattern, I wanted an almost silhouette look so the dark color of the Wenge was suitable.