Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: Making a Rolling Pin Scroll

  1. #1

    Default Making a Rolling Pin Scroll

    A brief description of how to create a rolling pin scroll.

    See this link for full view of the bed scrolls

    The following process was used to prepare the two scrolls on the bed head and foot boards below

    Name:  TheBedScroll.jpg
Views: 2328
Size:  68.2 KB

    The first step is to prepare square stock with the dimensions of your scroll. Make the length 2 inches longer than needed and a ¼ inch wider. Then cut a dado half way up and ¾ inch wide. This will accommodate attaching (gluing) the scroll to your project. At his point you can put it in a lathe and round it or plane it round by hand. After it is round remove additional material on the inside of the dado to begin the spiral shape. Note in picture one that the dado is now thinner on the inside. This is the beginning of the spiral effect.

    Name:  Step00.jpg
Views: 2009
Size:  101.8 KB
    You can now prepare a paper template that will be used to trace a spiral line around the circumference at one end. Not that it should be an inch or so wider than the circumference of the scroll. In my example that was a little over five inches and the taper was about one inch. This is just a starting point. You may have to adjust these proportions if you don’t like the look.

    Name:  Step01.jpg
Views: 1971
Size:  101.0 KB
    You can now wrap the template around one end leaving about 1 inch extra material above the end of the template. Clamp it in place and mark a line with a pencil or ink marker.

    Name:  Step02.jpg
Views: 1956
Size:  70.9 KB

    Now freehand draw a spiral using a pencil and adjust until you get the result you want. When you have it right, mark the outline with an ink pen. You can see I made some adjustments before the ink outline was final. The distance between the outside and the mark represents the depth of the cut you will make with the pull saw.

    Name:  Step03.jpg
Views: 1955
Size:  55.5 KB
    Now you can clamp the scroll in your vice and begin to saw around the scroll following the line on the outside. You will have to bend the saw slightly (that is why I use a pull saw) as you move around the outside because the spiral results in a slight curve. As you move around the outside increase the depth so that at 360 degrees you have doubled your depth. It is not necessary to be at the perfect depth the only thing you have to accomplish is to establish a mark for the top section which exceeds 360 degrees. After chopping the outside section you can go back and saw deeper if necessary. Just don’t saw too deeply.

    Name:  Step04.jpg
Views: 1927
Size:  64.6 KB
    Now you can clamp the scroll in a vertical position and chop the material away as needed following the spiral line. In the picture below you can see that it easily breaks away following the saw kerf crating a spiral ramp upwards.

    Name:  Step05.jpg
Views: 1962
Size:  58.9 KB
    Once you have created the complete ramp roughly clean it up with your chisel and sand paper. To give the ramp a sharper appearance I then used a round burr and created a groove along the ramp near the wall leaving a narrow strip along the outer edge. This is optional but I think it definitely enhances the appearance.

    Name:  Step06.jpg
Views: 1907
Size:  56.0 KB
    Once you have completed both ends you can now glue it to your project. If you want to add a gradual slope connection to the scroll cope one or two pieces and plane it to the angle you want before gluing the scroll in place. You can see the bed has a slope that meets the scroll at about 10 degrees.
    Name:  Step09.jpg
Views: 1922
Size:  70.3 KB

    Now you can clean up the entire section and sand smoothly ready for finish.

    Except for the groove in the ramp the entire scroll was prepared using hand tools. The groove can be hand cut with a gouge but is time consuming compared to using the power carver.

    Name:  BurrInfo.jpg
Views: 1920
Size:  42.7 KB
    Questions are always welcome.

    Edward G.
    Last edited by Edward G. Burlington; 11-03-2006 at 01:08 PM. Reason: Add a Picture
    You stop learning the instant you start talking...
    And start again when you stop thinking how smart you are.

  2. Thread Continues Below...

  3. #2


    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Simpson View Post
    I was with you and enjoyed the tutoral until you whipped out that Power carver. all that effort and work should merit finishing the task with chisel and gouges in the traditional way. I'm sorry but I am a fuddy duddy and appreciate craftsmanship. I have used the rotery tools before and found that a good set of gouges and chisels out performs and often is quicker than a power takeoff that has to be cleaned up after with sanding and sanding and sanding. A clean slice is IMHO much better.

    BUT>.. Thanks for the post and the tutoral, well thought out procedure.
    Bill: Thanks; I think? First let me say I do have experience with gouges and power carvers. I too lean towards hand tools for carving as they make such nice clean cuts. In fact many of my floral carvings are finished with gouges (even though I use power carving to do much of the shaping) because of the nice surfaces they leave.

    However the bed project has over 80 hours of hand carving dedicated to it and the power carver was only used for this one section. If you try to do this with a gouge you will find out that the long spiral ramp is nearly impossible to achieve a clean groove all the way down. It would be remiss of me not to show a reasonably simple way to accomplish this. I did say it was optional and so is the process to do it.

    The projects below is a typical examples of major power carving and finishing with a gouge.
    Name:  PowerCarve1.jpg
Views: 1797
Size:  51.0 KB Name:  PowerCarve2.jpg
Views: 1753
Size:  48.5 KB

    Edward G.
    Last edited by Edward G. Burlington; 11-04-2006 at 10:46 AM. Reason: fix text
    You stop learning the instant you start talking...
    And start again when you stop thinking how smart you are.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Northern Kentucky, USA


    It was meant to be a compliment with a little sarchasm slid in. (Perhaps Sour Grapes) Great work you can produce. If you can make those flowers with such skill, I guess I'll accept a little help from a rotory grinder. You do excellant work and I only wish I had the patience and ability that you demonstrate.

    Keep delighting us with your accomplishments.
    Last edited by Bill Simpson; 11-04-2006 at 04:52 PM.
    Bill "Hickory" Simpson

Similar Threads

  1. Making a Home-Made Mortiser (long)
    By Darin in Victoria in forum Power Tools
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 01-06-2005, 10:56 PM
  2. AAAARRH,Dewalt scroll saw
    By Dave In Cavan in forum Scroll Saw/Intarsia/Carving
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 12-23-2001, 09:48 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts