How do scroll saw fret work

Scroll saw fretwork is a great way to add detail and beauty to your woodworking projects.

If you’re new to scroll sawing, fretwork can be intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult! In this article, we will walk through the process of creating beautiful scroll saw fretwork. We’ll also discuss some common mistakes that beginners make when they first start out with scrolling frets and how you can avoid them.

Scroll sawing frets isn’t as hard as it looks once you understand the basics behind it all! Let’s get started by looking at what tools are needed for this project – then we’ll dive into the actual steps on how to do scroll saw fretwork!

How to do scroll saw fretwork:

Here are steps to follow to make scroll saw fretwork:

1. Decide on the pattern:

The first step is to choose the pattern you want to use for your project. There are many different options to choose from, and you can find patterns online or in books. If you’re new to fretwork, it might be a good idea to start with a simple pattern until you get the hang of it.

2. Trace the pattern:

Next, trace the pattern onto your wood using a pencil. Be sure to transfer the pattern correctly – it’s easy to make mistakes when you’re tracing something small and intricate!

3. Cut out the middle of the pattern:

Use a scroll saw to cut out the middle of the traced pattern. This is where most of the detail in your project will be.

4. Add the details:

Now it’s time to start adding the details! Use a fine-toothed blade to cut out the smaller pieces of the pattern. Take your time and be careful when you’re doing this step – it’s easy to make mistakes and ruin your project if you’re not careful.

5. Sand the piece:

Once you’ve finished cutting out all the details, sand the piece until it’s smooth. Be sure to use fine-grit sandpaper so that you don’t damage the delicate fretwork.

6. Finish the piece:

Finally, finish the piece with a sealant or paint to protect it from scratches and wear.

Common mistakes beginners make:

1. Cutting out the entire pattern at once:

One of the most common mistakes that beginners make is trying to cut out the entire pattern at once. This is a recipe for disaster – it’s easy to make mistakes and ruin your project this way! Instead, try cutting out the middle of the pattern first, then add the details.

2. Cutting out the details too small:

Another mistake that beginners often make is trying to cut out the details too small. This can be difficult and frustrating, and it’s easy to make mistakes when you’re working with such small pieces. Try to leave yourself plenty of room to work, and take your time when cutting out the details.

3. Not using a backer:

A backer is a piece of wood that you attach to the backside of your project, between the project and the scroll saw blade. This helps to hold the project in place and makes it easier to cut accurately.

4. Not using enough pressure:

When cutting out a project, it’s important to use enough pressure so that the blade cuts all the way through the material. If you don’t apply enough pressure, the blade will just skid across the surface and you won’t get a clean cut.

5. Letting the blade get too hot:

If you let the blade get too hot, it can become brittle and break. This is especially true for high-speed blades, so be sure to let the blade cool down occasionally.

6. Cutting in the wrong direction:

When cutting out a project, it’s important to cut in the right direction. If you cut in the wrong direction, you may end up with a crooked project. Always make sure that you’re cutting in the same direction as the arrow on the template.

Safety Tips:

Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when doing scroll saw fretwork:

Always use a push stick when cutting. This will help keep your hands safe.

Make sure the blade is dull before starting to cut. A sharp blade can easily cause injuries.

Keep your fingers clear of the blade at all times.

Make sure the workpiece is securely attached to the table before cutting.


What type of scroll saw blade is best for fretwork? 

A fine-toothed blade is best for fretwork. because it will produce the cleanest cuts.

What type of wood should I use for fretwork?

Any type of wood can be used for fretwork, but some woods are easier to work with than others. Hardwoods such as maple or walnut are a good choice because they are less likely to splinter.

How do you hold the wood while scroll sawing? 

The wood should be held securely between the thumb and fingers, with the hands kept close to the blade.


Scroll saw fretwork is a unique woodworking technique that can add beautiful details to your projects.

We showed you how to do scroll saw fretwork using a few simple steps. We hope you give it a try and share your results with us in the comments!