Easy to make wavy snowflake project
Children are taught early on that no two snowflakes are alike. So, it’s fitting that this fascinating project is one that anyone, including youngsters—with some help—can make. To ensure that each snowflake is different, don’t be exact when tracing the lines for the snowflake or the wavy segment lines.
I’ve found these wavy snowflakes to be a popular sales item during the Christmas season. Most of my customers will buy at least one entire block so they can show their friends how it was made. The individual snowflakes are used for more than Christmas tree decorations. I have seen them as kitchen magnets and displayed on desks, walls and coffee tables. You can build an inventory quickly by cutting four to five pieces per block.
Step 1: Determine the height of the cut your scroll saw can handle. This is usually about 2 1/2″. Check to make sure that your blade is square to the cutting table.
Step 2: Using a palm sander, smooth the boards. Cut softwood blocks using any of the following: table saw, radial arm saw or chop saw. Usually, a lumberyard would be able to surface plane both sides of the boards. This would allow you very little sanding to make a smooth, flat surface from which to cut the blocks.
Step 3: Photocopy, at 100% the patterns found with the article. Using a pencil, trace a snowflake pattern onto the block of wood or spray the pattern—not the wood—with temporary bond spray adhesive and adhere the pattern to the wood. Orient the pattern so it follows the direction of the grain.
Step 4: Using a #57 bit, drill the appropriate blade entry holes in the snowflake.
Step 5: On the 2 1/2″-long side, use a 5mm pencil to draw three or four parallel wavy lines about 1/8″ to 1/4″ apart.
Step 6: Using a #10 Pebco blade, rip the block into wavy segments. After cutting, re-assemble the block and then, using some masking tape, tape the block together on each of the four sides.
Step 7: Now it is time to cut the inside of the snowflake, using the #3 Pebco blade. Save the outside cut for last.
Step 8: Using the #3 Pebco blade, make the beginning cut from the outside edge to the edge of the snowflake. After reaching the snowflake, stop and place a piece of masking tape over the beginning cut into the block. This will provide additional strength to the block as you continue to make the outside cut. Continue cutting all around the snowflake in one single cut.
Step 9: After the cutting is complete, you will have four or five wavy snowflakes in the middle of your block. By using such a fine blade, no sanding is required. Snowflakes can remain unstained or they can be dipped in a finish of the maker’s choice such as boiled linseed oil, Danish Oil or Minwax. If dipped, the snowflakes must be blown off using compressed air (five to ten pounds of air pressure) or drips will remain in the delicate crevices.
1 piece, 1 1/4″ x 2 1/2″ x 3″ softwood stock (see TIP) yields four or five snowflakes
Temporary bond spray adhesive
#3 Pebco blade (20 teeth; .032″ wide; .013″ thick) or Olson blade equivalent
#10 blade (12 1/2 teeth; .057″ width; .020″ thick) or Olson blade equivalent
Drill with #57 bit
Band saw (optional)
5mm mechanical pencil
Tip: Selecting Your Wood
When selecting your wood for the wavy snowflakes project, remember that hardwoods such as birch, mahogany, maple, oak and walnut will be more difficult to rip than softwoods such as cedar, hemlock, pine and spruce.
Tip: An Option for Ripping Wavy Segments
Ripping a 2 1/2″ block of wood with a scroll saw can be a tedious job. If you want to speed up this process and add some texture to the faces of the snowflakes, use your band saw for the ripping. A 1/4″ blade with as many teeth as you can find is best.