Fretwork Hummingbird Plate


Fretwork Hummingbird Plate

issues-ssw22-Hummingbird-LeadH-GreyContrasting woods and multiple layers add depth to this collector’s plate.

Cut by Dick DeFelice of the Blazing Blades of Western PA

This piece is easily customized by choosing contrasting woods for the different layers. Select pieces that compliment your décor as well as each other. This example was cut using maple for the outer rim and walnut for the inner rim. Highlight the pattern by choosing wood with distinctive grain and coloration. The lighter sap wood that runs through the piece of walnut is strategically used to accent the leaves and add additional visual interest.

Step 1: Copy the pattern, and transfer it to the material. Use your method of choice (spray adhesive, transfer paper, etc.).

Step 2: Drill blade-entry holes for the interior cuts on both the plate and the rim. Try to keep the holes close to the lines to extend the life of your blades.

Step 3: Cut out the inside fretwork for both the plate and the rim. Use a #3 blade. Work from the center out, cutting the most delicate pieces first. When cutting the veining details in the hummingbird’s wings, cut along the line until you reach the end. Then carefully back out of the cut.

Step 4: Cut the outline of the inner plate. Use a #5 blade. It is important to follow the line fairly losely to ensure that no parts show through the cuts in the outer rim.

Step 5: Cut the final outline of the outer rim. Use a #5 blade. Then finish cutting the scallops on the inside of the outer rim.

Step 6: Sand off any rough edges or burrs from the cutting. Use fine grit sandpaper.

Step 7: Apply your finish of choice. After the finish dries, spray the entire piece with clear lacquer.

Step 8: Use wood glue to attach the inner plate to the outer plate. Clamp the pieces overnight to allow the glue to dry. For a different look, add a piece of mirrored acrylic to the back.


  • 1/4” x 8½” x 8 1/2” hardwood of choice (outer rim)
  • 3/8” x 7” x 7” hardwood of choice (inner plate)
  • Various grits of sandpaper
  • Finish of choice
  • Clear spray lacquer of choice
  • Wood glue


  • #3 & #5 reverse-tooth blades or blades of choice
  • Drill with Various small drill bits
  • Assorted small clamps

Fretwork Hummingbird pattern