FREE Pattern Download:  Quoth the Raven

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FREE Pattern Download: Quoth the Raven

Clever puzzle perfectly represents an avian prankster

By Judy Peterson

Native Americans credit the raven with giving humans light and fire. Some legends say he stole it from the creator, and others say he took it from the sun. Regardless, ravens are said to be the most intelligent of birds and were the inspiration for Edgar Allen Poe’s iconic poem. This puzzle needs to be dark, so I cut it from walnut. You could use a black wood like ebony or wenge, but those varieties can be expensive. Another option is to cut the puzzle from poplar and dye it with Behlen’s jet black Solar-Lux stain. Dip the pieces in the stain, let them dry for 24 hours, and then apply clear Danish oil. Before you make your first cut, check out this exclusive article on what to keep in mind for your blade and scroll saw table.

Cutting the Puzzle

After you attach the patterns to the blanks, cover them with clear packaging tape to lubricate the blade and reduce the chance of scorching the wood. Then, drill a 1/16″ (2mm)-dia. hole where indicated for the eye. Insert a 1/4″ (6mm)-dia. teardrop-shaped carving bit in the drill and use it to increase the size of the hole and make the eye a bit more prominent. Cut the puzzle, sand the pieces smooth, and then use a flap sander to round the edges slightly. Dye the pieces, if desired, and then finish them with clear Danish oil.



• Walnut or poplar, 3/4″ (1.9cm) to 1″ (2.5cm) thick: 6 3/4″ x 8″ (17.1cm x 20.3cm)

• Clear packaging tape

• Stain, such as Behlen’s  Solar-Lux: jet black (optional)

• Finish, such as clear Danish oil


• Scroll saw with blades: #7 skip-tooth

• Flap sander

• Brushes

• Drill with bits: 1/16″ (2mm)-dia. twist, 1/4″ (6mm)-dia. teardrop-shaped carving


About the Author

A former teacher and librarian, Judy Peterson found her niche in life as a woodworker. A winner of many design awards, she sells her puzzles at art shows around the country. Her husband, Dave, runs the record-keeping side of the business. Together they have written several books, which are available at


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