Welcome to the home of Minnesota's scroll saw artists.
Learning to saw with Swede Bengtson
 Swede BengstonImage result for Swede Bengston

Recently NorthStar Scroller member Katie McBride and her husband Bill teamed up with Master Scroller Swede Bengston to produce a video introduction to scroll sawing. Swede helped found the NorthStar Scrollers club and is a former SAW National President. To take a peek at it click on this link.

Meet some of our members in this video created by our friend Pete Rose.

Fretwork designs were traditionally cut out with a fretsaw, but today most often with a scroll saw. The example on the left was created by North Star Scrollers member 'Swede' Bengtson. Click on the link at the left to view more examples from our talented members.
 Intarsia can be traced back to the middle ages in Italy. During the 1970's a new revival of the art form occurred that has resulted in an increase in the number of artists and designers who work with this beautiful dimensional art form. The piece at the left was created by North Star Scrollers member Jim Ryan and currently hangs on display at the Savage, Minnesota Public Library. Click on the link at the left to view the Intarsia gallery.
 Segmentation or portrait segmentation has been described by author Patrick Spielman as painted intarsia. Speilman says that rather than using wood's natural colors and textures, segmentation projects are usually made from one board in which pieces are cut from a pattern, colored with dye, the edges are rounded and the pieces are reassembled with glue to form the portrait. Here we feature the work of Rochester native and North Star Scroller member Matt Zarling.
 Related Crafts
 Tutorials Click on this link to view and print a scroll saw practice tutorial.

Free Beech cut-offs available for the asking. 
A species you don't ordinarily see. If anyone is interested talk to Reed Carpenter (reed.carpenter@gmail.com) for additional details on how to contact the supplier. They are mostly shorter pieces but nice clear wood about a foot or so long and 3/4" thick and varies in width.

Updates from  ScrollSaw Woodworking and Crafts
The Winter 2017 issue of ScrollSaw Woodworking and Crafts includes a feature story on TLC Toys and included in a picture is our esteemed President Gary Geist.

Your NorthStar Scrollers 2015 Picnic Photo Album

NorthStar Scrollers 2015 Picnic

iHandy for your Smartphone
Check out the Info Exchange section at ScrollSaw Woodworking and Crafts for their note on the free iHandy Level app, available for both the Apple iPhone and Android based phones. Looks like a useful device. The app turns your smart phone into a level. A more sophisticated version, the iHandy Carpenter, adds addition features such as a protractor, plumb bob, ruler and two levels for $1.99. 

Other Updates
Check the Suppliers page where we have added new contact information about wood supplies available.

Upcoming Meetings and Events:
Next In-Person and Zoom meeting will be Saturday, February 4, 2023, 9:30-11:30 AM. To receive a Zoom invite, contact Katie McBride, kmcb2006@comcast.net or 612-825-7569.
Presentation: Finding the Best Finish.
Nick Engler from the Workshop Companion put out a 27 minute video on March 2022 about Finding the Best Finish. He starts by mentioning the finish he has been using for many years after an interview with Rude Osolnik, a world renowned wood turner. He discusses why we apply finishes, the chemistry and the different application of finishes. He then presents how he tested 7 different finish and his results of these tests. We will watch this video with accompanying notes and find out why and what Nick has been using all these years. 

On-Site meetings are now back. You have the option of attending the meeting on-site
or by Zoom. Join us at 9:30 a.m. at the Creekside Community Center located at
9801 Penn Ave S, Bloomington, MN  55431-2912 for an informative presentation.  

Visitors are always welcome

Link for map

Sneak Peak
March 4, 2023Video Discussion With Steve Good
April 1, 2023  TBD


Past Meetings:
Saturday, January 7, 2023
Presentation: Share what you use to control dust in your shop.
Similar to what we did in November where we shared our expert hints, tips, tricks and Jigs. For January we want you to share what you use for dust control. From masks to equipment that you use.

If you simply want to talk about it, or bring items, or show us pictures.

If you do have pictures please send them to Carl Posz and he can collect them into a presentation. Please label them in priority order that you would like to discuss them.

 Carl Posz

(612) 382-2406


Saturday, December 3, 2022
Presentation: Christmas / Holiday party. Display and presentation of craft items for show/tell and donating to the Boutique.
Saturday, November 5, 2022
Presentation: Share Your Expert Hint, Tips, Tricks, Jigs, Handy Tools and Funny
Stories Day.
Presenters: Members
We know most of you have to find work-a-rounds for a variety of shop tasks. Whether your work-a-round is ingenious or a temporary fix, it will probably help someone who runs into a similar problem. We always get questions on gluing, finishing, hiding mistakes, preventing burns and cuts, cutting backboards, saw and tool maintenance, and on and on. We will start with show & tell and then Tips and Tricks, Goofs and Solutions, It should be a fun and educational time  
Saturday, October 1, 2022
Presentation: How to improve the quality of your scroll saw projects.
Presenters: John Engler
John has been judging scroll saw fretwork and intarsia contests. He will use that experience to highlight areas where you can improve your wood projects.   
Saturday, September 10, 2022 
Presentation: Introduction to scroll sawing 101.
Presenters: Gary Geist
Saturday, May 7, 2022 
Presentation: Converting a photo into fretwork with Graphic programs.
Presenters: Mike Snyder with added insight from Gary Geist & Mike Zenk.
Mike Snyder will lead the presentation on how you can import a photo into a graphics program and convert it into a fretwork pattern that can be printed out and used to cut the pattern with a scroll saw. The presentation will provide input into which software programs would be best suited for this task, some demonstrations on what steps need to be done and some video's that could be used by the members to attempt this on their own.
Saturday, April 2, 2022 
Presentation: A slide tour of TLC Toys workshop in Big Lake, MN.
Presenters: Mike Zink & John Engler with comments from Gary Geist & Jim Barthel.
The slide show will provide a comprehensive overview of behind the scenes of the
complex planning, scheduling and executing in making the various wooden toys at
TLC Toys in Big Lake, MN. The discussion will also include the impact and contribution
of the toys made by the North Star Scrollers and donated to TLC Toys.

Saturday, March 5, 2022 In person & Zoom

Presentation: Panel discussion on large framed intarsia projects. 

Presenter: John Engler will be joined by John Blackowiak.

 The panel discussion will focus on the unique characteristics of doing large framed intarsia projects. 

Saturday, February 5, 2022 In person & Zoom

Presentation: Compound or 3D cutting on the scroll saw. 

Presenter: YouTube.

 Two YouTube videos on Compound or 3D cutting will be shown. One is Scroll Saw Compound Cutting by the Artisan Pirate and the other is by Hans Meier from the Woodworkers Association. Excerpts will be included from Hans demonstrating the techniques he uses to make several of his favorite three dimensional objects on the scroll saw. 

Saturday, January 8, 2022 In person & Zoom

Presentation: Comprehensive review of his inventory of beautiful Intarsia projects. 

Presenter: Clinton Smith, Member, North Star Scrollers. 

Clinton will give an overview of his many Intarsia projects. He will also include how he got started in Intarsia and his favorite type of Intarsia that he likes to make. 

Saturday, December 12, 2021 In person & Zoom

Presentation: Christmas Ornament Exchange

Presenter: Membership

If you would like to participate in the exchange, bring a Christmas ornament (preferred) or other seasonal project for exchange. The donators will describe their ornaments. Then names will be drawn from a hat for their sequence of selection. This program is voluntary; it is not necessary to participate in order to attend the meeting.

Saturday, November 6, 2021 In person & Zoom

Presentation: Segmentation: A PowerPoint presentation on transforming reclaimed wood into works of mosaic art. 
Presenter: Kellie Lager, Owner, Designer & Maker of Moonlit Forest Art. 
Kellie started her career in wood as a forestry technician. In the process of removing old and diseased trees, she realized there were always so many neat and cool pieces left over just waiting to be made into something new – hence her pivot into making art! To this day, Kellie uses mostly reclaimed wood in her work.
 Kellie’s current process is to create a design and lay the pattern on different layers of wood. From there, she cuts each piece out individually using a scroll saw, uses stain and acrylics to create color and tone, and assembles the final mosaic within a handmade frame. She works out of her garage and is mostly self-taught, so she’s still learning all the woodworking lingo! Her current work strives to capture the intersection of the divine feminine and the raw power of nature.   

Saturday, October 2, 2021 In person & Zoom

Title: Demonstration on the use of a programmable CNC (Shaper Origin, www.shapertools.com) and a discussion on completed projects.

Presenter: Reed Carpenter (Member: North Star Scrollers).

Saturday, September 11, 2021 In person & Zoom

Title: A video discussion & review of different brands of scroll saws.

Presenters: Jim Mielke, John Engler and Warren Schank.

Saturday, May 1, 2021 (Zoom)

Title: Good Ideas: A compilation of videos and clips including kinetic wall art, making iconic road signs, uses for painters tape and taking measurements. 
Presenters: Mike Zenk, Don Gore & Danny Judd (NSS members) 

Saturday, April 3, 2021 (Zoom)

Title: Mike's & Steve's Garage: Table saw, band saw, miter saw, jointer & planer.

Presenter: Mike Zenk & Steve Harder (NSS members)

Saturday, March 6, 2021 (Zoom)

Title: Tips & Tricks .

Presenter: North Star Scrollers Membership

Saturday, February 6, 2021 (Zoom)

Video: Mike's Garage: A tour of the carpentry tools used in Mike's Garage.

Presenter: Mike Zenk

Saturday, January 2, 2021 (Zoom)

Video-You Tube: Intarsia Woodworking With Satellite City Instant Glues.

Presenter: Kathy Wise

Saturday, December 5, 2020 (Zoom)

Video-You Tube: Scroll Saw Blades

Presenter: Mustache Mike's Corner (Classic Episode #3)  

Video-You Tube: Scroll Saw Blade Tensioning and Pre-Stretching

Presenter: Scroll Saw Paradise (Bob)      

Saturday, November 7, 2020 (Zoom)

Video-You Tube: Applying Scroll Saw Patterns to Your Work-Piece
Presenter: Scroll Saw Goodies      

Saturday, October 10, 2020 (Zoom)

Title: Learning To Do a Virtual Meeting With Zoom

Presenter: None (Group Discussion)

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Title: Scroll Sawing: A Hobby For All Ages 

Presenter: Gary M. Geist. President, North Star Scrollers

Gary's presentation will cover the fundamentals of scroll sawing including scroll saw & blade selection, blade clamping & tensioning, pattern preparation, cutting techniques & finishing options. He will also describe several types of scroll sawing: fretwork, intarsia, segmentation and marquetry. If you are new or fairly new  to scroll sawing you will want to put this presentation on your calendar.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Title: My Personal Scroll Saw Journey 

Presenter: North Star Scroll Saw Members

This is an opportunity for all the members to share their experiences on making projects as a novice and journeyman, and how their equipment and interests evolved over the years. Members will also share how the club has helped them improve their overall project skills. New scrollers  will discuss what they have made and their plans for the future.  

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Title: Fine Wood Turning and Finishing 

Presenter: Richard Tendick

Richard grew up in Rochester, MN and graduated from John Marshall High School in 1963.  After high school he went into the Air Force and served his country primarily as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician. After his 5½-year stint with the Air Force, he attended Rochester Junior College and then enrolled at the University of New Mexico. 
Mr. Tendick, an engineer, worked for a manufacturer of industrial packaging (steel drums, fiber drums, multi-wall paper bags, wooden barrels, etc.). He designed plants and designed, modified and repaired machinery.  As part of repairing machinery, he would design and fabricate wooden patterns to make castings for parts that were no longer available.
In 1978, Richard built his own house and moved in prior to installing cabinets or sinks.  He built all the cabinets and most of the furniture in his house.  
In the 1990's, he joined the Minnesota Woodworkers Guild and became the Vice President in the early 2000’s.  At a meeting that was hosted by the American Woodworker magazine, one of the editors asked for help in designing a jig to sharpen chisels and plane irons on a drill press. Richard designed it for him and this led to an association with the magazine. After Mr. Tendick retired from his job of almost 30 years, he joined the staff of the American Woodworker magazine and was an editor for them until the magazine was purchased by the Popular Woodworking magazine.  Shortly there after the American Woodworker magazine was discontinued and Richard opted for permanent retirement.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Title: Ornament Exchange 

Presenter: NA

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Title: Wood Turning: Creating Miniature Ornaments On a Lathe 

Presenter: Ray Tuma

Ray was born and grew up in Lonsdale. He graduated from New Prague high school in 1967. He went to Faribault AVTI and graduated in 1970 in the 2 year Carpenter/Cabinetry course of study. 
Ray was in the Army from 1970-1972. He then honed his craft working for various home builders until March 2006 when he went to work for R&L Woodcraft in Lonsdale which was bought out in the spring of 2015 by Minnesota Millwork. He continued working full time for them until 2018 when he went to a 3 day week schedule. Now, he handles mostly special projects for the Minnesota Millwork Co. 
His hobbies have also revolved around woodworking, concentrating the last couple of years on wood turning intricate ornamental types of items on his lathe. He also has built furniture, wooden toys and small scroll work projects. 
Ray has been married 47 years to his wife Lois, and has  two sons, one daughter, two granddaughters and one grandson.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Title: North Star Scrollers: 10 Year Anniversary Celebration 

Presenters: John Engler & Donne Zib

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Title: Clocks: Time, Talent & Love 

Presenter: Lars Romo

Lars Romo was born in Minneapolis in 1945. He was adopted and grew up on a farm 10 miles south of Cannon Falls. Lars graduated from Wanamingo high school and the University of Minnesota Ag school with a degree in Plant Science. Mr. Romo worked for a short time for International Harvester in the Twin Cities and after he moved back home he worked in Zumbrota setting up new farm machinery for delivery to farms after being purchased. After many years of searching Lars located some of the members of his birth family and connected with them. Now he has two families to share.

Lars started farming with his dad and also worked grading roads for Wanamingo Township for 40 years and Cherry Grove Township for 20 years. He currently lives in the home he grew up in with his wife Ann and their dog Buddy. Mr. Romo has five children and is still farming part time with his son. He makes his own maple syrup and has a large apple orchard.

Lars got interested in clocks and scroll sawing when he was 10 years old after he visited the Bily Clock Museum in Iowa. He decided then that he would someday like to make a clock of his own. He finally got started 40 years later and now after building 10 large clocks with 1 in progress, along with a large chandelier (with working lights) and numerous smaller items, he is an accomplished master scroller. He has had several articles featuring his work written about him.

Mr. Romo is a determined individual and has many unique ideas on how things should be done. He harvests his own Cherry wood from his grove, then saws it with his own sawmill, dries it and then planes it to the right thickness before using it to make a clock. To prevent the wood from splitting while drying he uses anti-freeze. He got that tip from an old woodworker. He designed a blade deflection preventer to get his really fine detail cuts without cutting through or breaking the wood. He does his scroll saw work at a table in the middle of the living room while keeping everything clean and tidy.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Title: About Feathers & Pyrography 

Presenter: Nancy Dardis

Nancy Dardis is a Pyrography (woodburning) artist who lives in Bloomington, MN. She has been carving and woodburning since 1991.

Nancy’s specialty is fur and feathers. She has done many pet portrait commissions over the years and teaches woodburning classes. She also had a one-woman show of wildlife art at the Minnesota Wildlife Refuge gallery in Bloomington. Nancy will bring samples of her art for your enjoyment.

For this presentation, Nancy will provide woodworkers, painters, and bird lovers alike information about feathers: how different birds use feathers, how wings and tails are constructed, how feathers grow and are maintained by different types of birds. There are bound to be details you never knew that will have you looking differently at birds in the wild and in art!

Nancy will also include a brief discussion on how to use this new information to adjust bird photos/patterns for your own creative works. 

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Title: New Pegas Blade Clamp: Demo, Uses, Benefits, and Basic Setup 

Presenter: Jeff Dadd

If you own an Excalibur, Seyco, King, Jet, Dewalt or Delta scroll saw you need to hear what our member, Jeff Dadd, has to offer on this “must have” retrofit clamp for your scroll saw, especially the Excalibur.

In 2018 Bear Woods introduced the Swiss made Pegas “Blade Chuck Heads,” also known as the “Blade Clamps” for several scroll saw brands. Jeff, a master scroller on his Excalibur will explain the benefits and set up of the new clamp. Following the discussion, Jeff will give a demo using is Excalibur.

Jeff has been scroll sawing for about 30 years. He started out making wood projects as gifts for family and friends. Scroll sawing escalated into a passion that he cherishes to this day. His main focus is on fretwork (intricate inside cutting) which can be seen in his current projects, scrolling various species of fish, which are given as trophies for kids and veterans. Jeff with his speed and accuracy in scroll sawing keeps is observers mesmerized.   

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Title: T.L.C. Toys: Different Era - Same Mission

Presenter: Jim Barthel

After 28 years, Mel Hartman, due to health issues, relinquished his role as president of T.L.C. Toys. Jim Barthel, retired and a volunteer for T.L.C. Toys, has assumed the responsibility of president of T.L.C. Toys as of January 2019. The mission remains the same: Bring joy to the hearts of less fortunate children by gifting them with a hand-crafted wooden toy.

Jim will share with us why he took on this responsibility and his plans for T.L.C. Toys and how the North Star Scrollers can help him attain his goals. He will give us a photo tour of his “shop” which will outline the equipment and capabilities for making wooden toys.

With a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a MBA, Jim is extremely qualified for this position. In addition to doing stints as a project engineer at Elk River Machine Company, Timesavers and FMC Corporation, Jim was president of three former companies, Com Tal Machine & Engineering, Cretex Specialty Products, and Elk River Machine Company. He was a Board of Director for several profit and nonprofit organizations during his career and his currently a Board of Director for the Guardian Angels (Elk River) and The Bank of Elk River. Besides traveling, one of Jim’s favorite hobbies is woodworking.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Title: Effect of Various Finishes on Wood

Presenter: Dick Kneeland

Dick Kneeland grew up in Sioux City, Iowa. At age 16 he started working with his dad installing siding on houses.
Dick eventually came to the Twin Cities and drove trucks for Century Motor Freight for the bulk of his working career. He retired 26 years ago and needed something to do with his time so he started working for Rockler at their new store in Burnsville. He worked at the Minneapolis store and was the manager for a few years but he wanted to have more contact with the customers and less with the books so he came back to the Burnsville store where he has been ever since.
He has been doing woodworking of some sort for well over 50 years. His favorite things to make are small boxes that he makes in his workshop that is attached to his garage.
Over the years Dick has learned a lot about wood finishing from his time at Rockler and while studying finishing work at the Dakota County Technical School.
Dick and his wife have been married over 60 years and are longtime residents of Bloomington where they raised two boys and two girls.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Title: Intarsia Wood Crafting

Presenter: Tom Kaldunski

Tom is the City Engineer for the city of Inver Grove Heights. Intarsia wood crafting is his art. He has been creating beautiful intarsia projects for many years and will present some of his large intarsia wooden murals to illustrate various techniques he has developed to complement typical patterns. A variety of up to twenty woods have been used, with a clear coat of polyurethane as the basis for the varying colors. Various thicknesses of wood ranging from 2” to 1/8” provide a three-dimensional effect giving depth to the intarsia. Wood grain is used to provide detail such as the ribs of a deer. Waney edges (natural wood bark left on the edge) simulate a natural forest landscaping. Other techniques are used to build the landscape and complete the painting of woodland scenes. ◄Top

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Title: Share Your Expert Hint, Tips, Tricks, Jigs, Handy Tools and Funny Stories Day

Presenter: All Members

We know most of you have to find work-a-rounds for a variety of shop tasks. Whether your work-a-round is ingenious or a temporary fix, it will probably help someone who runs into a similar problem. We always get questions on gluing, finishing, hiding mistakes, preventing burns and cuts, cutting backboards, saw and tool maintenance, and on and on.

We'll start with a PowerPoint ten minute or less preview on scroll saw basics. Then start a Tips and Tricks, Goofs and Solutions, show and tell. It should be a fun and educational time.                                                      

Saturday, October 6, 2018                          

Presenter: Swede Bengtson

Title: Compound Scroll Sawing
This is a meeting to look forward to as it's the first presentation on "Compound Scroll Sawing."  You will be amazed at what our speaker does with a scroll saw.  Swede Bengtson, a charter member of North Star Scrollers, will use power point visuals, display many compound sawn projects and tell numerous stories of his experience with compound sawing.  Swede is a retired teacher and manager of education and training around the world.  It will be an informative, interesting and fun meeting.  Be careful, compound scroll sawing is ADDICTIVE.  Swede only asks one thing: LET'S FILL THE ROOM WITH MEMBERS, FRIENDS AND RELATIVES.

September 2018

Speaker: Mike Zenk

Title: Getting Better Measurements       

According to Mike, we can all improve on getting better measurements. This will give us better accuracy when we lay out and make our projects. Mike was a machinist for a good share of his career. First working for a small company and then for Northwest Airlines. He also worked at the Toro machine shop in Shakopee at the end of his career. So measuring things was always part of his daily work life. 

 Accuracy depends partly on having a well laid out pattern. Then on using the right machine and finally even some shaping by hand to get the finished project. While making a project, taking measurements will be an ongoing part of the process.  Even some general math may be involved in getting the right length, width and thickness of the project piece or choosing the right size tool for the job.

With a little practice and patience we can all improve our results with better measurements.                                       

May 2018

Speaker: Gary M. Geist

Title: A Collection of Incredible Fretwork From the Archives of :                             

                                           Elmer Dockendorf

Elmer has been scroll sawing for approximately 25 years. If you are a frequent visitor to the Creative Arts building at the Minnesota State Fair you probably have seen many of his masterpieces of fretwork over the years. Last year he received a Blue Ribbon for his entry of the Cathedral in Milan, Italy. A previous entry was the Amiens Cathedral in Northern France, 1152 AD which was crafted with 636 pieces and 3877 inside cuts.

Elmer is definitely an aficionado of the scroll saw. The presentation will show many of his past fretwork projects in addition to the basic tools and materials he uses to make these works of artistic perfection.

Whether you are a novice or a veteran in scroll sawing, you will be impressed to see what copious hours of therapeutic scroll sawing can bring to fruition.

April 2018

Speaker: Mike Synder

Topic: How to Capture Anything from Great Danes to Grand Children in Wood

                     - Converting photos into patterns that you can use -

Discussion will be on making patterns for fretwork, relief carving and wood burning.  Various techniques and tools will be covered, mainly using photo manipulation software. While there is no magic formula that can work on everything, there are basic approaches that are useful. The presentation will also touch on pattern making ideas for intarsia, marquetry and carving in the round.

In seventh grade Mike did his first painting on a grocery store window.  Half a century later he was finally comfortable acknowledging he had some artistic skill. Mike started unusual pumpkin carving 25 years ago. Ten years later he was carving images of people. Since then, he has converted photos to patterns that have ended up in various media – from watermelons to candles and even rocks. 

March 2018
Bill Breegemann: Guitar Making
Bill grew up in Marysville, MN just south of Shakopee. His great-great grandfather homesteaded the family farm in 1854. Bill got into woodworking to make his own guitars about 5 years ago when he had a custom guitar made and the guitar maker let him watch. Right now, Bill has six guitars in process.
The backs and sides can be made of almost any kind of wood, but the front is usually made of Sitka spruce because of its smooth knot free qualities. Bill uses guitar supply companies for a lot of his wood and other needs.
He studies the woods he uses extensively before he uses them in his instruments. Harder woods can carry sound better.
Bill can also play the guitar and will be glad to give us a short demonstration. 
February 2018
Ralph Truesdell from Woodcraft: Cabinetry.
January 2018
Cecilia Schiller delights audiences young and old with her engaging and often whimsical interactive mechanical sculptures also called automata. These sculptures have no motors are brought to life when the viewer turns a crank. Ms. Schiller, an accomplished and award-winning woodcarver, incorporates hand carved figures and decorative elements into her automata that range in size from intimate tabletop pieces to large-scale public installations. 
December 2017
A festive holiday meeting with "show & tell" of current wood projects.
November 2017WOOD WALL SCULPTOR – MARC LAMM Marc Lamm (http://www.marclamm.com/) works with wood like a painter works with oils and a sculptor works with stone. In his unique art techniques, Marc joins boards in curves, inserts solid wood strips and pegs, and carves the surface. Marc states, “Although my art looks like a painting, what you see is, in fact, wood itself in its natural colors. It's difficult to realize how all this works together without seeing it in person.” 
October 2017 
Back by popular demand, were the Hagen and Oats sisters for our October meeting speaking about their first State Fair experience. See more details in the October newsletter.
September 2017
Swede Bengtson lead a discussion on tips and tricks for getting started in scrolling. 
June 2017
June was year two of participation in the Minneapolis/St Paul Mini Maker Faire. This year, in a new and improved location the Scrollers trained nearly 100 people on how to use a scrollsaw.  
April 2017
Anna Hagen and Nikki Hollerich describe themselves as 'two sisters and some tools', but there is a lot more to their story. 

Hagen and Hollerich run Newport, Minnesota based Hagen and Oats where they create handmade custom art, that features, in part, scroll-sawed pieces.
March 2017
Mitch Kohanek is a retired teacher and a national expert in wood finishing. Our members were entertained with a fire hose of information at the March meeting as Mitch tried to fit a nine month course into 90 minutes. 

Mitch has been teaching woodfinishing for over 40 years. He says he is confident he can educate you about wood finishing techniques and materials that will shorten your learning curve. Learn how to participate in the results, not just observe them. Short term customized wood finishing classes that fit your needs and schedule. You will be able to immediately apply what you learn and put the education into action.wood finishing. Here is a link to his web site:   http://www.woodfinishing.org/
February 2017
Jim Mielke has worked and traveled with wood for a very long time. From sawing lumber to traveling on the craft circuit he has crisscrossed Minnesota and as you might expect he has as few stories to tell. On Saturday the 4th Jim will fill us in on his journey and tell us a little about what his future portends.
January 2017
This past summer Katie McBride drove down to Tennessee for for a class at the Judy Gale Roberts studio. Katie talked about her trip, the class she took with Judy and all the elephants in the room. 
December 2016
December was our annual pot luck and show and tell.
November 2016
At the November meeting we were joined by master wood carver Gary Detlaff who hand-carves wooden roses in aspen, walnut, bloodwood, and ebony. He also carves intricate wall hangings, gunstocks, statues, and pieces for architectural restoration. Gary also turns cremation urns, bowls,  and architectural pieces. You can view some of his work on the Quality Wood Carving web site at: http://www.qualitywoodcarving.com.
October 2016
October 2016's meeting program was the premiere showing of the full length NorthStar Scroller’s Documentary produced by Pete Rose Productions. Copies of the documentary can be purchased for $10 at the meeting. 

Recent Articles
NorthStar Scroller member Phil Lagarde  was recently featured in this St Paul Pioneer Press story.

Handcrafted holiday joy: Man makes wooden toys, donates them to first responders to give to kids

By Mary Divine, St. Paul Pioneer Press on Dec 17, 2016 at 4:44 p.m.

STILLWATER, Minn. — Phil Lagarde’s obsession started with a bar of Ivory soap. Lagarde, who lives in Stillwater, was studying to be a chef in the early 1980s when he took a class in ice carving at North Hennepin Technical College in Minneapolis. “The first day, they set us down with a block of Ivory soap,” Lagarde said. “The second day, we got a 400-pound block of ice. … I ended up making a swan.”
Lagarde, 68, started carving wooden models to show restaurant owners what he could create out of ice. “I wanted to get little statues of the ice carvings that I did, so if I went around and talked to people, I’d have something to show them — something that wouldn’t melt.” Thirty-five years later, Lagarde spends six to seven hours a day in his basement workshop making wooden toys. He donates the toys — 1,500 thus far this year — to police officers and firefighters, who hand them out to children who have been affected by traumatic events. “Trucks, cars, dinosaurs, knights, saber-toothed tigers, dragons, you name it,” said Lagarde. “I went to the fire station yesterday and dropped 30 toys and three fire trucks, and then I dropped 90 toys at the police station. They can carry them around in their squad cars, and if they come across a kid in a stressful situation, they can hand them one and, hopefully, it will help distract them.” Lagarde recently added another beneficiary to his donation list: the Washington County Jail in Stillwater. After reading an article about efforts to make the jail’s lobby more child-friendly, Lagarde decided to donate five boxes of toys to the jail. Jail staff will give some of the toys to children of incarcerated parents during the next few weeks and keep some for children to play with as they wait. On a recent weekday morning, Lagarde pulled into the jail’s parking lot, unloaded the boxes from the back of his black Mazda 5 and used a pushcart to transport 122 toys to the jail’s lobby. Jail Commander Roger Heinen and Sgt. Dave Stumpner greeted him at the door. “Oh, wow, this is awesome,” Heinen said. “The kids will love these. Thank you.” Lagarde pulled out one of his most special toys — a knight on horseback carrying a shield and flag — to show the men. He joked that he was getting a reputation in Washington County as a “toy monger” and told the men to contact him when they needed more toys. Heinen said Lagarde’s toys will help alleviate the stress and anxiety that come with jail-time visits during the holidays; between 6 and 16 children visit the jail each week. “It’s wonderful to have something to hand out,” Heinen said. “It’s kind of hard for these kids to understand why Mom or Dad can’t be with them at Christmas, and coming to jail is scary for a child, so it’s nice to give them something to brighten their day as they walk out the door.” Lagarde works through an organization called TLC Toys, based in Andover. TLC Toys receives donations of wood for volunteers to make toys; last year, the organization gave away 31,286 toys. “The good news is that all the wood for TLC is donated, but the bad news is that we don’t get a choice as to the kind of wood we get,” Lagarde said. Lagarde used 14 pieces of wood, including black walnut, cherry, hard maple and oak, to make a 10-inch-tall knight and horse. A small velociraptor had a body made out of oak, legs made out of cherry and arms made out of maple. Lagarde uses a scroll saw to create his toys. He pastes a pattern onto the wood and cuts along the line. “It takes patience and hand-eye coordination,” he said. “You just follow the lines, so like anything else, it’s practice, practice, practice.” Mel Hartman, founder of TLC Toys, said Lagarde’s years of practice have paid off. “To do it at the level that he does, that takes a lot of talent,” Hartman said. “He’s extremely good. Extremely.” One toy an hour, four hours at a time During a recent tour of his workshop, Lagarde showed off some of the 40 kinds of toys that he creates. Each toy takes about an hour to make. He paints most of them, but some are dipped in a homemade mix of boiling linseed oil, mineral spirits and polyurethane. Lagarde wears safety glasses and listens to classical music piped through his headphones while working. He said it’s not unusual for him to work four to five hours at a time. He’s cut himself three times — “it’s not bad, you just cut your fingertip” — and fallen asleep twice. He has since installed a “dead man’s switch,” so if his foot comes off the switch, the saw stops, he said. “It’s something I like to do,” he said. “It keeps me off the street and out of trouble. At least I’m not one of those guys sitting in a bar, drinking my lunch. You know what they say: ‘Whoever ends up with the most toys, wins.’ ” Lagarde grew up in Duluth and graduated from Duluth Cathedral High School in 1966. The second-oldest of five boys, he said he was not encouraged to pursue art as a career. “To tell you the truth, in the neighborhood I grew up in, a boy was not an artist,” he said. He attended cooking school in Rochester, Minn., and then enrolled in the Air Force. He was stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base outside Spokane, Wash., where he served as an aircrew survival and protection specialist. After his discharge, he enrolled in Eastern Washington State College in Cheney, Wash., graduating in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition. He moved back to Minnesota later that year and worked for restaurants in Duluth, Crystal, Bloomington, St. Louis Park, Golden Valley, Minneapolis and Afton. His longest stint was at the Afton House Inn, where he oversaw Sunday brunch and meals served on the Afton-Hudson Cruise Lines. But after 15 years, he said, it was time to try something new. “You know the old saw, ‘If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen,’ ” he said. “After 30 years, I was getting a little tired of cooking.” In 2000, he took a job working the night shift at International Paper in Arden Hills; he retired in 2015. “I used to work five days and scroll-saw two days a week,” he jokes. “Now, I’m working seven days a week.” But he’s happy to have all his hard work bring joy at this time of year, he said. “I was at a store a little while ago, and the clerk asked, ‘How are you?’ ” he said. “I told her I was mean, vicious, rotten and cruel. She said, ‘You must have a very short Christmas list.’ “I said, ‘Actually, I have 31,000 kids on my Christmas list — and that’s on my good days.’” The Pioneer Press is a Forum News Service media partner.
Creative dust collection

by Reed Carpenter

Working with wood is a dusty business and it can be dangerous. One of the first presentations I attended at NorthStar Scrollers was about toxic wood dust and what you should do to avoid it. What was I getting myself into with this new woodworking hobby?

A few years and many dust masks later I started remodeling my garage to set up my shop. This, of course, was interrupted by by a basement remodel necessitated by a minor flood. Two years later, finally seeing the way back to my garage, I’m thinking about dust collection. Things do take time. My good fortune in having to wait now takes the form of YouTube videos and the recent arrival of Harbor Freight in Bloomington. Let me explain.

One of the things I want to do in my shop is install a dust collector. Now that I’m retired it will have to be an inexpensive dust collector but conveniently enough I’ve found three YouTube videos containing great examples of how to upgrade a Harbor Freight dust collector from single stage to two stage at a reasonable price. You might enjoy these too.

The beauty of this dust collector is it’s price and while some pause at the mention of Harbor Freight a number of smart wood workers have been experimenting with good results. This collector retails at $229 but in combination with the frequently available coupons the current price drops to about $179 plus tax. Some of the modifications you will see in the videos will double the cost but compared to the $500 plus price of most dust collectors these examples are still a bargain. Harbor Freight just opened up a new Bloomington location this week on Portland Avenue just south of the Interstate 494.

So here are the titles of the three YouTube videos along with the names of each of the producers. Search YouTube using either the name or the title and you should find each video or just click on the link for each title.

April Wilkerson - Modify a Harbor Freight Dust Collector and Installing My Harbor Freight Dust Collectors  (Finally!)

April Wilkerson produced two videos over the past year about creating a two stage dust collector from the Harbor Freight’s single stage model. The first talks about the changes and the second shows how she installed the dust collector outside her shop to cut down on noise.

DIYTyler - 2 Stage Harbor Freight Dust Collector

DIYTyler published a video in February showing how he added a Super Dust Deputy cyclone from Oneida to the Harbor Freight collector to create a two stage filter. He built an nice wall-mounted frame to create a sturdy compact unit. The Super Dust Deputy runs about $180.

Thesergeant - Harbor Freight 2hp Dust Collector with Wynn 35a Filter

The Sergeant’s version adds a Wynn Environmental 35a 80/20 blend pleated filter to capture dust down to .5 microns. Wynn retails this filter at $188.

Prior Years' Meetings:
April 2016 John Walkowiak Midwest Tool Collectors Association

That pile of rusty old tools in the corner of your workshop are the treasures that make John Walkowiak get up in the morning. Show up on Saturday April 2nd and hear what John has to tell you about old tools, some you may never have seen before. 

The Mid-West Tool Collectors is the world's largest tool collecting organization and a non-profit devoted to studying, preserving and sharing knowledge of tolls. With a membership of about 3,500 residing in all 50 states, Canada, Australia and the European Union, it's members have provided assistance to museums and historical sites including Mount Vernon, Colonial Williamsburg and the Smithsonian with their toll collections and trades displays.

I would guess there are a few hunters here in our club who will truly enjoy the next presentation. And given the quality of what comes out of the Minnesota Decoy and Wildfowl Carving Club, I’m sure any woodworker will appreciate the artistry of Dave Jacobs. 

His club website www.mdwcc-carving-club.com shows some beautiful wood carvings of fish, ducks, birds and more. Dave will present the basics from choosing wood, starting a project, mixing the colors of stains to get the "realistic colors of nature" and how he finishes his projects. He has taught decoy carving for the last few years to all ages. Invite your friends!

November 2015 Tips and Tricks
November ends with Thanksgiving, a time to share the bounty of the years harvest. For scrollers November is a great time to share with friends the bounty of the things we have learned this past year. So bring along your favorite scrolling and woodworking tips and tricks to share with your fellow members. If you have a prop that illustrates what you want to show be sure to bring it along.

October 2015 John Krantz
John Krantz grew up on a farm near Deer River in northern MN and now lives in Forest Lake. His wife and he still have that farm as third-generation owners.
Always interested in wood, he has made wooden toys since he was 10. After seeing a jigsaw in the Montgomery Ward catalog, he devoted a whole summer to digging and selling fish bait worms at 10 cents a dozen to earn the $20 to buy the jigsaw. (People never heard of a scroll saw back in those days.)
John worked for the Department of Natural Resources as a forester for thirty-one years. He got credit for three more years of forestry in the military, where he served a year as a counter-intelligence officer in Vietnam.
John is currently in the business of selling wood primarily used for carving. In his presentation, he talked mainly about basswood and butternut. His products include clean, white, square and rectangular blocks for carvers and ovals and bark-board for wood burning crafts, painting and relief carving.
Samples of blocks and boards in John’s Work
Relief carving boards are glued together to make them wider. The grain must be turned in opposite directions to stabilize the board and avoid cupping. John tries to match the grain to get all the same color. Every piece of wood is going to be a different color because every tree is different.
A tree must be cut in the winter to have the bark stay on; this is true for any type of tree. The logs are sawn into lumber in the spring, and then the lumber is piled for air drying. The lumber is 8’ long and after drying, the lumber is cut into sections and the sections are glued together so the relief carving board has the same color and texture. John uses use Titebond original glue, which he recommends because the glue will not show any glue lines.
John showing wood split to the heart
If a tree is cut in the heat of the summer, the board will get stained from the ends. Carvers like clean, white, unstained wood. Since he mainly serves carvers and pyrographers (wood burners), he doesn’t buy summer logs. The basswood must be cut in the winter and stored correctly.
The workers at many saw mills do not know how to saw wood for carvers. Any time wood is sawed out of the center of a tree—any kind of wood, especially hard wood—the wood will split to the heart. You need to inspect the wood to make sure there is no center of the tree in the wood. Especially if it’s green and cut fresh, it will split someplace.
John and his colleagues use a product called Anchor Seal, a water-based sealant, on the end of the logs. Moisture will exit the wood the easiest way possible, and that would be through the cut ends of the wood. That’s why the ends of the logs are sealed. If not sealed, the wood will dry and crack from the ends and at least a foot can be lost from the end of each log.
For scrollers, John makes a lot of thin wood from basswood and butternut that they re-saw on a table saw with a three-inch blade. He flips the wood being sawn, so the maximum they can get is a six-inch board. The reason they don’t go any wider is the thinner the wood, the more bowing there is. And that’s why they glue.
The number-one use for basswood in Minnesota is for building shims. Nelson Wood Products in Cohasset, MN, makes these shims. They are the largest shim maker in the US. The basswoods are best for their excellent snap. They snap off easily, which is desirable in construction.
Scrollers use ½” boards
Shown here is John’s place in Forest Lake. They have a Powermatic planer. John’s operation uses every speck of the wood. All the shavings are collected and put into large bags. The shavings go for horses. They have a couple of cutoff saws and no band saw.
John’s operation also manufactures walking sticks. In the summertime, john cuts ten to twelve year old aspen for walking sticks and canes. Debarking is best done in June when it’s easy to strip the bark. They have a demand for about 400 hundred walking sticks per year. Also used for walking sticks, Diamond willow is best cut in winter.
John had a show in Stevens Point where he sold $830 worth of walking sticks alone. John does not advertise; instead, he gets his business by word of mouth; orders come in from across the country. He can’t keep up.
John and his wife, Marci, participate in six shows per year, but only one in Minnesota which is held in Black Duck, MN. They have been there for twenty-five years, and they see the same people come every year. John used to go to Arizona to a two-day show and sell out the first morning. People would stand in a line 150 deep, and as soon as the door would open customers would rush in.
John’s presentation included a very interesting slide show that demonstrates the harvesting of trees in Minnesota. We are working on putting the slide show on our website, and we’ll let you know when you can see and experience his expertise. Once again, you wooden’t want to miss it.
John ended his presentation with a slide that says, “There are not many perfect people in the world and less perfect trees.” We say to John, “Your presentation has been pretty close to perfect. Thank you for sharing your life’s work with us…we wooden’t want to miss it.”

September 2015 Cecilia Schiller

Saturday September 12th begins our new year of programs at the Bloomington Knights of Columbus Hall and this year we are very pleased to kick off our first meeting with Cecilia Schiller.

Many of you may have seen Cecilia behind the counter at Woodcraft in Bloomington, where she also teaches scroll saw classes, or at the Northhouse Craft School in Grand Marais where she teaches as well. But what she does outside of work will simply amaze you. So don’t miss our September meeting.

Cecilia will a showcase a number of her projects, her gear illustrators and talk about how she uses a scroll saw to produce gears and parts. She will share some of her techniques for conceptualizing and creating automata. So be prepared to stretch your imagination.

This quote from her wonderful website summarizes some of her recent work:

Over the last several years Cecilia has combined original carvings and woodworking to create gear driven, interactive sculptures called automata. A turn of the crank brings the whimsical scene to life. Even the most committed curmudgeon has been known to crack a smile while experiencing the magic of these award winning creations.

Schiller’s work doesn’t end with automata. Early in her career she created puppets and masks for theatrical productions and traveled to Bali to learn how to carve masks. She has created interactive displays for clients and as well as other art works. Cecilia has been featured on TPT’s MN Original and in 2014 received a State Arts Board grants for her work.

December 2014
Nancy Dardis, a local, accomplished, and entertaining Pyrography Artist helped us explore the art of pyrography. 

November 2014
November's Meeting featured an all-star panel of Intarsia gurus. Jim Ryan, John Engler, Katie McBride, and Swede Bengston were on hand giving out the tricks of the trade for their favorite technique.
October 2014
October was all about hands-on work and good conversation as we cut wooden toys to support our favorite charity, TLC Toys.  Thanks to all who were on hand to help!
September 2014
Our own NSS member, Travis Beard, creates beautiful Marquetry projects using wood veneers. He shared his knowledge and creative ideas on using veneer wood to enrich our projects. There are some self-help training courses in marquetry and parquetry under the Resources tab at:
The History of Marquetry can be found at: http://www.americanmarquetrysociety.com/Marquetry.html




























Creekside Community Center