Welcome to the home of Minnesota's scroll saw artists.
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.


Updates

Updates from  ScrollSaw Woodworking and Crafts

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 Meeting: Saturday April 1, 2017
Hagen and Oats
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, scrollsawed pieces.  Don't miss the April 1st (no fooling) meeting as Hagen and Hollerich tell us about their business and their art.

Mark Saturday April 1st at 9:30 am down on your calendar for our next meeting at the Knights of Columbus Hall located at 1114 American Blvd W in Bloomington.




Sneak Peak
 April 2017  Hagen & Oats
 May 2017  To be determined
 June 2017  Minneapolis/St Paul Mini Maker Faire
 July 2017  Annual Picnic


Past Meetings
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
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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.

January 2016 DAVE JACOBS - DECOY CARVER 
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