To cut out the ornaments, Debbie uses a Scroll saw. Scroll saw or fretwork is sawing very intricate designs into wood using very small blades. For every cut-out a hole is drilled. The blade is then inserted into the hole that was drilled into the pattern. After that, when the cut is made, the blade is removed and placed in a different hole to make another cut. The more intricate a pattern is, the more time it takes to cut and the fragile the piece becomes.
A Scroll saw can cut softwood up to an inch and three quarters (1 3/4). The thicker the wood the less intricate the cut, because a thicker blade must be used. Debbie uses mainly 1/4" to 1/2" thick wood.
After cutting, the hardwood ornament is palm sanded to a 320 grit to make it smooth and soft. Then 3 coats of semigloss polyurethane is applied. The beautiful hardwoods are thus left in their natural state - no paint is used.
The design comes purely from the cutting. The fretwork looks great on Christmas trees, but can also be displayed year round in windows, with the light coming through the cut-outs. Also they can be displayed on walls, cabinets, or anywhere your heart desires.
Jimmy's boxes are cut on a band saw and they all start as a single block of wood. Jimmy cuts the back of the block off, then cuts the drawers out. Next, he reattaches the back piece with glue, then he cuts the outside to the final shape. The next several hours are spent sanding. The boxes are sanded to a grit of 320. The drawer pulls of the box are usually made from a different type of wood for contrast. All are finished with three coats of gloss polyurethane. Every item is handmade by Debbie or Jimmy.
About The Wood
All of the wood that is used was harvested from the forests of Nelson County. No tree was cut to make our ornaments or boxes. The trees that are harvested either died standing, were blown over in storms, or a few that were being cut to make way for a new house. The main woods we use are Red Oak and Cherry. We also use Black Walnut, Red Cedar, White Ash, Butternut, Maple, Hickory, and White Oak.