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Scroll Saw Patterns With Inkscape - L8

inkscape tutorial video pattern making class

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#1 Travis


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Posted September 24, 2009 - 08:43 PM

Welcome to the very last lesson in our Inkscape class. Time flies, doesn't it? We're doing another demonstration. This time we're creating an elk mini-clock for a desk. The project takes a standard 1 7/16" mini-clock insert you can find online or at some craft stores. This video runs a little long, but you'll see the entire process of putting together this project. There is too much information to cover in written instructions, so I've provided a general overview instead. You probably won't understand the written instruction without seeing the video first.

Making Clock Template
The clock insert we're using requires a 1 3/8" hole to be cut. Most will use a forsner bit and drill the hole. So lets make a clock holder. First I draw a 1.375" circle. Then I add cross hairs to mark the center of the hole by taking a vertical line, duplicating it and rotating it to horizontal. I center everything and group it. I want a 1/4" border, so I'll draw a 1/4" box to act as a measuring device. I stack the the center hole with the measuring box. Then ungroup the center hole, duplicate the center, then use dynamic offset and enlarge it to the top of the measuring box. Delete the measuring box, select the outer circle and inner circle and use Difference to make a donut. Group this new shape with your cross hairs and set aside.

Making Frame
We'll create a oval frame to contain our scene for the clock. First, I make the main oval and size it to the size I want. Then create a measuring square at 1/2" square. Select your oval and square, center horizontally and push the square to the top of the selection. Duplicate the oval and use dynamic offset and scale it to the bottom of your measuring square. Delete the measuring square, select the inner oval and outer oval and use Difference to create your basic frame shape.

Now we need to make some feet. Draw a square about the size you need, then turn it into a path. Using node editing, give the legs a nice gentle curve. When you reach a shape you're happy with, duplicate the shape and flip it. Place each leg into the approximate place. Then center vertically, group them, then select both the feet group and the oval frame and center them horizontally. Ungroup everything, then use Union to make it one shape.

Now to make sure everything sits on the same plane, draw a large square that overlaps your new shape. Select both shapes and choose Difference. This will flatten out the bottom of the feet and flatten the bottom of your oval frame.

Making The Base
Draw a square a little longer than the width of your frame. I usually like 1/2" or 3/4" on each side of the frame. Then I choose a height wider than the stock I'm using. So if I'm using 3/4" stock, I might make the height 1.5" or 2". Once you have the dimensions figured out, round the corners of the rectangle to soften up the base.

Tracing Our Subject
Find a picture you'd like to use in your clock. I chose to use an elk. You can find the elk here if you want to follow along. Import the picture into Inkscape to begin tracing. I use a square that I turned into a path as my starting point. Then its just a matter of placing the nodes and adjusting the Bezier handles to match the picture.

You may need to create multiple shapes and use Difference to punch a hole into the silhouette. You can also use the Bezier tool in the Tool Box to add some veining. Once done, group your elk and delete your source photo.

Arranging Our Elements
Now you can take your traces subject and place it where you want it within the frame. You can also place your clock template within the frame too. Once you get everything placed, its a good idea to duplicate everything and set it aside. Someday, you may want to use your tracing again. This way you can have that element separate from the pattern you're creating.

When you're happy with the placement, it is time to start to Union the pieces together. You'll have to ungroup any groups before using Union. If you run into further trouble, breaking apart elements will sometimes help.

Finishing Touches
When you're finished, you can start labeling your pieces and signing your work. Add any instructions if required. Print our your design or upload a copy to the Pattern Library.

The pattern that was demonstrated in this lesson is posted below.

Posted Image

I hope you guys enjoyed this class and learned a thing or two. Inkscape isn't a hard program to learn, it just takes a little practice (just like anything else). The possibilities are endless with this program and you can come up with unique designs that nobody else has. I hope you choose to share your talent with the rest of us. Scrollers are very appreciative of pattern designers. Plus, its a huge thrill when you see someone cut one of your patterns. I can't wait to see what y'all will come up with. Happy designing! :thumbs:

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#2 Vector01


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Posted September 24, 2009 - 11:41 PM

Hi Travis:

Another great tutorial :cool: Now we can go from the use of Inkscape for just creating bitmaps to designing some wonderful patterns :D Your time and hard work is greatly appreciated :thumbs:

Thanks Again!

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#3 titchmccartney1



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Posted December 01, 2011 - 10:47 AM

Just watched all the inkscape tutorials back to back. Very useful. Thankyou

#4 don watson

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Posted December 05, 2012 - 02:15 PM

Hi Travis,
Just came back to this great tutorial but have a problem.
Where is the best place to ask questions on the use of Inkscape.
When I go to trace the Elk I seem to have duplicate nodes and the outline stays shown ?
Don W

#5 Montserrat


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Posted September 10, 2016 - 12:41 AM

Are you aware of running this on a Mac?  or a program that would similar?

#6 meflick


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Posted September 12, 2016 - 06:57 PM

Are you aware of running this on a Mac?  or a program that would similar?

Are you asking if there is a Mac version of inkscape?  If so, yes there is.  The "official" site for Inkscape is Inkscape.org. Found here: https://inkscape.org/en/



If you go to the "download" and pull down you will see the supported platforms of which Mac is one.  Note that sometimes Mac versions uses different keys /shortcuts to do things different from a PC version so you may find some minor differences from things shared in a tutorial.

Edited by meflick, September 12, 2016 - 06:58 PM.

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#7 Sam777


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Posted October 23, 2016 - 02:11 PM

Hi Travis,

I have an Inkscape question but don't know which section of the forum to post in:

I am VERY NEW to Inkscape.

I am trying to follow with your tutorials but I have this problem:

All my objects have their bounding boxes way outside of them. I tried to find the fix in the preferences but couldn't.

Would you please tell me how to fix this setting?

Thank you


#8 Travis


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Posted October 25, 2016 - 03:58 PM

Can you post your Inkscape file you're working on?  I can take a look at it and see what's going on.

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#9 tcscroller



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Posted November 02, 2016 - 09:26 PM

Travis------I know that you are a busy guy but I was wondering if you would kindly manage to toss together a small word are using intersecting words----------I have tried and tried but get 80 per cent through it and then hit a stumbling block ----------I have had a request from a little old lady for a sign that she would be able to put over the pictures of all her grand children----------she wanted the words------Just Because========and then the words inside it Two People Fell In Love ---------if you can do it I sure would appreciate it and then I can cut it for the lady at no charge---------thanks again and I hope to again try and use two computers one to watch you video instruction and one to make the letters---------thanks again for you help----------Tom

#10 Travis


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Posted November 08, 2016 - 05:24 PM

Hi Tom.  Go ahead and post this request in the Pattern Requests forum.  I bet someone will be able to help you out.   :)

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