Instructables

Pumpkin Carving Saws

Picture of Pumpkin Carving Saws
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So! You want to kick your pumpkin carving game up a notch and try your hand at one of those fancy complex patterns? Good for you! It's easy! But that's beyond the goal of this Instructable. One thing that you will absolutely need, however, is some precision pumpkin carving saws.

Fortunately, there's no need to go out and buy one of those kitschy pumpkin carving kits - you can make your own saws that perform better and cost less money!
 
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Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials
All the materials you need to make the saws can be bought at your local hardware store, though you may have everything you need in your workshop already:

3/8" - 7/16" wood dowel (I used poplar because it's inexpensive, but it really doesn't matter)
5" scroll saw blades, 15-20 tpi (teeth per inch), pinned or unpinned ends
JB Weld or some other high-strength epoxy
spray paint (optional)

For the jigs, you'll need some scrap pieces of 2x4 and some wood screws.


The required tools are also pretty basic:

A wood saw (I used a scroll saw)
A drill press (preferred, though you could do it with a hand held drill)
side cutters
pliers

Step 2: Cut the handles

Picture of Cut the handles
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Well, it doesn't much easier than this. Cut as many pieces as you like from the wood dowel, to the desired length. I made my handles 1.75" long.
arpruss3 years ago
I got a pair of 18tpi jigsaw blades at Walmart. They were Black and Decker metal cutting ones with a hole in the shank, for less than $2. They're narrow and nicely rigid. I used a hacksaw to cut a 3/4" deep notch at one end of a piece of 1" square rod. The hacksaw blade is slightly thinner than the jigsaw blade so the fit is snug. I then drilled and countersunk a hole from the side of the handle to engage the hole in the blade. I pushed JB Weld into the notch (with something thin I had lying around), put in the blade, and ran a wood screw through the hole. I didn't like the idea of the blade being held in place just with JB Weld.

Next day I sanded the handle (with a home-made sanding disc in a drill) to bevel the edges and finished the wood with water-diluted water-resistant wood glue (Titebond II; now it's drying--I'll probably put another coat or two on it).
jeff-o (author)  arpruss3 years ago
Wow, sounds good to me! I hope you took pictures of the build process!
arpruss jeff-o3 years ago
Sorry, no photos of the build process, but the product is here:
http://tinyurl.com/pcutter
jeff-o (author)  arpruss3 years ago
Nice. If you like, I can post that image to my instructable (and give you credit, of course!)
arpruss jeff-o3 years ago
Go ahead. That's great!
sampson1114 years ago
 omg that witch is awesome how do u do that stuff
 
jeff-o (author)  sampson1114 years ago
Ramireex4 years ago
I used a cutting disk for my Dremel and sliced down the middle of the dowel about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch.  Then, I used Gorilla glue, slopped it in the cut and on the blade.  Let it dry for 24 hours and then I used a sanding stone on my dremel to clean up the mess.  None of my "homemade" saws broke and I did a fair number of pumpkins.  I went to Home Depot and got an assortment of jigsaws in different sizes and that did the trick.  I used a small drill bit to make the holes for eyes etc rather than the little plastic drivers that come with the kit.  I then cleaned everything up, oiled the saws and the handles and everything is ready for next year or whenever I decide I want to carve a watermelon, pumpkin etc.  Works great for not very much money and a little time.
jeff-o (author)  Ramireex4 years ago
Yep, that'll work, too!  I used that method (by cutting a slit using a scroll saw) on the larger blades that I mounted a jigsaw blade into.  I also use real drills for holes, they work really well.
ANTQNUT4 years ago
I love it! my favorite ones are the second picture and the last :D
jeff-o (author)  ANTQNUT4 years ago
Thanks!  :)
idogis14 years ago
I've got a ton of saw from commercial pumpkin carving kits. Are these better?
jeff-o (author)  idogis14 years ago
Depends on the brand.  The Pumpkin Masters blades are nice, butthere are lots of cheapo blades that are relatively dull and will onlylast a season (if that).  The benefit of DIY blades is that theyare far cheaper and you can customize both the blade and the handle toyour liking.
Kaiven4 years ago
Nice pumpkins! Are saws better than knives?

jeff-o (author)  Kaiven4 years ago
 Much, much better. It's like the difference between a chainsaw and a scroll saw.

Oh, and thanks!
Kaiven jeff-o4 years ago
And what is the difference...? Haha just kidding! Nice job on these, JB Weld is really nice.
Not as technical as yours, but when I was younger, my dad chopped up a saw blade into ~4 inch lengths and wrapped one end in electrical tape. We were kind of lazy. Things cut like butter, though. I couldn't have done my Zoolander pumpkin without them.
jeff-o (author)  effin.fantastic5 years ago
Hey, whatever works! I used store-bought blades until they eventually all broke or were lent to other people. Making them yourself is cheaper. ;)
dacker5 years ago
This is a great idea for making your own! For years, I've simply taken a coarse-toothed jigsaw blade and clamped it in my Vise-Grips, but this is a better solution than trying to make precision cuts with a two-pound tool.
jeff-o (author)  dacker5 years ago
Yep, these saws are extremely light and easy to use!