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History of Scroll Sawing
The evolution of the scroll saw is linked to the rise in popularity of fretwork. The sawing of intricate shapes from wood.
Although there are examples of fretwork-like decorations on early Egyptian, Greek, and Roman furniture, these were probably carved or cut with a knife.
It was not a common practiced to saw delicate wooden shapes until the late 1500's, when a German craftsman (most likely a clock maker) devised a method for making fine, narrow blades.
Soon thereafter, a Parisian began to develop specialized hand tools for cutting these intricate designs. He designed a U-shaped fret saw which was originally known as a Buhl Saw (Buhl) a corrupted pronunciation of the man's name) very similar to a coping saw.
As Mr. Boulle's work gained notoriety, the craft was legitimized and quickly spread to Italy within a generation.
Fretwork was introduced to America in the mid 1800's as Sorrento wood carving. Sorrento is so named because of the area in Italy that it was most popular.
By the 1860's, the first mechanical fret saws -- called scroll saws -- began to appear in the U.S. And so a great art form and hobby were born.
Today there are over fifty models of scroll saws available with many options.
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