I’ve had this project that I’ve wanted to make for some time now. It involves making scroll saw art of all the iterations of Batman that have graced screens across the world – well at least the ones of which I know. I understand that there are possibly two others that have donned the cape and cowl, but I wanted to stick to the ones I know.
The plan is to do these in order and create them as I have time. The first one I created is none other than the Adam West Batman version. It was tricky to find a screenshot from the show that would translate well to a scroll pattern, but I think I finally found one.
If you’d like to make it you can use the following pattern:
- Scrap plywood 1/2″ thick
- gradient print out (you’ll have to make that one yourself)
- Flying Dutchman spiral, flat end scroll saw blades
- 1/8″ hardboard for backer board
- Other stuff – wood glue, CA glue, needle nose pliers, blue painter’s tape, spray adhesive
Here is a video of the entire process from start to finish. Give it watch if you want to see more of the process.
Applying The Adam West Batman Pattern
Applying the pattern is the first thing I did. Well, not technically. The actual first step was cutting the plywood. I just cut up some scrap plywood into 8.5″x11″ sheets. This allows for the printable pattern to sit just right on the wood.
Okay, applying the pattern…
Putting (blue, green, polka dot, etc.) painter’s tape down helps heaps for removing the pattern, so I did this first, because removing patterns is tricky business. It’s throw-things-against-the-wall business when it doesn’t come off quick enough. Do this; you’ll thank me later. Cover the whole thing, be generous.
After the tape has been applied, grab your closest can of spray adhesive. The Loctite stuff we used for ours works pretty good. Follow the directions or just spray it on, wait about 30 seconds and slap the pattern to the tape. It’s up to you.
Okay, now the pattern is on… let’s move this along.
I hated spiral bits for the longest time. I loved how they cut, but I hated the way they would break on me every 5 minutes. I thought it might be the brand I was using so I switched. I picked up a pack of Flying Dutchman spiral flat end blades, and HOLY CRAP, what a difference. No breaks… not one. It was like heaven come down and blessed my wee little scroll saw.
As far as the cuts go for this pattern; they’re pretty standard. Follow the line, turn, follow the line, turn… you get the point. It’s super easy. You’re probably going to need to drill some initial holes to get the blade in through the wood, but your probably figured out that much.
The two (well three) things you’ll want to watch out for when scrolling this pattern are the parts that need replaced in the left arm cavity and the head cavity. The arm is pretty easy to get back in and keep track of, but the two eyes will try to run away if you don’t keep an “eye” on them. I guess what I am trying to get at is this… put the arm and eyes somewhere that you won’t lose them. You’re gonna need them later.
Peel the pattern and tape off when you are done. If not, the whole thing is gonna look pretty silly.
I tried something a little different with this piece of scroll art. Usually I would just paint the backer board a solid color or maybe get fancy and add two colors. This time I decided to print out a gradient and try that. It worked pretty well and it did allow me to pull the purple-ish color from a screenshot of one of the TV episodes. Seriously? Purple? IDK. Maybe it was blue. Too late now.
Anyway, that delightful piece of paper gets attached to a piece of hardboard that is serving as the backer board. It is cut to the same size as the plywood. It is attached via our pal from a couple steps ago; spray adhesive.
The actual pattern piece (Batman) gets glued to the top of paper with wood glue. Now, I know this may not seem like it will work for two reasons and they are decent reasons. One, the back of the plywood is finished. Two, I am using wood glue to glue wood to paper. So here is the thought process on that. First, I sanded the finish off and all that is left is stain, so we are good there. Second, paper is wood, dude. So let’s all just chill out. It’s wood on wood love, man.
Seriously though, it worked like a dream and it is STUCK like Chuck.
Adding in the Details
I’m lazy or at least I can be. Or maybe I am just forgetful. Either way, I probably should have just placed the eyes and arm before the initial glue up, but I didn’t. So, I used the next best thing and slapped some super glue on the back of them and sat them in place after the fact. It all worked out in the end though. By the way, needle nose pliers are handy here.
also, I may or may not have glued my fingers together for a couple of minutes during this step
All joking aside, the Adam West Batman piece was a fun project and I am really looking forward to the next one. It’s a fairly simple pattern to cut out even with the three bits that go back in. I hope you enjoyed this build and I hope you’ll come back for more. If you would like to see some more, check out our YouTube channel as well or follow us on social media just about everywhere. Just type Waylight Creations into the Internet and you will find us.