New Style Shells

Here is a new method for making shells that opens up many possibilities not possible with the original technique.  It is different in almost every way except that both methods require wooden wedges to cut the parts from.  This new way uses paper patterns like most other scroll saw projects.  The pieces are glued together systematically and then smoothed with shaping and sanding either with rotary tools, or by hand if you prefer.  They do look quite intimidating, but I have made it a lot easier than it looks.

Watch the videos below, and then get started making your own after you purchase the pdf file which includes patterns and instructions.  The patterns are very easy to cut with a spiral blade - you can also use a flat blade, but that will require more shaping because a spiral blade cuts the segments to a shape much closer to the finished shape due to having the table set at a bevel, and having interior corners.  

I've had a lot of people asking about the jig used to cut the wedges, and so I have added a video of the new jig at the bottom of this page.  This jig can be used to cut wedges that are tapered along the length for  flat spiral shells (ammonite), or tapered along the width for conical spiral (conch) shells.  

A discount of $5 is automatically applied for additional items when you buy two or more when you leave the discount code field blank.  
A smaller version of Conical Spiral Shell below.  The pictured shell measures 3 3/4" (9.5cm) long, and is made of curly maple and cherry.  You can get this pattern for FREE if you will subscribe to my email list.  Enter the code provided in the subscription confirmation email *not the pop-up* you get when you subscribe - this is the only pattern that the code will work on.  I have made the construction process as simple as possible.  I also have a video showing the steps in its construction.  If you choose to buy this pattern instead, the price is $20.
Conical Spiral 1 - Like Whelk 2 below, this shell can be made without a scroll saw.  It is made up of 24 segments.  Measures about 9" long by 5.5" at widest point.  $22
Whelk 2 - The first of a new kind of pattern that is double-sided.  Can be made without using a scroll saw by using coping or jewelers saw.  See video.  


Spiny Snail - This pattern is a low angle conical spiral with ridges of spines on top and edge, and a smooth bottom.  Measures approximately 5" high, and over 10" diameter.  Shown with sandblasted texture.  $20
Whelk 1 - A new favorite.  This pattern will produce a shell measuring over 5" maximum diameter, and 9.5" tall when printed at 100%.  Made up of 24 15° segments.  Shown here in southern yellow pine.  I like the curves in this one a lot.  $20
New Nautilus - A shell pattern like my original, but made with new method. Notice the center does not have a hole through it.  This design is based on measurements from an actual Nautilus shell.  It will measure 13" maximum diameter at 100% scale, and a bit wider than Ammonite 3.  $20
Turritella 1 - This pattern is my easiest shell to make, it doesn't even require a special jig to make the wedges.  A real good project for your first shell.  It has 26 segments that you can make from one or two kinds of wood.  Shown in cherry and maple.  $20
Murex 1 - My fancy shell pattern with fins and spines.  This example is made from eastern red cedar.  Modeled from alabaster murex.  $20
Conch 1 - A pattern for a conical spiral shell.  Instructions included.  Modeled partly from imagination, and partly from a real conch shell.  My new favorite! $20
Ammonite 1 - This pattern produces an ammonite from 36 pieces.  The maximum diameter shown in photo is 9", but patterns are included to make it up to 16".  Instructions included. Note: I modified the pattern a little from this photo to move the rib away from the interior corner.  $15


Ammonite 2 - This ammonite shell pattern makes more turns, and has a small aperture (opening).  My example shown here is maple and walnut and is also carved - plenty of wall thickness to allow for carving in the patterns, or you can leave it smooth.  $20
Ammonite 3 -This ammonite pattern becomes larger faster as the shell grows.  This example is made from southern yellow pine construction lumber with endgrain exposed on sides.  All of my ammonite patterns use 36  10° wedges, and include instructions.  Can be scaled to desired dimensions $20
I have put together a PDF with instructions for making the wedge cutting jig as shown in the video below.  It uses a home-made vacuum clamp to eliminate the need for hot glue in attaching blanks to the jig.  It is free when you subscribe to my email list.  If you are already a subscriber but missed the link, just send me an email and I will re-send it to you.