Fretwork has been around for a very long time. Some records indicate that fretwork was utilized in Europe several hundred years ago. Most of people associate fretwork with the Victorian gingerbread architectural features that were very popular around the late 1800's and early 1900's. This was only one application for this craft. This change in how fretwork was done in the very early days, compared today, is the tools that are used. Fretwork began with hand-held saws that were much like today's coping saws. Later came the foot powered scroll saw (as pictured on this page). Today the foot power is replaced by an electric motor, which is our "modern" powered scroll saw. Most of the process remains the same as it has for centuries. A pattern is either drawn directly onto the wood or is first drawn onto paper, then the paper is placed onto the wood with adhesive. The cutting blade of a scroll saw can be very fine (almost like a wire...about 6" long) and it moves up and down at an adjustable speed. To make an "interior" or "piercing" cut (a cut required that is completely surrounded by wood) a small hole is first drilled through the wood. Then the top of th saw blade is removed from the saw arm holder and fed through the drilled hole. Once the blade is through the hole, the blade is attached once again to the top of the saw arm holder. Once the "interior cut" has been completed, the top of the blade is once again removed from the top of the saw arm, the blade is removed and fed into the next drilled hole for the next "Interior cut". The more "interior cuts" that are required, the more time consuming the task of completing the piece is noted by the number of "interior cuts".