The Milan cathedral



  This is a scroll saw fretwork pattern for a model of one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Italy, the Milan cathedral. The first pattern of the Milan cathedral was published in Italy around 1900. No other pattern for this cathedral has been published until now. My initial idea was to restore this old pattern in the computer, but as I worked on it I began making changes and improvements of all types. Finally I have ended up reconstructing entirely the whole pattern.   I have designed this pattern with total fidelity to the original monument, adding all possible detail with the only limitation of the wood widths to be used. To achieve such fidelity I have studied drawings and pictures of the cathedral, to respect all measures, heights, widths and the proportions of all the elements. Doing this as a hobby, I have not cared about the necessary time to optimize the model in all ways, including as much real detail as possible and making it beautiful to look, but without introducing extreme construction complexities. So, for example, all the windows of the cathedral have been modeled by carefully studying the real ones.

The cathedral is designed to be made either with 1/16, 1/8, 1/4 inches wood and several multiples of these thickness or with 1.5, 3, 6 mm. wood and several multiples of these thickness. The pattern contains detailed indications on how to scale the waste copies depending on the wood thickness to be used. The following table gives the measures of the cathedral depending on the wood thickness you use:

  Cathedral height Cathedral width Cathedral length
1/16, 1/8, 1/4 inches   37,6 in. 31,7 inches  54,5 inches
1.5, 3, 6 mm. 90,7 cm. 76,5 cm 132 cm.
2, 4, 8 mm.   121 cm. 102 cm 176 cm.

  Please note that this pattern is registered and copyrighted. If you would like to have it I offer it for 80 € plus shipping. The pattern is computer made, which provides total precision, and nicely printed for convenient scrolling. Click here to buy this pattern. Write me to info@finescrollsaw.com for any questions. The price may appear high at first. However, note that this is the result of several months of work and dedication of a good part of my free time. The pattern includes 71 sheets of paper, printed in A2, A3 and A4 format. Only the A2 printer cost more than 1000 euro. And finally, notice that this is a high quality pattern that will give you thousands of hours of creative leisure, during several months. There are 2755 pieces in the model and 12,242 inside fretwork cuts.

  Together with the plans a large collection of images from the digital model is given as a downloadable file. These images show different views of the cathedral and the position of even the smallest pieces, so that you don´t have to guess where every piece goes.


 This is a view of the rear of the cathedral. Observe the intricacy and beauty of the windows. They are all different and with exactly the same design as the real ones.  It is essential to use at least two contrasting wood types to achieve a striking visual effect.



 These three pictures are courtesy of Ken Field from Australia. His e-mail made me very happy:

¨I have to tell you that this Milan cathedral was awarded first prize in the 2011 Sydney Working with Wood Show, which is the largest wood working exhibition in this country The Prize $500. I also gained the Peoples Choice Award. Literally hundreds of people crowded 3-4 deep around to view and photograph it over the three days of the exhibition.

 This cathedral is made with both hardwood and plywood. Aircraft plywood was used for overlays and spires, and "stained glass" was fitted behind all windows.. I do not use veneers. I purchase thin timbers from suppliers who will cut to any thickness l/16" upwards, The Walls of Milan are 1/4" pencil cedar. The floors and ceiling are rosé alder and the overlays are aircraft ply. Very expensive, but strong. 1/16" thick which I sometimes joined to make it 1/8 thick. The windows are all paulownia. You may not be able to purchase these timbers where you live. I found I could not anticipate quantities of timber I would need so I chose timbers that I knew wild be available for the next year, it took me 9 months to build.  Finished in Clear Satin polyurethane.¨

May 22, 2014 update. Yesterday I received the sad new that Ken has passed away recently at age 85. Ken was always very kind to me. I could feel his energy and enthusiasm. He sent me pictures showing some of the best works seen on this site. Rest in peace, our friend.


 This picture has been kindly sent by Martien van der Els from the Netherlands.


  This picture has been kindly sent by Marco Silva from Italy.


 This picture has been sent by Francisco Rojas García from Escalona (Toledo), Spain.


  These pictures have been sent by Angelo Lerma from Italy.


  These two pictures have been kindly sent by Ester and Isaac Arditi from Israel. Besides the beauty and excellent craftmanship of their Milan cathedral model we can appreciate how their house looks like a crafts museum with scroll saw and stained glass works everywhere.


  These pictures have kindly been sent by Daniel Navarre from France.


  This picture has kindly been sent by Evgeny Podniakov from Timoshino, Vologodskaya region, Russia.


These pictures have kindly been sent by Armando Maiocchi from Vigevano, Italia.


These pictures have kindly been sent by Giovanni Reyes from Colombia.


These pictures have kindly been sent by Stanley Wood from Idaho, USA.


These pictures have kindly been sent by Ken Tesh from California, USA.


These pictures have been sent by Gaetano Lavezzo from Italy.


  These pictures have been sent by Antonio Serrano from Córdoba, Spain.


These pictures have been sent by Francisco Sillero from Granada, Spain.


  This picture has been kindly sent by Cosimo Giurgola from Italy.


  These pictures have been kindly sent by Patrick Magra from France.


  This picture has been kindly sent by Vincenzo Scardaci from Italy.


  These pictures have been kindly sent by Rodrigo Borriol from Castellón, Spain.


  These pictures have been kindly sent by Domenico Poloni from Italy.


  This picture has been kindly sent by Ken Ahrens from the USA.


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