Canadian Woodworking

Glorious and free

Author: Garnet Hall
Published: February March 2004

Canadians as a rule don’t do a lot of flag waving. Maybe once a year on Canada Day we dust off an old flag and give it a shake.

Remembrance Day will see a bit of patriotic flag saluting, as we remember the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

It was while I was attending a Remembrance Day service that I got to thinking about how great our country is. Canada is a country that we can be proud of.

This project is my way of celebrating our country and our flag. I took the words “GLORIOUS and FREE” from our national anthem because they sum up my feelings toward our great nation.

This is a fairly basic Intarsia project with a bit of raising and lowering. With special attention to shaping, you can make the flag look like its waving in the wind.

Select The Wood

Use the woods suggested. The flag has got to be red and white, and the suggested woods will do just that.

Transfer The Pattern

Transfer the pattern to the wood with whichever method you find best:

– trace onto the paper

– make template of pattern and trace on

– photocopy and cut and paste

Cut The Pieces

Cut as carefully as you can. The better the cutting is, the better the pieces will fit, and the less frustrating the fitting process will be. Make sure your blade is square to the saw table and cut right on the line.

I usually use a #5 or #7 P/S blade, but lately I have been using a #3 hook tooth blade on Cedar. It leaves a smaller kerf and therefore a better fit. I used Bloodwood for the red on the flag. I found a #7 hook tooth blade cut the Bloodwood better than any blade I have used to date.

There are enough letters on the pattern to spell “Glorious and Free”. I cut them out of 1/8” Baltic Birch plywood with a #1 DT/R blade. They are glued onto the banner.

Fit The Pieces

Don’t be too fussy with the fit. As long as you are within a saw kerf or 1/16” it will not be noticeable.

Raising, Lowering and Shaping

Only one piece is raised 1/8”. The other pieces are lowered in the shaping process. The drawing in fig.1 is of side profiles that may help show how the pieces are shaped. The pieces should flow into each other as a flag would.


The dotted line pointing toward the L suggests shaping down to that level (see pattern). Following that dotted line will help with the shaping.

Make sure you wear a dust mask when shaping or sanding.


Sand the pieces smooth. I don’t sand past 220 grit, mainly to reduce the amount of dust I am creating.

Assemble And Glue

Assemble the project on 1/4” plywood backing material. Trace around the project and cut out the back. Be sure to finish each piece before you glue up.


With this project its best to apply the finish to each piece before gluing up the project. To preserve the white colour of the wood its best to use a water base finish like Flecto Diamond. You can use an oil base finish on the rest of the pieces. Three coats on each piece should be adequate.

Once the finish is dried, glue the pieces onto the backing board with ordinary white, carpenter’s glue.

Your flag is now ready to hang proudly on your wall. Go for it! Canada is a country to be proud of.

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