The Scroll Saw Lady

Ladies Come Learn To Scroll Saw!

Archive for July, 2008

Great Scroll Saw Book

Posted by The Scroll Saw Lady on 30th July 2008

Check out the Amazon ad at the bottom.  Best scroll saw book around is by far a book by Patrick Spielman called “The New Scroll Saw Handbook.”  It is only $12.71 through Amazon, a great price.  Check it out.  This is the first book I ever owned when I decided to get started in scroll sawing, and I still use it when there are things I can’t remember.

Posted in Books To Own, In The Beginning, Scrolling Tips | Comments Off on Great Scroll Saw Book

Your Workspace

Posted by The Scroll Saw Lady on 30th July 2008

This is my last entry before I take of for Arkansas to visit my dad in the hospital again.  I will try to write once I am down there but, If you decide you want to set up a workshop here are some things to consider.

The first thing you need to consider is where you’ll be crafting your projects.  Most people take up woodworking in their garage or basement.  This is fine; just remember that you’ll need some space to store materials and the finished product.  You’ll want a space that is easy to move around in and that you can keep organized.

If you’re using power tools, you’ll need easily accessible power outlets.  Remember that power tools can be quite noisy, so take into consideration the comfort of your family and your neighbors.

You’ll need a workbench which doesn’t necessarily have to be elaborate.  It’s a space for you to work on and keep your plans out in the open. 

You can buy commercially made workbenches at most home supply stores.  When choosing a workbench, look for one with a wood top, or another smooth, non-marking top, so that the surface doesn’t scuff the wood you use for your projects. Storage underneath the bench is nice if your budget allows a model with built-in drawers and cabinets.

Choose a workbench that fits comfortably in your shop space and that matches the types of projects you think you’ll be working on. A small workbench will do for crafting toys, but you’ll need a larger space if you’re making armoires.

But you’re getting started with woodworking as a hobby.  Why not make your own workbench?  This will give you valuable experience and will become one of the most useful items in your shop!  We’ve included a simple workbench plan in this book.  Try diving right in with and start your workshop out with a piece you made yourself!

It’s a good idea to have a bin where you can place operating manuals from your tools.  This way, you won’t lose them and they’ll be easily accessible.

We also recommend a good tool box to store your tools and a box such as a tackle box to store nails, screws, etc. in.

As with most any projects, the better organized you are, the more efficient you’ll be.  You’ll also save yourself a lot of stress by being able to locate what you need easily.

Some people like to have a peg board over their workbench to hang their tools on.  This is a good idea as is to have a bulletin board so you can hang the plans for your current project.

Last, you’ll need good lighting.  You can get shop lights inexpensively at discount stores like Wal-Mart or Home Depot.

Now that you have a place to work, what do you need to get started?  The obvious answer would be wood, which we’ll talk about a little later.  What’s the second obvious answer?  Tools!  More to come on a selection of tools later.

Happy Woodworking All!  Watch for our website to start real soon.

Posted in In The Beginning, The Shop | Comments Off on Your Workspace


Posted by The Scroll Saw Lady on 29th July 2008

No matter what we do in life, whether it is striving to own big cars, or houses.  Have a great job and make lots of money.  I hope everyone remembers one thing, it all means nothing without your family!  I know some people had tough lives when they were growing up, and they don’t particularly like their biological family but…. family can be what you make it.

I have my biological family which I am very close with and I have my very close friends and their family’s which I am very close with also.  So, if you are not close with your biological family then make your friends your family and keep them close.  I am very fortunate to have several families I can call my own.

I say this now, because I realize how suddenly things can change and it scared me.  I guess I always assumed my parents would live forever, but, that might not be true.  My father was rushed to the hospital the other day for chest pains, he is 78 years old and always been extremely healthy.  They gave him a clean bill of health and told him he had acid reflux.

Now, I have acid reflux and I know all to well, it can absolutely feel like you are having a heart attack, thought I was having one myself once.  So, seemed like a safe call on the hospitals part to tell him he had acid reflux.  But, here is the part that nawed at my brain, when the paramedics came to pick up my dad, they gave him nitro for a heart attack.  The pains subsided and off they went to the hospital.

Anyone else following me here?  Nitro only works on the heart and would have nothing to do with gastric acids.  So, why did the nitro stop the pains?  Luckily his regular doctor asked that same question and set up a visit with a cardiologist for my dad.  He is still having some chest pains and takes the nitro to make them stop.  We all think, maybe somebody missed something some where.

This leads me to why we need to take care of our families, stay in touch, tell them you love them, they will not be here forever no matter how much we want them to be.  I am now trying to figure out when and how to make a very long trip from WA state to Arkansas, nowhereville.  I will have to take a bus, a cab, a plane, then rent a car and 12 to 14 hours later should make it to my folks house.

 I just need to make sure my dad knows how much I love him, and I am going to tell him in person.  As, you have read in My Grandpa’s Story, I let one opportunity slip by in my life because I thought my grandpa would live forever…. I am not letting this time slip by me now.

Posted in Musings | Comments Off on Family

Building Self Confidence

Posted by The Scroll Saw Lady on 26th July 2008

This blog is about women trying new things and building their own self confidence.  So when I read this article I thought how great it would be for this blog.  Please enjoy.

7 Simple Steps to a More Self Confident Life
By Wil Dieck

Your self confidence affects just about everything in your life. How well you get along with people, your relationships with friends and family, as well as your job opportunities are all directly affected by how confident you feel about yourself. In fact, how confident you feel affects how well you enjoy your life!

People that don’t feel good about themselves, people that lack self confidence, can find the prospect of a job interview terrifying. They experience poor relationships, if they have any real relationships at all. They find themselves in constant fear of losing their jobs because they aren’t able to express themselves in front of their boss of in group situations.

Socially these people also struggle. How can they find someone to go out with when the mere idea of meeting new people petrifies them? Social events and encounters are painful illustrations of their lack of confidence.

Life doesn’t have to be like this. With a change in perspective, a little help and some work, you can have the self confidence you desire. Here are seven simple steps to help you develop more self confidence.

1. Decide to make a Change

Once they’ve decided, nearly everyone finds making a change easier. Every change I’ve ever made, from getting in shape to learning how to be more personable, has been a result of deciding to make that change. All changes are relatively easy once you’ve decided to make them. So if you think you’d like to be more confident, make the decision to be more confident today. That leads us to step number two.

2. Why is it Important to You?

Once you’ve made a decision to change, in this case deciding to become more confident, its time to figure out why it’s important to you. Why specifically do you want more confidence? Is it so that you can speak up in meetings at work? Is it so that you’ll be able to meet someone to go out with? Is it so you’ll be able to learn better at school or play a sport better? Whatever it is you need to understand and define it so that you can motivate yourself with it. This leads to step three.

3. Make it a Goal

Here’s where the rubber meets the road. Many people know they need to change and decide to change. They know what result they want out of the change but they don’t make it a goal. They wish their life would change, they think their life should change but they don’t take the steps needed to make the change. When you make a goal you not only decide what you want your outcome to be but you also figure out the steps you will need to do to achieve it.

Now this can’t be merely a mental exercise. In order to make your goal achievable you need to write down your outcome. Once you’ve written down your outcome you need to write down the steps you need to do to achieve it. Writing down your goal and the steps you need to achieve it does two things for you. First it makes your goal a real tangible thing instead of merely a dream. Second, writing down the steps gives you the ability to make corrections as necessary to help you stay on track.

For example your outcome is to be able to speak up more in business meetings. Your outcome might be “I will express my opinion in every business meeting.” The steps you might outline to achieving this goal might be:

1. Prepare for meetings and know what topics are going to be discussed.
2. Talk to someone or find someone to model who speaks well at meetings you attend. (see step 4)
3. Prepare a one-line comment on one of the topics.
4. Practice what you will say in the theater of your mind (see step 5)
5. Express your comment at the meeting.

Now you have a goal that is achievable you might need some help. So that leads us to step 4.

4. Find Someone to Model

From the time we are babies we model other people’s actions and behaviors. Have you ever done something and after noticing what you’ve done said to yourself, “That is exactly what my mother/father would have done?” That is a form of modeling, just at an unconscious level.

A more empowering form of modeling is when you find someone that has the characteristic(s) you want to have and purposefully model it. If you want to be able to speak well in front of groups, find someone who is good at speaking in front of groups and model her behavior. See how she stands, how she holds her head, how she speaks and uses her hands. If you are a man looking for a way to meet women, find a man who is already good at meeting women and model his behavior. What does he say? How does he dress? What are his mannerisms?

Whatever it is, there are lots of models to choose from. They include friends, acquaintances, family members, professional coaches, training videos and just about anyone else on the planet. An important point to remember is that the best model is one you like and you are able to adapt your own personality to.

Once you have someone to model its time for step five.

5. Visualize Your Success

From master pianists to NASCAR drivers, all people who are good at something have one thing in common, they practice. If you want to be good at talking in front of people you have to practice. If you want to be good at conversing in social situations you have to practice. Of course if you go about whatever you want to do without rehearsing it can be quite nerve wracking. In fact if you try something that you are not good at yet and fail completely it is possible your progress might be set back indefinitely.

So how can you prepare for a successful outcome? You can visualize your success in the theater of your mind. Let’s say you want to be able to speak up at business meetings. Find a place where you can sit or lie down comfortably without being disturbed. Now relax. Use some progressive muscle relation or just tell yourself I am relaxed and calm, relaxed and calm, over and over again until you are relaxed and calm.

Now play a movie in your mind of how you would like for the events to transpire. Make the movie as vivid and clear as possible. Use your imagination to see the details, hear the voices and other sounds in the room. Feel how you would sit. Then in your mind address the group as if you already had the confidence you are striving to develop. Notice how you appear, how your heart beats, how you breathe. Make the adjustments necessary to achieve the outcome you desire. If you are having problems seeing yourself accomplishing the task(s) well, focus on the why, the potential benefits you’ll get from achieving your goal. Practice over and over again until you have that image etched firmly in your mind.

Once you’ve practiced with visualization it’s time for step six.

6. Go Do It

You’ve decided to change. You know the reason(s) you want to change. You know your motivation. You have a model and you’ve prepared in the theater of your mind. Now its time to give it a try. If what you want to do is speak in your business meetings at work, give it a try. Even if it’s only a few words or to comment on someone else’s comments, as long as you are doing something that is moving you toward your goal, just do it. If you are looking to meet more people you might start by smiling at people you meet and saying “hi”. You will become more confident through the process of stretching yourself. This will move you toward your goals.

Now that you’ve actually done what you set out to accomplish its time for the final seventh step.

7. Decide that Everything is Feedback

When we start new things, from playing a new sport to meeting new people, we are not going to be excellent at it from the very start. Everything takes practice. When you do something you are not good at (yet) you are stretching yourself, you feel uncomfortable and you will make some mistakes.

Developing confidence in whatever it is you want to develop it in will also take practice. And just like learning anything, you will sometimes do things that you may not have preferred to do if you were “perfect” at it. You will make some mistakes.

When that happens remind yourself that mistakes are the way we all learn. A mistake is not failure, it is merely feedback. By calling it feedback you have re-framed or redefined your results.

So from now on instead of thinking of having “failed” when things don’t work out “right” merely observe what happens and call them “results”. Understand the feedback you have been given by your results and apply it to approaching your task differently the next time. The key is to remember that no matter what results you achieve, when you define them as feedback, they become either actions you want to do again or actions you don’t want to do again. You now are experiencing feedback instead of failure.

Once you start seeing your results as feedback you’ll begin adjusting your actions to match what you want to achieve. This will help you persist until you achieve your desired outcome. If you are committed to this process you will be able to build life long confidence in any area of your life.

So let’s review the seven steps.

1. Decide to change.
2. Decide why it’s Important
3. Understand Your Motivation
4. Find Someone to Model
5. Visualize Success
6. Go Do It
7. Decide that Everything is Feedback

That’s it, seven simple steps that can move you toward confidence in any area of you life. Seven easy steps toward achieving more out of life. So what are you waiting for? Why not start on your life long confidence journey today?

Wil Dieck is the founder of Total Mind Therapy, a combination of hypnosis, NLP, breathing techniques from the martial arts and visualization used for goal setting. His practice is located in San Diego, California. For more information about Wil and his practice please go to

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Blades and Starting Cuts.

Posted by The Scroll Saw Lady on 22nd July 2008

There are numerous types of blades and just as many people who like the different types of blades. (see picture below)


From left to right you have a skip tooth blade, spiral blade, reverse tooth blade and a larger skip tooth blade.  There are more types but these are your general all purpose.  In time you will learn which blades you like better, for now we will stick to the basics.

Start with a simple skip tooth when you are getting started, a reverse tooth or crown toothed blade will pull your wood in both directions and when you are first starting out you want your wood pulled in only one direction and that is downward.

Spiral blades are usually used for fret work, which is intricate scroll saw work and something one day you will want to get into I am sure.

Attaching The Blade

Blade should be facing teeth towards you and teeth pointing down.  You slowly feed your work into the blade just like on a sewing machine, you work the material into the sewing machine and you do the same thing with your wood.

Start Cutting

To start with, you will want to get scrap wood and just practice easing the wood into the blade and see how easy it is to turn the wood as your move around cutting.  Play with the speeds and see how your turns go as you speed up the movement of the blades and as you slow down the movement of the blades.  Try making sharper and sharper turns, but be prepared for the wood to jump if you make too sharp a turn.

Do NOT Panic.

If at some point you do make too sharp a turn, the wood may get caught or pinched on the blade and jump up and down slapping it self on the surface of your saw.  Don’t panic, it isn’t going anywhere, it is more of shock then anything, and if you are doing fret work it might break the wood, but, calmly turn off the saw!  That is it, no big deal.  Turn off the saw!  Now you can try to remove stuck blade, or push the wood back down on your work surface and turn the saw back on and continue cutting.  No harm done.

Practice for awhile making cuts into and out of the wood.  Watch as you exit the wood, slow down and let the saw ease the blade out of the wood.  You should never be pushing the wood through the blade so as the blade is cutting on an angle, the blade should be doing most of the work and pushing the wood through itself as it cuts, you just guide the wood.

Draw Some Lines On The Wood.

Draw some lines on your wood and try to follow those line, you will notice that many saw blades will tend to go off to the right of the line.  This is because some blades have a burr on them that pulls the wood in that direction, you can do two things here, one compensate for the burr and learn to cut with a slight adjustment in your feed, or, you can simply remove the burr with a flat abrasive like a file.  (simple turn on the saw and run the file lightly along the right side while it is running, to remove the burr).

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