The Scroll Saw Lady

Ladies Come Learn To Scroll Saw!

Archive for September, 2008

Wedding Plaque

Posted by The Scroll Saw Lady on 14th September 2008

Wedding PlaqueI am working on a plaque for friends who wanted an anniversary present for each other.  So, they asked me to make a plaque celebrating their wedding.  Here is what it is shaping up to look like.

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Self Confidence

Posted by The Scroll Saw Lady on 13th September 2008

You know most of us are born with self confidence.  Watch a child climb on the furniture or over something without ever thinking about it.  Why do they do it?  Because they can, or at least they believe they can.  Children for the most part are not afraid to try new things, it is their parents who tell them not to do something because “They might get hurt.”

I believe scroll sawing, if you give it a chance is one way of rebuilding self confidence lost.  It is not hard to learn, it is realatively safe and it is fun.  Just because you might be woman is not a good reason not to try it.  Again, who told you woman can’t do woodworking?  Don’t believe them!

Start small and build your confidence with simple projects, then as you start believe you can, start building bigger and better things!  Just get started, what have you got to lose?

Happy Scroll Sawing!

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Scroll Saw Tips

Posted by The Scroll Saw Lady on 12th September 2008

Found a great article I thought I would share, give you someone elses view on tips for scroll sawing.  As a teacher, I know that everybody learns in a different way, and how I say it maybe totally different how someone else says it and you may just understand them better!

Scroll Saw Tips
By Shirley Atkinson Platinum Quality Author

I have learned all of these scroll saw tips by trial and error. I would have loved to find a place like this when I first started scrolling (that is the word for people who do scroll work). When I first started out I didn’t have the slightest idea what I was doing. After a lot of practice it turned into a lot of fun.

There are many scroll saw crafts that you can start as a beginner or even for more advanced scrollers. There are some great books you can also learn from.

The first scroll saw tip you need to do is position your pattern.

You can either make a copy of your pattern on your computer or else take it down and have it copied. You can copy the outline onto a piece of transfer paper which works quite well unless your have cutouts in the middle. Then it is best to have a copy made. Apply the pattern to the wood with rubber cement, spray adhesive, or repositionable spray glue. I usually use rubber cement. It comes off easy and doesn’t leave glue on the wood. Remember to dust your wood before you apply the pattern. Always apply the glue to the pattern and not the wood. I have found when I used repositionable spray glue that if I have a lot of cutouts the pattern starts to come off. You don’t have that problem with rubber cement.

Preparing the wood for inside cuts.

(The napkin holder on the left has many intricate cutouts and is a great seller at craft shows.) After you have your pattern on the wood you can now prepare for inside cuts. I use a drill press but you can use a regular drill. Use the smallest drill bit that will let you get your blade through. Drill through the wood in the center of each of your inside cuts. You may want to lightly sand the back of the wood after you have drilled because bits can leave little hairs and you want it nice and smooth.

Should I sit down or stand up?

I have had a lot of people ask me this question. The best scroll saw tip I can give you is when you first start out it is best to stand directly in front of your saw. It is easier to feed the work straight into the blade, so don’t stand off to the side. I got to a point that I bought a high stool so that I could work for longer periods of time. Most scroll saws have a light but it is best if you have a fluorescent light on one side of your saw. The light will help prevent shadows on your cutting area. Please wear a dust mask especially if you are working with exotic woods.

The importance of using the right blade.

My best scroll saw tip is finding the best blades. Most of my work is with 3/4″ wood. I use a double-tooth #4 blade size. If you want to work with thinner wood a #3 double-tooth blade works best. Double-tooth blades will produce less chip out on your wood and will last longer than other blades. Make sure when you install your blade that the teeth face front and point down. A blade installed backwards won’t cut wood, and an upside-down blade will pick your wood up off the table bed and slap it back down again (this scares the heck out of you).

You must have proper blade tension.

Insert the blade and turn the tension knob three-quarters of a turn past the point of resistance. A blade that’s too loose won’t cut a straight pattern line, and a blade that’s too tight can break and possibly damage your saw. Remember to always keep your blade moving when you are cutting curves. A lot of people have a tendency to stop and this will cause the wood to pick up and slap back down on your table. Just let the wood pivot by keeping your finger close to the blade (no closer than an inch). When you’re cutting out a circle, keep the feeding speed constant. If you continually stop and start as you make the turn, the finished edge will be choppy.

Shirley Atkinson
Crafters Love Crafts

Article Source:

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Blade Tensioning

Posted by The Scroll Saw Lady on 10th September 2008

Tensioning?  Is that a word, or did I just make that up?  Hmmm.. the spell checker dosen’t like my new word but I do so I am keeping it. In other words this post is about how to tension you blades! (better?)

Before inserting a blade into your scroll saw, the tension should be completely removed.  Clamp both ends of the scroll saw blade into the blade holders and adjust the tension. Push on the blade with your finger. It should flex no more than 1/8″ forward, backward, or side to side.

A blade that does not have enough tension will wander and you will not be ale to follow a pattern line very easily. It will also flex from side to side, making for irregular or angled cuts. 

A blade that has too much tension is more susceptible to breaking and tends to pull out of the blade holders. In general, it is better to make the blade too tight rather than too loose because you will ruin your project if the blade is too loose, you will only lose a blade if it is too tight.

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Positioning Your Hands When Cutting

Posted by The Scroll Saw Lady on 9th September 2008

Hand position is one of the most critical aspect of controlling your workpiece. If your hand position is correct and you’re working on a good-quality saw, you will not tire as quickly and you’ll enjoy what you’re doing.

All you need is a light touch to hold the wood in place– a white knuckle hold will only tire you out and makes the wood more difficult to turn. (Note: Thick wood needs to be held down much more firmly than thin wood otherwise you may get bouncing wood.)

My hands are constantly turning and moving to new positions as I push my project through the saw. Watch your hand movements. If you find yourself turning your body instead of your hands to control the movements of the wood, stop and reposition yourself.  Always stand square in front of the machine for best control. Once you’re aware of your hand movements, you can cut anything.

If at any time you don’t feel comfortable where you have your hands, stop immediately and turn off the scroll saw.  You will do no harm to the work piece.  Reposition yourself and start again.  Same thing, if the blade gets caught in one of your turns and starts bouncing up and down, do not panic, just turn off the scroll saw, reposition your work piece, take a deep breath and start again!

Happy Scroll Sawing!

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