The Scroll Saw Lady

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Tools For Women

Posted by The Scroll Saw Lady on 29th August 2008

Tools for Women
Power tools aren’t just for men any more!  Women use power tools all the time now. Women have become more independent and the chores of the household have become less divided by gender. Women don’t need to wait for a man to build a shelf, or fix a hinge on a door.
While women can operate most any power tool, there are some now specifically designed for women. The Barbara K line features a cordless drill that is very light, yet very powerful. The cordless power screwdriver is the best selling power tool of the line. It is light weight and very easy to use.
Tomboy Tools has a great line of tools for woman, they are slightly smaller and lighter and are wonderful for any woman to use.  My problem is they are so pink!!  Tomboy also offers women a chance to sell their products in the home party plan business format.
Ladies Tools Online is another company that sells of all things… pink tools!  Do they have to be pink or we won’t know they are for women?  Even the freakin safety glasses are pink!  Where did they go to have all this pink merchandise made (Barbie’s tool factory)?  They do have some great tool sets that you can buy that have everything you could possibly need for home repairs, except the power tools.
Women enjoy doing home projects, and finding the right tool can be hard. Black and Decker offers the Project Mate. It is a three in one tool – featuring a scraper, detail sander, and a screwdriver. It doesn’t weight much, fits in the palm of a lady’s hand, and fits in small spaces.
Wrenches can be difficult to maneuver in some areas. Craftsman has the Flex Wrench set in both standard and metric, with seven sizes of wrenches. They are great for getting into tight spaces. They also help give you some added strength to loosen or tighten anything. 
A screwdriver is an essential tool for any woman to have. You never know when it will come in handy. Snap-on has the PentaGrip screwdriver that is amazing. It has a button on the top so you can lock the head into position. The handle is designed for smaller hands and has a soft grip.
The idea of power tools for women is catching on. Five ladies that bill themselves as non blondes from all over the country are in the process of creating an entire line of power tools for women called Savvy tools. The line is meant to make power tools a more comfortable fit for women in the hopes of promoting safety and making them less intimidating. Bulky power tools are often hard for women to use. The first two power tools are in the works and even have names, Sandra Dee the Sander and Donna the Drill.
Power tools for women that are designed to help them complete projects are anticipated to sell well. Those manufacturers who take this market demand seriously are going to be able to profit from such products. The key is going to be conducting research and finding out what types of power tools women use and asking what they like and don’t like about them. Women don’t want just a smaller version of the power tools out there or the color changed to something pretty. They want power tools that are easy to use and get the job done

Posted in Tools | 3 Comments »

Scroll Saws – Big Girl Tools

Posted by The Scroll Saw Lady on 19th July 2008

Anything with a motor I consider Big Girl Tools.  So, lets talk about Scroll Saws Now, I mean that is why you found this site right?

The beauty of a scroll saw is one, it is a very safe machine to operate, two, you can cut in any direction at any speed you find comfortable.  Start at a really slow speed and as you gain confidence you can turn up the speed of your cutting.  If you can sew on a sewing machine you can run a scroll saw.  Scroll sawing very basically is sewing with wood, same exact motion you get from a sewing machine.  That is the true beauty of scroll saws, so easy to learn and operate, anyone could do it.  YES, even you!

There are many, types of scroll saws these days and in all sorts of price ranges.  If you are just wanting to start in this fascinating hobby, go with the lower end models, they will serve you well for your first couple years.  They did me! 

I started with a 12″ (not very big, but I didn’t know that) Dremel.  The size of a scroll saw is measured by the inches from the blade to the back end of your machine, thus, the size of the piece of wood you can cut.  To start with, I was not cutting anything longer then 12″ trust me.  That scroll saw served me well for many years and I didn’t know I was missing out on anything till the day I decided to upgrade and then I learned the difference in scroll saws.  Had I not upgraded I still would have thought my little 12″ Dremel was the sweetest thing on the planet.

Actually I don’t even think anybody even makes a 12″ scroll saw any more.  I think the standard low end scroll saw is now 16″.  That is a pretty fair size to get almost any size piece of art made, unless you are really going into some fancy stuff!  To start with though, you better stay away from fancy and focus on technique.

You can pick up a decent scroll saw at Lowes, Home Depot, or even Sears, for around $200.  You might even try garage saling.  If you are going to buy a used saw, plug it in and make sure it works (duh) but then make sure it is on a flat surface and watch how badly it vibrates.  Don’t turn the speed all the way up because any machine will vibrate at high speed if it isn’t bolted down.  Just make sure that at medium speed the thing doesn’t walk off by itself!  Also make sure that it has Variable speeds (otherwise it is an antique) and that it uses Pinless or Plain End blades (another sign of how old a machine is – if it uses Pin-End Blades).

You will also need some blades, again, these coming in all types, sizes, makes, and models.  The good news, most stores you go to won’t carry too many variations so you don’t have to worry about.  Later, when you get into this hobby as I know you will, then you will start ordering your blades from dealers and then you will see how staggering the selection and options are.

For now, pick up some 5″ blades, they are pretty much the standard size and allow you to do almost anything with a scroll saw as a beginner, if you want to try a couple smaller sizes (if they have them) go ahead, but, you should not need anything bigger than a 5″ blade to start.

Posted in Big Girl Tools, Tools | 2 Comments »

Basic Woodworking Tools

Posted by The Scroll Saw Lady on 18th July 2008

Some basics you should have if you are going to get started in woodworking.  Again, don’t spend a lot of money on these tools till you know you are going to love woodworking and know which tools you are going to use all the time.  Till this day, I still buy tools, I think I need at outlet stores, then if I find I really use them all the time I will replace them with better tools.  But, why pay a lot of money for something you only use occasionally?  (Unless you have a lot of money and just like nice things!)

Basics; My Dollar Store hammer works as good as any-one’s I am very sure, how do I know this?  Because I can pound a nail into a board just as good as the guy next door! So there.  You should have a couple of different size saws, now, here is one of those places where Dollar Store might be a problem, if you want to make clean cuts you might want to think about buying better saw.  There is definitely a difference in cheaper saws.  Also, give some consideration to a Japanese pull saw, they cut much easier and if you are going to start out with just hand saws in the beginning (as I did) then a Japanese pull saw is a good choice.

Okay, let’s go back to Dollar Store or outlet type items; get a set of chisels, a set of screw drivers, needle noise pliers, wrenches, different grit sandpaper, couple of sizes paint brushes (for staining and painting projects), metal straight edge and a combination square (to measure angles).

Go look for bag o clamps, not kidding, plastic clamps or all sizes and you will use them everyday.  And very handy to have around are small filesThese are the minimum tools you can probably get along with.

You are also going to need some type of surface to work on.  I started with some old cabinets someone had taken out of their kitchen and through a thick piece of plywood on it.  Not the best workbench in the world but it worked!  You could also go to Sears, Lowes, Home Depot, or any of those home improvement place and pick up what is called a Workmate, it is sort of cross between a sawhorse and a portable vise.  It is a sturdy little bugger and I have one in my shop for small jobs, I use it all the time.  You can start out with that as your workbench though.

Okay, there is your shopping list for today.  Next I will talk about scroll saws (oh it gives me tingles just to say scroll saw!) : ) 

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