Moderators: Random Orbital Bob, nev, CHJ, Noel, Charley

By hawkinob
I don't contribute as much as I should so here is a cutting I just did of one of my wife's carers (she has dementia - the real reason why I don't do much these days). The hard work - the cuts - I did but the real work, the pattern, was done by Paul from Devon via another forum. My boss lady liked what I've done as did Narelle the carer.
So just a contribution and a public thank you to Paul (don't know if he is on this forum, probably is).

Bob H.
p.s. Hope the attachments work?
narelle2.jpg (53.66 KiB) Viewed 780 times
Lovely piece of work and a special way to say thanks to the carer lady. I'm sure she's very pleased. All the best for your wife.
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By Honest John
Very impressive job. I’m super impressed.! This is very much an area that I want to get into, and was the main reason for me upgrading to my EX 21 (for the easier blade juggling for the many internal cuts). I have started reading up on how to manipulate the images to produce a cutting pattern, but I’m still some way off my first attempt. Great result on your job, well done.
By hawkinob
Hi John,
I've failed to produce a pattern successfully which is why I have to go to another forum. I'm not sure that is correct or right to mention another woodwork site here as I want to support this forum but if there is someway I could let you have the website and still do the right thing by this forum I'd be pleased to pass on the address.
Bob H.
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By nev
Feel free to mention any other forum etc, its only when it comes to sales or self promotion there's an issue.

BTW, Nice portrait.
By whatknot
Steve Good does a CD tutorial on scroll saw portrait making

There are also quite a few videos on youtube, on the subject

Less is more in most cases I found ;-)

Add too much detail and it detracts from the overall effect

I like this portrait posted, its a good representation of the person

There are a few programs which are often mentioned re making portraits & patterns

Gimp is a good program, takes some getting used to but what doesn't

Rapidresizer is another which may give a head start ... indows-mac

I use Irfanview a heck of a lot

All three are free in basic form
By hawkinob
Hi John and All.
For portrait patterns I go to:-
scrollsaw village and click on pattern request
In the past I've had patterns from people in various countries, the latest was Paul from Devon.

BUT I do not sell the cut, all for family, friends or people that I think owe a thank you.

Bob H,
p.s. scrollsaw village also carries tutorials on pattern making. I'm either too stupid or idle to succeed (but I have tried a number of times, so probably stupid).
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By Honest John
Bob, spurred on by your wonderful effort, I have today sent for Steve Good’s dvd on portrait pattern making. I would really like to have a go at the full process. I’m sure I read somewhere (or imagined it) that spiral blades were the thing to use for portraits. I don’t own any nor have I ever tried them. How did you cut yours ?
By whatknot
Spirals are a bit like marmite, you either love them or hate them

I am in the latter camp ;-)

I have them and have used them, but do not enjoy using them, so try and avoid them if I can

Which I usually do as I do not know of an instance where a spiral could do a better job, except if you are cutting a huge piece but thats rare for me
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By Honest John
I think I’m with you Whatnot, but to be fair I’ve never tried them, so perhaps I shouldn’t pass comment.
To add to the "confusion" I have actually tried spiral blades and really do dislike them. The biggest problem I find with spirals is that - of course! - they will cut in any direction. That means (to me anyway) that you can't do the "pivoting on the spot" trick that you can do with normal blades, so you (I anyway) can't do a proper right angle turn.

But I didn't try spirals for very long and I guess it's just a question of practice makes perfect. As said above, there are certainly blokes you can find with videos on line who use spirals all the time and produce excellent results all the time.

Never a truer word than the above "just like Marmite" :D
By hawkinob
Hi John and All,
In defence of myself - for not doing the pattern - I omitted to say that I have a book - "Scroll Saw Portraits" and a computer programme - Coyote Stencil Shop - so I have tried but failed.
With the portrait cutting I use spiral blades and yes they are a pain but I find they work for me on portraits but I do not use them on any other sort of cuts. I think the idea of spirals is that there is no need to turn the material (ply or solid wood or ?). I find spirals are not good for sharp corners but I do know of a couple of scrollers you use only spirals and they produce good work.
For what it is worth - I change the colour of the lines of the patterns to red as I find the black lines and the blade colour hard to distinguish so I cut with a dark blade against a red line, for the portraits I use the smallest size blade (they do break easily!!!!!), because of the "fuzz" I blowtorch the back of the finished cut before oiling the face. For the backing I used to use black felt but now just paint the backing with blackboard paint and find that easier for frame fitting.
Sorry to carry on (like a pork chop (Oz saying)) and I guess a bit like the blind leading the blind.
Bob H.
By whatknot
Ahh but this is how we all learned, in braille ;-)

As I said earlier I really dislike spirals but we all like different things don't we, I prefer to enjoy cutting rather than fight with it, and the amount of finishing required after spirals I found annoying

As you say, many use spirals to good effect, they are just not for me

I also use blackboard paint
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By Honest John
Just read the last 2 posts on this thread. I was in Axminster Warrington yesterday and looked at some spiral blades and nearly bought bought some, but thought sod it! No one else uses them. Only to find today that the wonderful portrait that started this thread was cut with them. I did stock up on 1s and 3s of the modified geometry blades that I really like. The Steve Good’s dvd has been shipped by airmail from the States so should be here in a day or two. Is it common practice in portraiture cuttings to use Baltic Birch or do people use proper wood? I was thinking that the plain BB would work better, with not having grane markings to interfere with the image. I must get a book on this subject!