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Scrollsaw Challenge

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Gill

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A number of people seem to have enjoyed the recent spate of scrollsaw projects that have been posted and said something along the lines of, “I must dust off my old scrollsaw”. Well, here’s your chance!

Lin and I have consulted the finest (and cheapest) pattern designers we know and they have produced two free scrollsaw patterns exclusively for members of UK Workshop. These patterns are designed to be simple enough for scrollers who are absolute novices, yet detailed enough to be satisfying. Our challenge is to all woodworkers who have scrollsaws languishing disused – have a go at one or both of these patterns and surprise yourself with what you can achieve. And to those of you who don’t have scrollsaws, here’s an ideal opportunity to get one and see what you can do.

These are the two patterns:



Click on them to link to the fullsize patterns.

Lin has put together a quick guide to scrolling for those of you who need one. Of course, we’ll both be having a go at these patterns ourselves so you’ll be able to see how we get on too. Any questions or problems, we’ll be on hand to help out. When you’ve finished, don’t be shy – we’d love to see the results and share in your delight.

Bon chance!

Gill




Lin’s Scrolling Guide

Materials Needed:

Pattern printed out as “Fit to Page”.

Blades - #2 should work for either project (suppliers listed below)* but you will probably find larger sized blades are also effective.

½” or ¾” wood (tight grained pine will work fine for both projects).

Spray adhesive or artist’s repositionable spray mount adhesive.

Sand paper (various grits).

Drill bit (smaller than the smallest cutout area on the pattern).

Painter’s tape-blue or lavender (lavender is the better of the two to use - less wood fibres are pulled off with it). These tapes aren’t readily available in the UK. A low tack masking tape such as Scotch® Masking Tape is a suitable alternative and is available at branches of WH Smith, Staples, and other stationers. Conventional masking tapes tend to be a little too sticky, but they can be used at a push.

Two #6 wood screws 1” long (to attach the motorcycle to a base).

Countersink bit (for the motorcycle pattern).

Finishes of choice.



How to:

First take a deep breath and relax……this is supposed to be fun.

Trim your pattern down. Leave about ½” paper on the outside of the entire piece.

Sand your wood to 220 grit, wipe or blow off any excess dust.

Apply the painters/masking tape to the wood. Cover all areas that will have the pattern on it. This tape has two uses. It helps to lubricate the blade during the cut and makes removing the pattern a snap. Artists repositionable spray mount adhesive also helps to lubricate the blade, but not as much as masking tape. If you use repositionable spray mount adhesive, you can get away with omitting the masking tape. But be warned – the risk of having the pattern come loose around the blade will increase.

Spray back of pattern with adhesive (I prefer to give it a fairly good coat of adhesive…I don’t want my pattern pulling up during the cut) and place on the painters tape. Smooth out any folds or bubbles quickly. This glue dries fairly quickly.

After glue has dried drill your holes for cutting.

Find a comfortable position at the saw for cutting. A sore back and/or arms is not fun.

Make all the cuts, starting in or near the middle of the pattern and work your way to the outside. I generally cut the smallest cuts first then work my way to the larger ones for stability of the piece.
While cutting take your time and don’t get upset if you wander off the line a bit, just slowly bring it back on the line. The point that I want to stress here is that once the pattern is taken off, those lines are no longer there. I do not always stay on the line. There are times when I purposely cut off the line for wood stability or to help the look of the pattern itself. Other times I wander off just a bit, not intentionally but it happens.

Take your time while cutting. Remember, the saw is supposed to do the work, not you. If the cutting isn’t going well, it may be that your blade is dull and should be changed.

Do not be afraid to hold the wood with your finger tips close to blade while cutting. If the cutting area is extremely close to another cut this will help you complete the cut without the wood breaking.

After all cuts are completed do some touch up sanding on the back of the piece. There will generally be some fuzzies that need to be removed. Either by hand with 220 grit or a palm sander works much faster.

Remove the painter tape. The pattern will come with it.

Touch up sand the front of the piece to whatever grit you prefer.

If you are working on the motorcycle pattern will will need to take the piece and center it on the base you will attach to. Draw a light pencil line at the front of each of the flat area of the wheel. Find centre of this mark and back it up half the width of the wood thickness you used and drill and countersink your holes for the screws.

Finishing choices at this point are up to you.


We want pics please…………


If you want to try some practice cuts on a piece of waste wood before starting the project, here’s a ‘warming up’ exercise for you:





*List of online blade suppliers

Shesto

Hobbies of Dereham

Hegner

Flying Dutchman
 

trevtheturner

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Thanks, Gill and Lin, for a very useful posting.

Now all I need is that decent scrollsaw ...................!! :roll: :wink:

Cheers,

Trev.
 

radicalwood

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Thanks Gill and Lin

Will give them a go when I get back from Holiday in a couple of weeks.

Cheers Neil
 

Alf

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Hmm, I admit I'm tempted to dust off the Delta - if it still works. :oops: If it had been a different sort of plane I'd have probably already started... :wink: :lol:

Cheers, Alf
 

dedee

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Gill/Lin,
OK I'm up for it so long as there is no time limit......

I'll have a go at the chopper as I am not quite sure what to do about the missing bits on the Spitfire - any hints?

Interesting tip about placing masking tape on the wood before spray mounting the pattern. Sometimes I can spend ages getting the spray mount off the wood if I have left it overnight.

Andy
 

Les Mahon

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Gill?Lin

I'm game to give it a go! bought the scrollsaw some months ago, but it has not seen much service!

I fancy the sptifire, but like and I'm strugling to work out the missing bits! does it have something to do with mounting on a contrasting backboard????

Thanks for the paterns and hint's, might just force me into action!

BTW I got blue painters tape in B&Q over here, so I assume ti's available in th uk as well?

Les
 

froglet

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I would guess that the Spitfire is a silhouette, i.e. you cut out the pattern to leave a spitfire shaped hole in a board, and with the bike you end up with bike shaped piece of wood.

I (and maybe my wife) will have a go at the spitfire as a first project as long as there is no deadline as the recently purchased scrollsaw has not been taken out of the box yet and this will force the issue.

Graeme
 

Gill

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It's great that so many of you are up for it :) !

Graeme's right - the Spitfire pattern is such that when you cut out the holes you can place a coloured backing board behind it to show the picture. This example indicates what the portrait would look like if you were to use a yellowish wood and a green backing board:



Oh, and there are certainly no deadlines :).

Hope this helps.

Gill
 

MikeW

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Hi Gill and Lin,

I'll show this to my granddaughter and if she's up to it, we'll do it!

Now if I don't kill myself getting it down the ladder from the attic or inhale too much dust blowing it off...

Hey, thanks.

Mike & Jackie
 

Les Mahon

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Gill,

Thanks for that clarification :roll: Like most things it's obvious when you see it. I have to admit I would probably have trown away all the wrong bits if I't tried without your pic!

Les
 

Gill

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Any more questions, just ask :) . Sometimes it's not easy to look at a scrollsaw pattern and work out what needs to be cut and what needs to be left.

In case anyone's wondering what they should be left with after cutting out the chopper, I thought I'd better post a piccy. As with the Spitfire, keep the yellow bits!



I'm really looking forward to seeing what you guys can achieve.


Gill
 

Dewy

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Scroll saws can do more than sawing.
There is a file type made for engineering which has flats on both ends to fit in a scroll saw.
These files can be coarse down to very fine and either normal files or needle for fine work in flat, round, triangular half round etc.
 

Ed451

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OK OK, I give...

I got a scroll saw for Christmas last year and I haven't known where to start, until now. I'll try some practice cuts first, then plague all of you with questions on how to proceed. :)

Ed
 

Lin

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Sounds like a plan. I'm glad the interest is there.....Bring on the questions if any help is needed. I'll be cutting one of the two patterns myself this week-end.....Just trying to decide which pattern and what wood to use. Great stuff going on here.
Lin
 

Gill

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There might be too much interest, Lin! His Lordship saw the printed out pattern of the chopper and said, "I wouldn't mind having a go at that one over the weekend" :shock: !



It's my scrollsaw, mate! I'll show you how to use the Hegner 1, if you like. And isn't it time you got your lathe turning again?

:lol:

Gill
 

Gill

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I'm sure you lot can do better than this :oops: ! I decided to try cutting the Spitfire out of cheap 18mm construction grade boards from B&Q and use a #5 blade to cut it. No doubt some of you will be tempted to use whatever sticky tape you've got hanging around, rather than buy good quality masking tape. So I used parcel tape to show you what would happen...

Anyway that comes later. I started off by jointing two pieces of the pine board.



Next, I took some parcel tape and dabbed it over my jeans to remove some of the excess stickiness before applying it to the area I was going to cut. I sprayed the reverse of the pattern with glue and stuck it onto the parcel tape, then drilled pilot holes for the piercing cuts.



The next step was to start cutting. As I mentioned before, I used a #5 Flying Dutchman blade, a good quality blade but even it struggled with the B&Q pine; it was like cutting cotton wool! The pine had no strength and as a result the inner part of the Spitfire's roundel broke off. Ah well, these things happen.

I continued cutting nevertheless and when I came to tight corners, I simply overshot them and returned to them later, as in this photograph.



After the final saw cut, the piece looked like this (Where's my inner roundel :cry: ?)



I then removed the parcel tape - and a large part of the wood!



After a lot of sanding (and it's very hard to get a decent finish with that pine) to remove the wood where fibres had been pulled off by the parcel tape, I gave it a coat of Danish oil and fastened some green card to the back. This is how it ended up.

At least it does bear a resemblance to a Spitfire.


The cost of the wooden board from B&Q was £3.81 so it certainly wasn't an expensive project. I reckon I used about 1/3 of the pine, so my Spitfire probably cost about £1.50 all in. I'm sure you guys will be able to make a much better job of this than me, but I was trying to do the job on the cheap to demonstrate that scrolling doesn't need lots of expensive wood and equipment.

Right, now for that chopper!

:)

Gill
 

Lin

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Just a thought on this. Gill has hit upon one of the problems with using tape directly on the wood. I tend to use the painter tape but even with it I have had slight tearing with certain species. Aspen and oak will give me a bit of tear out if the blue tape is left on too long. There is another option here. I did this when I first started out and it does work but does have its' own issues also. You can glue the pattern directly to the wood and use the clear shipping tape on top of it. The issues that come up doing it this way would be the sawdust can sneak under the tape making your line hard to see and when the cutting is done you will need to remove the tape before using mineral spirits on the pattern to remove it. I tried to get the mineral spirits to remove tape and pattern together and the tape is some strong stuff and the mineral spirits just don't seem to get thru or under it well enough to release the pattern. If using mineral spirits to release a pattern....Brush it on and let it sit for a few minutes and the pattern will peel off...then you will need to put more mineral spirits on the piece and rub off the excess glue. Just another way.....and this one will avoid the tear out from tape.
Gill, How hard would it be for you to just cut the piece that broke off on you then glue it to the backer as a separate piece. I know the it suppose to be connected but I have done this in a pinch with one that did not want to co-operate with me during the cut. Even without the piece it looks just fine.....Thinking that may be the one I try out tomorrow.
Lin
Lin
 

Gill

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Hi Lin

I could cut it out as a separate piece as you suggested, but that would rather defeat the object of the exercise as far as I was concerned. I feel I've got nothing to prove, so I was simply trying to show what could be achieved using readily available materials. I also wanted to demonstrate how some of those readily available materials have their limitations - and I believe I made my point.

The inner roundel is an important component of this project and I'm not suggesting that people who cut the Spitfire should be cavalier about it. Nevertheless, if it (or any other component) doesn't get cut according to the plan, it isn't a disaster. The picture is still identifiable as a Spitfire and that flexibility is something which scrollers need to remember when they make 'mistakes' on other, more advanced projects. To my mind, scrolling a portrait is more about producing a representation than a facsimile - if a facsimile is the order of the day, use a camera instead of a saw.

Gill
 

Lin

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My version of the "Spitfire"......Searched my wood stash and ended up with a piece of 1/4" redoak that was the right size for the pattern. I cut it with a #2R blade and the lettering was cut from 1/8" white plexi wtih a #3 double skip tooth blade......The plexi doesn't seem to like the reverse teeth......wants to melt back on me everytime I try it. Red felt behind the cutout area.
Lin
 
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