Monday, January 31, 2011

Lovers Mini Clock Scroll Saw Pattern.


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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Born To Ride Scroll Saw Pattern.


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Saturday, January 29, 2011

I Loves Me Kitty.


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Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Deer Hunter Mini Clock.

This will make the hunters happy. It requires a 1 7/16" mini clock insert.

I'll have to be honest here and say that I grew up a city boy. My first experience with hunting came when I was almost 30. I spent a weekend squirrel hunting and the squirrels are still laughing. Luckily I came home without without additional holes in my body and i have not been back behind a gun since.

Two hunters were walking through the woods. one of them fell down and grabbed his chest like he was in great pain. His friend had a cell phone with him and called 911. He said, I need help, i think my friend is dead. She said calm down I can help! first, make sure your friend is actually dead. The operated waited, and then heard a gun shot. He came back on the phone and said, now what?


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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What time is it?

In this video I will show you a couple of reader submitted tips including how to keep time and make you scroll saw blades sticky.



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Monday, January 24, 2011

Tall Candle Holder Scroll Saw Pattern.

This candle holder stands almost 10 inches tall. It gets the candle up off the table making the candle stand out. It stands securely because of the three leg design minimizing the chance of tipping.

This project was made from maple for the legs and cherry for the shelf. I wanted the shelf to stand out from the legs and the cherry is still a little light but I know cherry darkens with age.

All the pieces are 1/2" thick, There are no interior cuts so it's accessible for those with pin end saws also.

This project looks simple but there are a couple things that add a bit of challenge. The curves of the legs and the circular shelf need to be cut very precisely. The eye will immediately pick out flaws in the curves. This will be good practice for cutting curves.

To cut effective circles you need to establish a pivot point with your strong hand and guide the wood with your weak hand. You will reestablish the pivot point as you go but you want a consistent and smooth turn rate.

Look at the figure below. The red ticks represent the blade from the top. When cutting pattern lines you should be able to cut inside the pattern line, split the line and cut outside the line. You need to practice until your margin of error is the width of the blade. By this I mean if you are trying to split the pattern line your cut should not vary more than an outside the line cut or inside the line cut. You don't want to see white paper between the blade and the pattern line. I know what your thinking, "That won't happen". Your probably right but make it the goal and you will improve your cutting.


That's the goal but don't beat yourself up if you miss. Luckily in the 13th century the Chinese invented a mistake eraser called sand paper. If you can fix a mistake it never happened in woodworking. For most scroll saw projects these flaws will hardly ever be noticed and you can let them go. In a project like this that is geometric in design the flaws will jump out so you need to think about precision.

Here is another tip that sounds like an insignificant detail but makes a difference. When you have legs like in a project like this slightly bevel all the feet edges of all three legs. This does a couple things. Aesthetically it adds a shadow line that separates the feet from the table which looks nicer than flat feet. The bevels also make the piece move easily over a table cloth without snagging and possible tipping over. On a small set of legs like this you can do the bevel with sand paper. On larger projects a bevel router bit works best.

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ten Minute Scroll Saw Project.

Here is a quick and dirty project you can make at craft shows just to show off your machine. This little Cube Puzzle needs no pattern and you can cut it in minutes. It's not exactly a Rubik's Cube but it's more difficult than you might think. I use basswood because it it so easy to cut but with the right blade you can cut it from any hardwood.

Prepare 1.5 x 1.5 cubes.
Draw interlocking puzzle tabs like in the picture above. Notice the faces that have the drawings and the orientation of the tabs.

Cut the first tab.
I used a clamp to cut the second tab but with a little care you can do it freehand using a good grip on the block.

Here is the puzzle disassembled.
Give the edges a little sanding and give it to the person watching.





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Garden Fence Topper.




Here in the US the winter storms are wreaking havoc across much of the country. We still have a ways to go but spring will come. You can paint this project and use it as a fence topper or just display it in the kitchen.

I can remember when I was very young and living with my grandmother. Every one in the town seemed to have a garden. I can't remember her ever buying vegetables. We had fresh from the garden in the summer and canned during the winter. A large part of every day was spent in the garden. I often wonder how many of us could grow our own food if we had to now.

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

New Sue Mey Digital Book.

Hi Guys, Sue just sent me the notice of her newest collection. This digital book looks great with loads of beautiful clocks. Think about it for a minute. Your saw is pretty much useless without patterns. The more patterns you have the more fun you are going to have with your hobby. When you buy a collection like this it gives you choices. When you can save over 80% at the same time that's all good.


The Special Offer of 50 Clock patterns in digital book format is now available:
Pay only $0.95 per pattern when you purchase this collection! Value $273.00 if purchased separately, Save $225.50 and pay only $47.50.

The selection contains an assortment of Clocks in a variety of sizes and difficulty levels. Topics include sport, animals, religious, fantasy and more. There are several decorative designs, and special occasions like Valentine’s day, Confirmation, and 21st Birthday are incorporated. Larger patterns are divided with dash lines for easy printing on standard-size paper.

Basic tips & techniques covering 15 different topics are included. There are links to pages on my website where more comprehensive information on certain topics is available. For many of the projects I have included step-by-step instructions. The patterns can be supplied in vector format on request.

Two additional images show some of the patterns in more detail.




Hug Me.


I hope everyone is ready for the weekend. I know I am. I had a pneumonia shot Thursday and the nurse said I might feel a low grade fever the next day. Well, the fever might have been low grade but the pain in every muscle in my body felt high grade. I could not raise my arms over my shoulders until tonight. Kept me out of the shop for a couple of nights but I feel 90% better now.

Tonights pattern is a small pendant cut from 1/8 inch thick maple. It has a few small cuts so you will need to move to a small blade to finish the piece. A #3 or smaller would be appropriate. You will also need a small drill bit 1/16 inch or smaller for the entry holes.



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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Small Curio Shelf Scroll Saw Pattern.


I received an email the other day asking a question about a term I used in one of my videos. When I was talking about buying lumber I used the term "four quarter" 4/4. In the industry wood is sold by the board foot and thickness is referred to in quarters. For example a 1 inch board to sold as "four quarter" 4/4. A 1 and 1/2 inch thick board is "six quarter" 6/4.

I was looking around YouTube today and found a nice video produced by the Woodworkers Guild of America that discusses some other valuable terms to know when you visit the lumber yard. Keep in mind that these terms are usually not used when you shop at the big box stores like Home Depot. If you are new to shopping for lumber take a look and you will learn quite a bit.


If you are reading this in the email newsletter you may not see the video. Please visit this link and watch the video in your browser.
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Candle Sconce Scroll Saw Pattern.

I used a small tray to hold the candle on this sconce. You could substitute a wooden candle holder or just use a glass candle dish. The shelf is 2.5 inches in diameter so any thing that fits will work. All the parts are cut from 1/2" thick wood. Directions for hanging the sconce are included in the pattern.

While I was sitting at the saw tonight in my workshop a question came to my mind. Of all the different woodworking niches why did I choose the scroll saw? I have been woodworking for something like 30 years. I have made furniture, rocking horses, baby cradles. I have turned bowls, pens and made firewood on the lathe. I have spent some time with pyrography. I have taken my turn at woodcarving. I enjoyed all these different crafts but I have always come back to the scroll saw. Why?

For the last three plus years I have spent almost 100% of my time in the shop with the scroll saw. I don't think I have even turned my lathe on for at least two years. What is it about the scroll saw that keeps me interested and not burned out?

At the risk of hurting myself by thinking too much here is how I answered my question. The scroll saw is the perfect tool for the creative tinkerer. I don't consider myself a craftsman or artist. I'm a tinkerer. I love to go to the shop and just play with ideas. With a scroll saw I can have an idea and turn it into a finished piece the same day. Sometimes even the same hour. I love this instant gratification. From the time I sat down at the computer until I had today's project designed, cut, finished and photographed took me about three hours. It may not be a period replica of a Queen Anne style Highboy but I had fun making it so that's good enough for me.

The materials required for making scroll saw projects are relatively inexpensive. When I was making furniture I would spend two months of my hobby budget just buying the wood to make a desk. With the scroll saw I can often make a project with scraps in my wood bin. I'm not poor but I am cheap so this suits me just fine.

For me it just comes down to the fact that the scroll saw is a very accessible tool. It's easy to use and relatively inexpensive to operate. Many of the projects are fun to make and most people seem to enjoy what I make. It fits my personality and life style perfectly.




Never leave a burning candle unattended.
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Monday, January 17, 2011

Today we celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King.

A Baptist minister, King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, serving as its first president. King's efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. There, he expanded American values to include the vision of a color blind society, and established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history.

In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other nonviolent means. By the time of his death in 1968, he had refocused his efforts on ending poverty and stopping the Vietnam War.


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Key Hanger Scroll Saw Pattern.

This wall key hanger is very simple to make. You will need three hooks and a little scrap wood. The project is 8 inches long and 3.5 inches tall. If you need to hang more keys just extend the length and add more hooks. I did add a decorative trim around the edge with a router and part of a cove bit. I also used a keyhole router bit to add the slots on the back to hang the project on the wall. I have talked about the keyhole bit here before and they are invaluable when trying to hang a project like this. If you don't have one I recommend you look into getting one.

Hey guys I am sitting in 617 unanswered emails right now. I am trying the best I can to get to as many as possible. Please understand that I am not ignoring you it's just impossible to stay caught up. I will try my best to work on them this week. Keep sending them because I do try to read them even if I don't get a chance to answer them. Thanks.

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Arrowhead Scroll Saw Patterns

Seven different arrowhead patterns. You can use these for pendants or key chains. I used one of the inlay techniques I have shown before. The inlay material is polymer clay.


In the early 1900's Richard Old built this model of the Milan Cathedral. With over 8000 pieces it took him 5 years to complete. This is just one of the 767 models he built over his lifetime. Richard lived in Middlesbrough, England. He was a cabinet maker and organ builder by trade and was a bit of a recluse devoting endless hours to intricate fretwork.

What follows is a newsreel showing a few details of this masterpiece. The quality is pretty bad but still worth watching.