Friday, September 30, 2011

Teachers are Awesome Scroll Saw Pattern.

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

More information on the Totobobo dust mask. And a discount code.

After the review the other day on the Totobobo dust mask I have had many inquiries and I have some exciting news. I contacted the manufacturer and asked for a discount code for my readers. They were more than happy to offer a 5% discount to the readers of the Scrollsaw Workshop. Just enter the discount code "Scrollsaw5" without the quotes. This discount only applies when ordered form the main web site linked above.

I want to stress again that I receive no money from the sale of these masks. When I review a product it is my true opinion of the product and not influenced by profit on my part. This is part of my 5 step program to ween myself off of bribes. I do however have my breaking point so keep the bribes coming.

Another question I had was if they have a U.S. distributor. Yes they Do. Paula Ann Ford is a pastel artist. They have the same problem we have with airborne dust. She started using the Totobobo mask and liked it so much she became a distributor. You won't be able to use the discount code from her site. She sells the mask and 4 sets of filters for $24.95 + $3 shipping and handling. I talked with Paula and she was eager to work with us in the scroll saw world. I also contacted the manufacturer and they spoke very highly of Paula and her ability to handle our orders.

Guys and gals I have heard all the excuses for not wearing a dust mask. I have used many of them myself. The fact is you need to wear one. Scrolling is a fun hobby but it's not worth risking your health. I am reviewing these masks because I want you to know there are masks out there that are not uncomfortable. Many of you have purchased cheap masks and just could not stand to keep them on for any period of time. That was my experience and excuse for years. if you choose the Dust Bee Gone or the Totobobo or even another mask just buy something and use it.

Order from the manufacturer in Singapore and use the discount code "Scrollsaw5"

Order from Paula Ann Ford her in the U.S. $24.95 + $3 shipping.

Additional note.
I heard from a few people that were more knowledgeable than me about safety and dust. They pointed out the fact that the Dust Bee Gone and the Totobobo filter dust at a very different level. The Dust Bee Gone filters to 3 microns. The Totobobo filters to 0.3 microns. The extremely small dust particles pose some of the greatest risks. You should take this into consideration when making a dust mask purchase. Another long time scroller said something very wise to me. She said "It does not matter how good a mask is if it's hanging on the wall". If the mask is not comfortable it will end up hanging on the wall and not around your neck. She uses the Dust Bee Gone because she feels comfortable with it on. It's ultimately up to you which one is best for your needs.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Baby's First Christmas 2011 Ornament.

This was a request pattern. I thought a few of you migh like to have this pattern also so here it is.

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Five 2011 Christmas Ornaments.

The Scrollsaw Workshop is primarily supported by donations. If you enjoy this Blog and would like to make a donation please click this link. Your support is greatly appreciated.Make A Donation

Monday, September 26, 2011

Totobobo Dust Mask Quick Review.

I received a Totobobo Dust mask in the mail today for review. In this initial review I want to talk about a few things I like about this mask already. Later after I have time to use the mask during cleaning of my shop I'll come back and talk some more about how well it works.

Everyone should be aware of the dangers of breathing the dust from our saws. Exposure to wood dust has long been associated with a variety of adverse health effects, including dermatitis, allergic respiratory effects, mucosal and nonallergic respiratory effects, and cancer. It needs to be taken serious. Some people will see symptoms almost immediately while others might work for years before they realize their health has been affected.

This can be a complicated subject. I am not trained in the science of airborne particles or the mechanics of keeping those particles out of your lungs. This review is strictly unscientific. I will just be talking about my opinion of the ease of use, comfort, fit and features.

I received the mask from the manufacture in Singapore. They had seen my review of the Dust Bee Gone mask and asked if I would test their mask also. Now I'm a pretty big fan of the Dust Bee Gone mask so it will take a good mask to make me switch.

I opened the package to find the plastic mask already fitted with filters and a supply of extra filters. The first thing I noticed was what looked like a delicate head strap. After a closer look it is actually quite durable. It's obviously made from some high tech plastic. The strap is a single loop that goes around your neck through the mask and then over your head. There is a small clip that allows the mask to be tightened for a good seal. Because the strap is so thin it is very comfortable.

The body of the mask is also made from a transparent plastic. The transparency is actually a feature. When you put the mask on your face you can look in a mirror and see through the mask. This lets you see the seal where the mask contacts your face. The body of the mask is made to be trimmed for a perfect fit. A good seal is very important for dust masks. This one seals very well. In my opinion it is easier to get a good seal with the Totobobo than the Dust Bee Gone.

It's also important that a dust mask be comfortable or you are less likely to wear it. The Totobobo might be slightly less comfortable than the Dust Bee Gone but not by much. After you get it trimmed the comfort is very good compared to most non-fitted masks on the market. I wore the mask for nearly an hour with no serious discomfort. The plastic body of the mask is very soft and feels good against your face. Breathing felt natural and like the Dust Bee Gone I had no fogging of my glasses. If you wear glasses and have worn other masks you will probably know how much trouble fogging is. The Totobobo and the Dust Bee Gone do a great job in this area.

The manufacturer states that the mask filters down to 0.3 microns. It weighs in at a very comfortable 20 grams. The mask contains an anti-viral agent that stops bacteria and virus form living on the surface. It is reusable and can be cleaned with soap and water after you remove the filters.

So far I like this mask. This will probably be my go to mask for emptying my dust collector. I get a large amount of dust in the air during the process and this mask seals better than my Dust Be Gone. If it filters the dust as well as I think it will then I might give this mask a slight edge over the Dust Bee Gone.

This mask is comparable in cost the the Dust Bee Gone after you buy extra filters. In the long run the Dust Bee Gone might be cheaper because there are no replaceable filters to buy. I don't know how long the filters will last at this point so that remains to be seen.

If you think you are interested in this mask you can get more details at the manufactures web site.

More to come later.

The Scrollsaw Workshop is primarily supported by donations. If you enjoy this Blog and would like to make a donation please click this link. Your support is greatly appreciated.Make A Donation

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Berry Basket offers three beautiful advanced clock patterns for one low price.

Click Picture to Order

I want to say upfront that this is a review and not an advertisement. I paid for these patterns myself. My only contact with Berry Basket was to ask permission to use the pictures.

I received an interesting email from the other day. It was advertising a sale of these three advanced clock patterns for $9.95. From top to bottom we have The Bell Tower Clock standing 23" tall and 19" wide. The America's Pride Clock standing 28" tall and 16" wide and last The Deer Silhouette Clock which is 18" tall.

This price is for the "Download Only" set of patterns. I personally prefer the download method because I like the instant delivery. A really nice option that Berry Basket provides is the ability to download the patterns even if you choose the paper patterns delivered by mail. Of course you will pay more for mail delivery.

The normal price for these three patterns purchased separately would be nearly $19 so the savings are pretty good. The checkout system on the Berry Basket site is about as easy as you can get. You select the download method of delivery and add it to the shopping cart. From there you just add you personal information and your choice of payment. The only downside for me here was that they don't accept Paypal which is my preferred payment method.

After I completed the payment the downloads were immediately available. Some sites make you wait until the payment is checked so this was also a nice touch.

I checked the sites privacy policy. They state that the personal information collected is for their use only. They use it for sending their customers sale information from their store only. I like to know that my information is not up for sale so I usually check this out before purchasing online.

Berry Basket does not offer a return for downloadable patterns. That is pretty standard policy for digital material. I did not see their return policy for mail order but I suspect they are not returnable either. I don't have a problem with this but I like to check out the policy just so I know.

The downloads were made available in three separate files. They are in Adobe Acrobat format which is also standard practice. Most computer can open Acrobat files and if yours will not it is easy to install the Acrobat reader. All my patterns use this format. If you can open my patterns you should have no problem with these.

The quality of the pattern is excellent. There is a section of scrolling tips that will help you complete the project. The pattern gives details about wood selection, recommended blades, sanding, using the pattern and much more. The picture below shows a sample of one piece. As you can see the pattern is crisp and clear. They use a thin line with grey background. This is my preference but I know some of you prefer the red line patterns.

The patterns also show an exploded view for easy assembly. This is very helpful especially for the more complicated Bell Tower Clock.

They refer to these clocks as advanced patterns. While the Bell Tower Clock might test your patience and cutting skill I don't think an intermediate level scroller will have trouble. I don't see any advanced assembly techniques. It is mostly slot and tab assembly. I don't think you need to feel intimidated by the advanced description.

I have not cut any of the patterns and actually don't plan to anytime soon. Because of this I can't speak about any errors in the patterns. I did spend several minutes looking for obvious errors found none.

I have spoken with the owner of Berry Basket, Matt Jones enough to feel comfortable saying that he takes pride in his business. He has reached out to the community on my forum from time to time and answered questions in a very helpful way. I have spoken to several Berry Basket customers and they have generally been very positive about their experience.

My experience with the purchase from Berry Basket was very good. The checkout was easy and the patterns are high quality. If you re looking for a nice challenge at a reasonable price give this set of patterns a try.

For all of you who ordered Custom Name Christmas ornament patterns I am working my fingers to the bone to get them out to you. It's going well and I think you will be pleased with the patterns. Thanks for all the orders. If you are considering the purchase of the ornaments just click the picture above and you will be taken to the order form.

Custom Name Christmas Ornaments.

The custom name Christmas ornaments were very popular last year. So popular my arm took weeks to recover. :) I'm going to offer them again this year and get a good early start. This will hopefully let me take it a little slower and make sure I am able to get them all finished this year. This should also give you more time to get them cut for all your family and friends. Get your order in early so you have plenty of time to finish.

You will have three styles to choose from. I will be using a different technique for inserting the name that I think looks better. Some characters were a little too distorted last year but I think I have that solved this year. The "D" was a particular problem. Notice on the bottom sample below that the "D" looks much better this year.

If you plan to cut several then Style 1 will be the easiest to choose. For a more special ornament ornament styles 2 and 3 will look great on the tree.

The minimum order is 5 ornaments for $5. Each additional ornament will be $1 per ornament.