Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Scroll Saw Box Pattern. National Wife Appreciation Day.

How many of you knew that Sunday was National Wife Appreciation Day? I didn't until my wife so delicately brought it to my attention. I'm recovering nicely from my wounds thank you. :)

As a late gift I made this box for my wife. Obviously the lid design was not done on my scroll saw. I used my new laser engraver/cutter to do the engraving. (More on that later). I did do all the cuts on the scroll saw.

To make the project into a pattern for the blog I designed an alternate lid decoration and included it in the pattern. You can see that in the picture below.

I wanted to make this into a pattern because I used a different technique to keep the lid on. I used four small corner dowels. The dowel go through the lid and into layer 1 of the box. The box is made up of the lid and four layers.

This actually turned into a challenging project because of the dowels. They are 1/4" diameter dowels but you can't just drill 1/4" holes in the box. The dowels will fit too loose and they won't easily line up with the box when you install the lid. The details of how I did this are in the pattern.   
Note that the dowels are rounded over to make the lid easier to install. The holes in layer 1 are larger than the dowels by a couple of drill bits larger, also for an easier fit. It's a multi step process. It's not the easiest technique but I like the way it looks so it was worth the extra effort. You have to be accurate on this project.
The humming bird decoration was added so I could make this a blog pattern.

Laser Talk: Close you ears if you think laser are cheating.

My K40 style laser. In a messy room.

There are a significant number of readers of my blog who use lasers with my patterns. The laser community continues to grow and the machine are getting a little cheaper. The maker movement has exploded in the last few years and I think that is fantastic. CNC, Laser and 3D printing are all fun technologies and will continue to improve. 

I recently added a laser engraver to my workshop. Actually it's in my computer room with my 3D printer. The shop is too dusty for a Laser. I have wanted a laser engraver for a long time but the expense was just too high.

I went out on a limb and ordered what is known in the community as a K40. These are very inexpensive laser engraver/cutters manufactured and imported from China. They don't have great reputations but I researched enough to know that many hobbyist were getting decent results with them. A respected brand hobby laser is around $3.000 and up. The K40 style laser is $450

I have now had the machine for a week and I am pretty impressed with what it can do. I spent the week adding mods and testing all kinds of materials. Wood, glass, plastic and even paper and rock all engrave/cut well.

If the interest is there I will do some videos of my process of taking my scroll saw patterns and using them with the laser. I often get email asking me to send laser specific files of my patterns. That's not necessary because I intentionally keep the patterns in vector format inside the pdf. They can easily be imported into any vector program like Inkscape and exported to the laser.
Do I recommend that you buy one of these K40 style machines? That's a tough question. You absolutely have to be a tinkerer to get the most out of these cheap machines. They rarely come from the factory adjusted correctly. They have no safety features and they don't use the highest quality parts. The included software is not great. (I use a different driver that is open source and free). It works much better than the included software in my opinion. 

There is a large community of K40 laser enthusiasts out there and places to buy upgraded parts even as far as replacing the controller. You don't have to have these upgrades to work but it's nice to know you can get parts.

I am enjoying the K40 laser a lot. I will use it primarily for engraving decorations on wood. They don't cut anything much thicker than 1/8"without multiple passes but that's true of even the more expensive hobby lasers. 

A poorly framed paper cut from one of my scroll saw patterns. The laser works amazing at cutting very intricate detail in paper. With the right settings you get almost no noticeable burn marks.  

There are several imports of this K40 style laser. They are all basically the same. The control panels vary but that's not a big deal. If you are interested, just do your homework and understand that these are what they are. I'm happy to try to answer questions if I know the answer.

Personalized Christmas Ornament Patterns:

I'm all caught up on orders. If you have not received you ornament pattern please check you spam folder. If they are not there then contact me and I will send them again. Thanks for all the orders.

$3 PDF catalog update:

I am working on the $3 pdf catalog update this week. I'll try to have it out before the weekend. 

For those of you who are not using the $3 pdf catalog let me explain. This does not replace the free online catalog. All the pattern are there and free to download. This is a supplement that allows you to more easily browse the catalog from sheets of thumbnails. I try to keep it update every month or two with the latest patterns. Click Here if you want more details. 


Bear Woods Sponsored Giveaway:

Enter everyday for the best chance to win. Giveaway ends the last of the month. Three luck winners will be drawn at random to win six dozen Pegas scroll saw blades from Bear Woods.

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Email Newsletter Readers: Remember that the Newsletter is just a copy of the daily blog post. To see the post in it's proper formatting click this link. If you ever misplace a pattern or any item you see here you can always find it on the blog. Everything stays on the blog forever. 

Please support our monthly giveaway sponsor. Bear Woods,
your source for Pegas scroll saw blades and craft supplies.
Do you need a source for scroll saw ready boards?
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Let me teach you to create a beautiful wooden portrait pattern. I will show you everything you need from start to finish. The video will show you the free software program you can download for Windows or Mac OS. I will show you how to install the program and configure it for best results. 
Then I will show you the technique to take your photograph and make a pattern from it. When the pattern is complete we will go in the shop and cut it.
The DVD is $10 plus shipping. This is a data DVD that you will use on your computer to watch the video tutorial  

Purchase the entire Scrollsaw Workshop pattern catalog for offline access.
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The DVD is $20 plus shipping. Ships to 60 countries around the world.

You can view a video showing use of the DVD on a Windows PC and a MAC at this link

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Want to create beautiful wooden vases on the scroll saw?
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The books are $12 each and available for instant download after purchase. Click for Video Demonstration.

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This is the end of the daily posts. Keep scrolling for lot's more scrolls saw fun!

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