Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Scroll Saw Wood Spirit Pattern.

I have always been fascinated with carved wood spirits. When we vacation in Gatlinburg Tennessee,  I love visiting the local wood carvers studios. There are many wonderful local carvers in the area and they do amazing work.  

There is no way to duplicate the amazing work of these artist on the scroll saw but I thought I would give it a try anyway. After hand drawing the fretwork of the spirit I decided he needed to stand out more. To do this I outlined the head and used this line to make a bevel cut. That pulled him forward and gave it more depth. 

This is one of those patterns that I almost changed names after it was complete. He seems to have a remarkable likeness to Charlton Heston as Moses or Ian McKellen as Gandalf. :) You can call it whatever you like. 

After applying the pattern and drilling the entry holes I cut the outside of the board away. I usually do the interior cuts first but I wanted a smaller board to work with. It was not much but it helped. When you are cutting a larger board you sometimes have to sit farther away from the saw. That can be uncomfortable so I try to minimize that distance.  
 I used a Pegas #3 modifies geometry blade for all the interior cuts. All the hair cuts end in points. If I had used a larger blade, It would have been harder to make those turns as sharp as I wanted. I would have had to use a slower technique of cutting into the tip, backing out and cutting into the tip from the other side. That works but it's slower. 
After I completed all the interior cuts I needed to do test cuts to get the correct angle for the bevel cut. I used some scrap from the same board and adjusted the tilt to 2.3 degrees for about a 50% relief of the board. Make sure you do the test because it will vary depending on the blade thickness of the board you use. 
 I have all the cuts completed and you can see the relief. Time to remove the pattern and start sanding.
I rounded over all the outside edges with the sand paper and did general sanding to get rid of all the fuzzies. 
When I do relief cuts I like to use hot glue on the back to hold the piece in place. It works far better than trying to get wood glue on the edges without squeeze out.


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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.
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