Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Mother's Day Heart Necklace Scroll Saw Pattern.

A necklace for mother on Mother's Day.

How small can we go? Fun Challenge.

This was just for fun but it might be neat to see what you guys can do. Send me pictures of your tiny name cuts and I will post some of the pictures on the blog. I will put all good faith attempts in a hat and draw for a winner of a $25 Amazon gift certificate. IF your name is Alexander Romanovich then your attempt will get high praise. If your name is Bob Lee then don't expect much excitement.:)

Deadline is whenever I get tired of seeing the pictures. 
1.75" Long Desk Nameplate

I had a reader who is not a scroller ask me today how small we can cut. I have cut very small detail in coins before but he was interested in wood. Wood is a much less forgiving material than silver. I decided to give it a shot and see what I could do with a #2/0 blade and 1/8" thick Baltic Birch plywood.

Of course, it depends on the pattern. I wanted something that had at least a couple of interior cuts and some detail. I finally decided on a desk nameplate. 
The first thing to consider is the size of the drill bit. It has to be small enough to fit inside the interior cut. In this case, I also needed a hole large enough for the #2/0 blade to pass through. I grabbed my set of micro drill bits and chose one that measured .85mm. That was larger than I needed for the blade but still small enough for any of the interior cuts.
 I don't normally use a magnifier but I thought it was useful in this situation.
The three interior cuts were the easiest cuts because I still had plenty of wood supporting the piece. I was able to make these cuts the same as any normal size pattern.
My strategy was to move across the top of the pattern cutting between the letters as I went. 
From the start, I had more than the normal lifting of the pattern. I had used my typical peel and stick under the pattern. It works great for a normal sized pattern but for pieces this small it lifts too easily. I think applying the patter directly to the wood would have caused less lifting. Removing a pattern this small should not be a problem anyway. To solve the lifting while I cut I used the tip of my Xacto knife to hold the pattern down while I cut. That worked but made me have to cut one handed.

Another significant issue is that the letters are so small that they do not have any support under them at times. I should have used a zero clearance card under the piece as I cut. 

The last major issue is that the piece gets pretty fragile so making a tight turn can easily cause breakage. To counter this problem I made as few turns as possible. I would cut into an area then back up and cut from another angle until I nibbled the area clean.   By far the most difficult cut was the G. It got very fragile so I drilled another interior hole and worked my way out.
This was just an experiment to see what the problems are when cutting small. I know that I can go smaller now that I understand the problems. This pattern was about 1.75" long. I don't think I could go much small than 1.5" 

Update on my ear issue. I went to an ear specialist today. He said that to have significant pain from ear drops I must have a hole in the eardrum. That would allow the drops to get through and cause the pain. When he looked at the eardrum he could not see the hole. So it's still a little confusing where the extreme pain is coming from. I also have an infection that needs to be treated.

He prescribed more medications including one that is drops. I will pick it up tomorrow and give the drops a try. If you hear a scream around 10:30am Eastern time you know I used the drops and the pain came back. I don't look forward to trying drops again. When I put the over the counter drops in over the weekend I was in some of the worst pain I have felt since kidney stones. 

I also have what he called extreme hearing loss in the higher frequencies. That almost certainly came for years of working in very loud environments with Xerox. In the early days, we never wore hearing protection. I have always been pretty good at wearing hearing protection in my woodworking shop. Just a reminder to anyone who works in loud environments. You can not recover your hearing from the damage of overexposure to loud sounds. Anything over 85db requires hearing protection. When in doubt use hearing protection.

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Products for your consideration:

Scroll Saw Pattern Design Tutorial: DVD
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