Monday, May 28, 2018

Horse Portrait Scroll Saw Pattern.


14" X 11" Horse Portrait

The horse just might be the most beautiful animal on earth. They are an amazing combination of strength and grace. I live in the Bluegrass of Kentucky and we have many beautiful horse farms in the area. Driving through the countryside and seeing the thoroughbreds in the fields is really special. 

This pattern is 14" X 11" and is broken up into four pages. It will be best cut on Baltic birch plywood for strength. I have seen these larger portraits cut from 3/4" hardwood panels and they look spectacular. 

You may be interested to know that I designed this portrait pattern on an Apple iPad pro using the Apple pencil. That is an amazing combination. I can't do most types of patterns with it but for portrait style pattern it is a great system. Let me know if you would like to see a demonstration of the process and if I get enough response I will do a video. 

Scroll Saw Blade Tension:

It can be difficult for new scollers to know what the correct tension of a blade should be. I understand that because when you hear someone explain the correct tension it sounds flaky.

The most common techniques you hear is to tension the blade until it produces a C note when plucked. What? How many people do you know that would recognize a C note when they hear it? 

The next technique you hear is that the blade should deflect a 1/8" when you apply moderate pressure on the side of the blade. Define moderate. A new scroller using a saw for the first time is very unlikely to know what moderate pressure is. That just does not work.

So what is the best way to teach correct blade tension? Take your choice because it all comes down to experience. You will start to notice that the blade drifts more easily when the tension is too low. You will also see concave or convexed edges on thicker woods when the tension is not right. These are signs of a poorly tensioned blade.

Most of the time a new scroller and even an experienced scroller will under tension the blade. Scroll saw blades are designed to work under high tension. Just for grins, set the tension the way you normally do, then bump it up a little and cut for a while. See if your cuts are more accurate. 

One thing that sometimes prevents proper tension is blade slippage. Blades slipping out of the clamps is almost never related to tension. If the blade is slipping the set screw and thumb screw are worn. The set screws that hold the blade in place are wear items and need to be replaced routinely. Do not over tighten the set screw to prevent slippage. You will damage the saw. You should be able to tighten the thumbscrew with your thumb and forefinger without cranking down hard.

Experiment with blade tension and see what the results are. You may be surprised. 


King Arthur's Tools 11307 Guinevere Total System for Sanding


This is an expensive tool but is it worth the money? I have owned this system for several years and I am glad I have it. The feature that makes this tool work well is the inflatable drums. The sleeves fit over the drum then the drum is inflated with air. This makes the drum conform to the piece being sanded giving you beautiful control of the area being sanded.

Don't get me wrong. You can remove lots of material with the sander. That's why I like it. You get the best of an inflatable drum but the ability to remove lots of wood. You can also install hard drums in the system if desired.

If you have ever tried to remove blade burn marks from wood you know how difficult that can be with hand sanding. This tool makes that task easy work. Sanding inside of bowls is a simple task with this system. 

This system get's overlooked because of the price. I understand that. It's over $400. That's a lot of money for a sanding system. It took me a while to pull the trigger when I was thinking about buying it. 

I started this with a question. Is this system worth the money? I always try to answer that type of question with another question. Would I buy another one if this one broke? Yes, I would buy another one. I would feel the pinch when I typed in the credit card number but I would buy it again.


$3 PDF catalog update:

For those of you who use the $3 pdf catalog of my patterns, I will get the latest update out later this week. I have 42 new patterns to add to the catalog. Here is the link to the order page if you want to buy this product. There is a video on the page showing what it is for.

You do not need to purchase this product to have access to my free patterns. It is just an accessory that makes it easier to browse the entire catalog quickly. It is a pdf with thumbnails of all the pattern. You can quickly browse every pattern then download it from the name using the downloader included.
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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. 

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  



Every Scrollsaw Workshop Pattern from 2007-2017 in DVD
Purchase the entire Scrollsaw Workshop pattern catalog for offline access.

This DVD has 2,300 patterns published from 2007 thru 2017.
The DVD is $20 plus shipping. Ships to 60 countries around the world.

If you use the DVD on a Windows PC there is a simple viewer program to browse through the patterns.

The DVD also works fine on a MAC. The viewer program is not MAC compatible but there is an included PDF with all the patterns shown as thumbnails for easy viewing. 

Unique Wooden Vases:
Want to create beautiful wooden vases on the scroll saw?
My two "Wooden Vases on the Scroll Saw" books make it easy.

The books are $12 each and available for instant download after purchase. Click for Video Demonstration.


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