Thursday, October 25, 2018

Firefighter Tribute Scroll Saw Pattern.

This fire truck is a little over 15 inches long.

I was having a conversation a couple weeks ago with my friend Russ Claridy. Russ and I have been friends for many years. He runs the Simply Wooden Creations site. Russ is a retired firefighter. He was telling me some stories about his years with the department. The stories will send chills down your spine. This pattern is dedicated to Russ and all the active and retired firefighters.

As of 2016, there were approximately 1,134,000 firefighters working in the U.S. Almost 800,000 of those were volunteers. Their average salary is just under $50,000. They took just over 33 million calls during 2016. 

Surprising to me was that fighting fires were not their number one reason for a call. Over 21 million of those calls were for medical assistance. The second highest reason for a call was a false alarm. Actual fire calls were just over 1,345,000. 

These men and women go about doing their dangerous job every day with little recognition. I did discover during my research that May 4th is National Firefighter Day. 

Mop Sanders:

I use Mop Sanders on most of my scroll saw projects. They are gentle which makes them good for sanding the fuzzies off the back of fretwork. They also work well for breaking the sharp edges of projects. I even use them for finish sanding the surface of a board. 

The key to using a mop sander is knowing how to attack the surface of the wood with the mop. You want to use the bottom lead edge of the mop. If you push the wood into the mop at too high of an angle it may pull the piece out of your hand. I place my hand behind the fretwork to support it. Then I gently run the board under the mop. If you do it that way it is very gentle.

I have my mops attached to my benchtop grinder and SandFlee drum sander. You can also use the mop vertically in a drill press. 
 The mops are only rated at about 3,000RPM so be careful not to spin them too fast. My grinder is variable speed. It will spin the mop at its limits if I don't adjust the speed. If you turn the mop too fast it will also scorch the wood. 
This is what a worn out mop looks like. I have used this mop for a couple of years so the lifespan is pretty good. 

These mops can range in price so you have to shop around. The mops at this Amazon link are from Peachtree Woodworking Supply. They are not quite as good as some I have purchased but they are almost half the price. I used one for over a year before it wore out. They are a pretty good value.

The best mops I have purchased were from RJR Studios. They lasted twice as long and were double the price. Six one half a dozen the other I guess. 

$12 per sheet of 12 coins plus $3.50 shipping
Inlay with a 1" Forstner Bit.
The perfect way to sign your work.

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Products for your consideration:

Scroll Saw Pattern Design Tutorial: DVD
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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:
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18" Variable Speed Scroll Saw with Stand


If you want to check out the scroll saw hobby and don't have a large budget to work with here is a nice entry level saw. 
 The Porter Cable Scroll Saw was the choice of Scroll Saw Woodworking and Crafts magazine as the best entry level scroll saw. I agree with that recommendation. Here is my video review of the Porter Cable.

  • Large aluminum 20" x 12 5/8" dual tilting table allows for bevel cutting up to 45 degrees
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  • Built-in adjustable LED work lamp for better illumination of work area
  • Variable speeds between 500 and 1500 SFM with upfront control knob

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