Saturday, November 17, 2018

Cupid Wedding Cake Topper Scroll Saw Pattern. Cutting 1/4" Thick Aluminum.

A couple of years ago I was contacted by a small company who wanted designs for wedding cake toppers. I worked on a few but never made a deal so they have just set in a folder. I actually had forgotten about them until I was cleaning out old folders and found them. I decided I might as well post them. 

I know there are not too many wedding this time of year but if you have one in the future it will be in my catalog when you need it. 

Personalized Christmas Ornament Pattern Orders:

I did not stay caught up for very long. I am a little backed up right now but I will work on getting caught back up later today. If you are waiting for an order look for them in your email later tonight. Thanks for your patience.

Cutting 1/4" Thick Aluminum Flat Sheet with the Scroll Saw:

Is it possible and would you want to?

If you attempt this technique please wear safety glasses. The shaving are tiny and you do not want them in your eyes.

This is a simple ring I cut tonight from 1/4" thick aluminum sheet. That answers the first question. Yes, it is possible to cut 1/4" thick aluminum. You may also notice that it has a pretty good finish right off the saw. 
I used Mother's Aluminum buffing compound to give it a bright sheen. With a bit more buffing I could get rid of most of the small scratches but it looks pretty good. 
I have very little knowledge of jewelry but I assume using aluminum for jewelry would require some type of coating to prevent it from reacting with your skin.  This was just an experiment. I will do more research as time permits.
To make this cut I used a Pegas #1 Metal Cutting blade from Bear Woods. I did not have a #3 or #5 or I probably would have tried those first. I suspect the finish would have been a little worse with the larger blades but it also would have been easier to cut.
 I bought the Aluminum stock from Amazon. You can find what I bought at this link. I noticed that it went unavailable after my order. I don't know when they will restock it. I'm sure you can find it locally if you search. It took about 8 days for the order to be delivered.

 I had not cut aluminum this thick before so it took me a few minutes and blades to figure out the best strategy. Feed rate and saw speed are critical when cutting this material. I started out way too fast with both. I got the best results when I turned the saw down to about 1/3 full speed. That is very slow.

Feed rate is even more critical than saw speed here. You absolutely have to let the blade make the cut. If you push it any at all the blade and aluminum heats up and the blade breaks. I went through four blades cutting out the small square. Once I slowed way down I completed the rest of the cut with two blades. 
I experimented cutting dry and with oil. Dry worked better. It appeared that the oil caused the shavings to stick to the blade and make it feel dull. When I cut dry the shaving fell away and the blade cut better. You do need to have a piece of wood under the aluminum or it will scratch the table. The aluminum is so heavy that I just laid it on a piece of 1/8" BB ply when cutting out the small blank.
When I started cutting the ring from the small blank I taped the aluminum to the board. To make a ring you need to be very accurate. A ring needs to be round. 

Now let me answer the second part of the question I asked at the top. Would you want to cut 1/4" thick aluminum? It's a challenge but it's something different that you may not have tried before. I would not attempt anything too large. It just takes too long to cut.  

I think small pieces of jewelry or other small items might be worth the time.

If you are interested in trying to cut a ring you can visit my catalog and type "rings". You will find a pattern that has all the different sizes for ring patterns.

Here is the link to my catalog ...

Bear Woods Sponsored Giveaway:

Entries are going strong for the Bear Woods Giveaway. We have over 3,000 entries with 16 days left to enter. If you have not entered yet them click the link below and maybe you will be the winner.

The 1st Winner will receive a $100 Bear Woods gift certificate.
The 2nd winner will receive a completed Charles Dearing artwork.

$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
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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