Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The Great State Of.....Scroll Saw Pattern. All 50 States.

Patterns for all 50 states.  

New Giveaway below. Make sure you scroll down to enter.

CorelDraw: Do you want to design scroll saw patterns?


I want to take just a few words to talk about the software I use to design my patterns. I receive quite a bit of email asking how to get started doing what I do. This won't be detailed but just an overview.

I use several software packages to design my patterns but the primary one is CorelDraw. CorelDraw is a program for graphic designers. It is used for many different types of graphic design applications. Web graphics, product graphics fine art and more. 

There are two different types of graphics software. Bitmap and vector. 

I am grossly oversimplifying this but a bitmap graphics program is used for editing photos and drawing graphics a pixel at a time. Photoshop and Paintshop Pro are examples of bitmap graphics programs although they do have some vector capabilities.

A vector graphics program uses mathematical formulas to draw an object on the screen. A line is just a calculation of all the points between two nodes. A circle is calculated by its diameter. The advantage with vector graphics is that they can be edited and scaled without loss of detail. The formula is just updated and the object is redrawn on the screen. The objects and also be merged and subtracted with simple commands. This is critical for scroll saw patterns.

For scroll saw patterns it is desirable to have fine crisp lines when printed out. Vector graphics programs can produce fine crisp lines without jaggies when enlarged. 

Here are examples of Bitmap vs Vector.
 Bitmap as drawn

 Bitmap enlarged.

 Vector as drawn

Vector enlarged. Notice that the line is still perfect.

CorelDraw, Adobe Illustrator and Inkscape are all examples of vector graphics programs.

The learning curve of a vector graphics program like CorelDraw is moderate to high. The steep learning curve is not because learning the individual tools is difficult. It is learning to use all the tools together to get a specific result that takes time. I have used CorelDraw almost daily for 13 years and am still learning new techniques.

Now I am going to contradict the last statement a little. You can use a vector graphic program to make simple scroll saw patterns with just a few lessons. You can then build on the lessons and make more complicated patterns as you learn a new technique. The pattern in this post is an example of a simple pattern that could be drawn after just a few tutorials.

If you want to give it a try and not spend any money then you can try Inkscape. Inkscape is a free vector graphics program that can be downloaded on a PC or Mac. It has been around for several years and is pretty full featured. I find it clumsy to use but free is hard to beat. You can download it at the link below.

There are hundreds of video tutorial on YouTube to help you learn Inkscape. Many of them are bad but some are really helpful. You just have to dig through the bad one until you find the good ones.
Here is a link to Inkscape tutorial on YouTube. Keep in mind that these tutorials may not be intended to teach how to make a scroll saw patterns. They are directed at graphic designers.

If you want to buy a full-featured vector graphics program I can highly recommend CorelDraw.
CorelDraw comes in a few versions but you will probably want to get started with the Home/Student version. It is currently priced at $77.85 on Amazon. You can see it at this link.

The full version of CorelDraw is almost $500 and can be used for commercial use. You can see it here.

To finish up let me tell the bad news. If your computer skills are not at least slightly above average you will probably find that learning any of these programs will be frustrating. That is not meant to discourage you but just to prepare you for the work ahead.

Papa's Workshop Giveaway: The Lifter. For the DeWalt DW-788 and the Delta 40-690 scroll saws.

I received an email from Frank over at Papa's Workshop yesterday. He asked if I would like to do a giveaway of one of his "The Lifter" products. 

The Lifter is an accessory for owners of the DeWalt DW-788 and the older Delta 40-690 scroll saws. If you own one of these models you know that they need an accessory to keep the upper arm held up while changing blades. This giveaway will run for one week. Good luck.

$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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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.

The Scrollsaw Workshop is primarily supported by donations. If you enjoy this Blog and would like to make a donation please click this Button. Your support is greatly appreciated.

My Sponsors:
Support the businesses who support our community.
Home of Pegas scroll saw blades.

Ad: Affiliate

WEN 3410 3-Speed Remote-Controlled Air Filtration System (300/350/400 CFM)

I own this air filtration system. It has worked well for me. When I run this unit I can see the difference in the amount of dust that settles on my tools. I set the timer to run even after I leave the shop. 

  • Circulate the air in a 400 square foot room up to 7.5 times per hour
  • Three-speed operation flows air at a rate of 300, 350, or 400 cubic feet per minute
  • Includes a 1-micron filter and a 5-micron pre-filter, both of which can be easily replaced
  • Programmable timer automatically shuts unit off after set number of minutes
  • Remote control allows users to set timer, change speed and power the unit on and off from up to 26 feet away