Friday, January 25, 2019

Potpourri Box Scroll Saw Pattern.



Everyone loves the smell of potpourri. This little potpourri box will make a nice gift for almost any occasion. We have Valentine's day coming up. Give her this box with her favorite potpourri.


The most difficult part of this little box is sanding everything flush and rounding over all the edges.
I used a small round-over bit in my router table. If you do not have that option then some time spent hand sanding will be required. 

It difficult to see in the picture but the small finial on top has been sanded to a tapered point. If you leave it flat it looks odd.


I used three species of wood for the project for contrast. The body is cherry. The top and bottom are soft maple and the lid insert is walnut. Almost any wood will work for this project. The main body of the box does need to be thick so it holds enough potpourri. I used 1" thick cherry for the body. I would not want to go thinner than that. Glue up two boards if you need to.


I wanted to show the bottom to explain why I added the foot to the box. The foot raises the box off the table just enough to add a shadow line. This makes the box look lighter and almost as if it is levitating. This is a very common design element in furniture making. After I made the box I decided to use the technique because it looked bulky with out the foot. 



A comment about selling scroll saw projects: Short Ramble.

I receive many emails from people who want to earn extra money from their scroll saw hobby. A few even want to do it full time. I had an email today that I felt bad about how I thought I needed to answer the question. I felt like I was going to discourage the person but I wanted to give accurate feedback.

The email stated that they had been scrolling for a short time but felt pretty confident with their skill. 
The person had made many projects for family and friends that were well received. All was good up to this point.

Here is where the question came in. "Where can I buy the thin boards I need to make the products I want to sell?" He only had very limited tools. Other than his scroll saw he had no other major power tools. 

I always recommend that to be profitable you need to mill your own boards from rough lumber. This is not 100% true but very close. Unfortunately to mill your own boards you need a boatload of equipment. Table saw, planer, jointer, and band saw are all necessary to some degree to mill rough lumber. Yes I know there are hand tools for all these jobs but they require training, skill and for most people extra time.

I love to buy thin boards from online sellers but to be honest the cost is just too high after shipping to mass produce projects. They are great for hobby work but not so good for profit.

I still stand by my recommendation that milling your own boards is very important to being profitable but with a little creativity, you can get started without all those tools.

A good example is a scroller who sells animal puzzles. These are typically cut from inexpensive species of wood and are 3/4" thick. I know several scrollers who work the weekend farmers markets and other sites selling these puzzles. They can be profitable.

In closing my advice to the email question was to try to find projects where they could maximize profit with the tools and skills they currently have. If you absolutely have to have thin boards for a product then find ways to add value to the product so you can sell it for a profit.

How do you add value to a product? Let's say you have $10 worth of time and materials cost in a product. How much can you price that product to sell. That depends on the perceived value of the product. If the product is utilitarian(broom) you won't be able to mark it up much. If it's a very nice broom you may get away with 100% markup. 

If the same cost is associated with a pattern of a poodle and you are selling at a dog show you may be able to mark the price up 200%. The buyer is emotionally invested in the product and may be willing to take it home even if the price is a little higher. 

Look for projects that you can make with what you have available. Be creative in adding value to your products. Don't invest more than you can afford and realize that it can take many many shows before you know what will sell. 


$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:


Every Scrollsaw Workshop Pattern from 2007-2018 in DVD


Purchase the entire Scrollsaw Workshop pattern catalog for offline access.

This DVD has over 2,600 patterns published from 2007 thru 2018.
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.


Scroll Saw Pattern Design Tutorial: DVD
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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 shippingThis is a data DVD that you will use on your computer to watch the video tutorial  


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