Monday, March 25, 2019

Teddy Bear Segmentation Box Scroll Saw Pattern.

The hummingbird segmentation pattern from the last post was a popular download so I thought I would design another one. I think you will enjoy this pattern especially if you have small children or grandchildren. 

This teddy bear box is small, measuring a little under six inches tall. This would make a nice small jewelry box for a little girl or a trinket box for a small boy. There are also many adults who collect teddy bears who would probably love to have this box in their collection.

I kept the contouring to a minimum. To keep the box proportional I used 1/4" thick wood for the teddy bear and that does not leave much depth for lots on contouring. If you decide to enlarge the box then you could use 1/2" thick wood for the teddy bear and do more contouring. 

I am not happy with the contouring job I did on the teddy bear. The body is okay but the head is sloppy. I got in a hurry and used my larger flex sanding drums for the small parts. I should have taken more time and used my small Guinevere drums for the small parts or hand sanded them. I cut and assembled this in under 2.5 hours. That was moving too fast.

Just like the last hummingbird segmentation pattern this teddy beat could be used as an intarsia pattern. 

Expensive but I'm happy I bought it. King Arthur's Tools, Guinevere Basic Sanding System.

One of my least favorite duties in the shop is sanding. It's time-consuming and messy. I have spent a bunch of money trying to keep sanding time to a minimum. One of the many sanding systems I use is the Guinevere Sanding System. 

This thing is crazy expensive but it works so well that after I got over the wallet stroke I was happy with the purchase. The basic system comes with the motor and accessories including the flexible shaft.

The secret to how well the system works are the air-filled drums. When you install the sandpaper sleeves on these soft drums you can sand irregular shaped parts and the drum conforms to the shape of the part. This makes contouring the wood for intarsia or segmentation projects a breeze. 

Don't be fooled by the soft drums. This sander can remove lots of wood in a hurry but it is still controlled. You are much less likely to over sand with these drums than when using hard drums.

One tip for inflating the drums. They include a pump. It works but not great. I keep a can of air with the red straw. I just give the drum a half second shot of air and it's filled. 

Let's Talk About Spiral Scroll Saw Blades:

The majority of times when we are cutting a project on the scroll saw we are producing art. The old saying goes that there are no rules when creating art. That's true but there are recommendations and suggestions that are generally accepted and will get you on the right track quicker. This is especially true for new scrollers.

You guys know that I get a lot of emails. One of the more common questions I receive from new scrollers is about using the spiral scroll saw blades. It usually goes something like this. "My neighbor showed me his scroll saw and told me I should use spiral blades because you don't have to turn the wood. Should I only buy spiral blades?". Oh boy.

Spiral scroll saw blades do have the appeal of being able to cut in any direction without turning the wood. That sounds great, and when needed it comes in very handy. That benefit comes with limitations. Spiral blades are almost always more difficult to control than flat blades. I will get email from some old timers telling me that's not true but from my experience teaching hundreds of new scrollers I know it is true.

Not only are the spiral blades more difficult to control for new scrollers the cut quality is often poor.

I'm not saying that spiral blades are bad. I'm saying that they are different from flat blades and have their use for special situations. I consider them specialty blades.

Spiral blades are great for cutting large portrait style patterns where turning the wood is difficult. Most of the time portrait style pattern have mostly organic shapes. For example, cutting a leaf is much different from cutting a circle. If you don't stay on the line of a leaf pattern no one will notice. The circle requires accurately cutting on the pattern line and is better done with a flat blade.

Spiral blades also generally have a larger kerf. This can be an advantage if you are cutting decorative veins and want them to stand out. It can be a disadvantage on a project where you want to minimize the kerf for a good fit. Today's segmentation project is a good example where you would not want to use a spiral blade. The wide kerf would present problems while gluing the pieces back together.

If you want to use spiral blades for all your projects, no scroll saw police will come to your house and arrest you. I have seen projects cut with spiral blades that look great, that I would never have used the spiral blade. 

My words above are for those just getting started. The generally accepted method is to learn flat blades first unless you are starting out with portrait style patterns. Once you have good control of flat blades then start practicing with spiral blades. You want to be able to use both blades so you are ready for any project you want to tackle.

The cuts below were cut with a #3 scroll reverse flat blade and a #3 spiral blade. The cuts were freehand without a pattern. 

Flat Scroll Saw Blade Front Side of the Cut.
 Flat Scroll Saw Blade Back Side of the Cut.
 Spiral Scroll Saw Blade Front Side of the Cut.
Spiral Scroll Saw Blade Back Side of the Cut.

$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

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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.

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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 shippingThis is a data DVD that you will use on your computer to watch the video tutorial  

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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