Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Ice Cream Sandwich Box Scroll Saw Pattern.

Download Below
The fretwork graphic was designed by visnezh / Freepik.com
The box was designed by me to include the graphic.

I ended up naming this the ice cream sandwich box. That was not the intent when I started but it sure ended up looking like my favorite ice cream. Maybe I was just hungry?

The walls of the box are 1.75 inches deep. They were cut from hard maple. The top and bottom are 1/4" walnut. 

I glued up two boards to get the thickness of the walls I needed. Cutting the thick glueup can be difficult(more info below). If you find it easier just use the wall pattern on two thinner boards and cut them separately then glue them together after they are cut out. This will take more sanding to get them flush.

I call the piece glued to the bottom of the lid, the lid keeper. I'm sure this has an actual name but for the life of me, I can't find any source that has named it. You get the idea though. It keeps the lid from sliding off. 

Let's talk about cutting thick/dense wood.

I intentionally wanted to cut thick dense wood for this project so I could discuss the problems it can cause. Hard maple is as the name implies, hard. It is tough to cut and when it is this thick it can be very difficult to get good results.

Probably the most common email questions I get about cutting thick, hardwood is that the edges are warped. You will first notice this when you try to remove the waste wood. It will come out one direction but get stuck when you try to remove it from the opposite end. It is basically shaped like a cork with a fat end and a skinny end.

It is very difficult to eliminate all the warp from a 1.75" thick piece of hard maple. You can see at the red arrow that I was able to minimize the warp to about 1 mm. Trust me it can get much worse. 

Here are some tips to reduce the warped cuts. 

Use high-quality sharp blades. Replace the blade before it gets dull. In the image below I started the cut at entry hole 1. After I cut halfway around the wall I removed the blade. I drilled another entry hole for the new blade. I used a #7 blade for this cut. I rarely use a blade that thick but it is called for here. There are heavy-duty blades with offset teeth for cutting thick and hard wood but in this case, I just used a #7 reverse tooth blade.  

The second problem you will run into is the burning of the edges from blade friction heat build-up. The burning will be especially bad where the blade makes a sharp turn.

Three things that will help reduce or eliminate burning. As stated above don't let the blade get dull. Use blue painters tape under the pattern. The tape lubricates the blade and reduces friction. The last technique to reduce friction and probably the most important is the feed rate.

You absolutely cannot push the blade through the wood faster than it can remove the sawdust from the kerf. That is a guaranteed way to dull the blade fast, produce more friction and burn the edges.
It took me nearly 20 minutes to cut just the outside cut of these thick walls. I let the blade move at its own rate.

The last thing I want to mention about warped cuts is difficult to learn to do. As you feed the wood into the blade there is a tendency to push too hard and apply side pressure to the blade. This bends the blade and causes a warped cut. 

It takes a lighter grip to cut thick wood. This sounds backward but I hold a thick board with very little force. I want to board to recenter itself to the blade as I cut. Often I will completely remove any force to make sure the blade is square. 

Many times it is just easier to avoid thick or hard wood. Hard maple was a bad choice for the walls but I wanted to show what would happen. 

Is this a price glitch?

Disclaimer: The links in this article are affiliate links.

I don't know what to think about this Amazon price for the Excalibur EX21 scroll saw. As of 10/7/2019 Amazon is showing a price of $599.99. That is a low price for this saw. At this price, it does not come with a stand. According to camelcamelcamel.com this is the lowest price ever on Amazon for this product. See the chart below. I have seen this saw for $650 with the stand before but only at sites, I did not know well.

Let's talk about the Excalibur for a minute. This saw has gone through a manufacturing company change in the last year. They moved manufacturing from Taiwan to China. I think there have been startup problems with the new manufacturer. I only have limited first-hand knowledge of this issue. I have personally seen two Chinese manufactured EX21 saws that had to be returned with shipping damage. I do also have some second-hand knowledge of shipping damage from several emails I received from my readers.

I am confident they will get these issues resolved quickly but I wanted to share this with you so you make sure you buy from someone with a good return policy just in case you need to return it. The Excalibur is a great saw but moving manufacturing is always a big challenge.

Personalized Christmas Ornament Patterns:

I am still making good progress on ornament patterns. I should be able to get caught up today. If you have orders in the queue, keep your eye on your email inbox.

The price is $1 per name with a 5 name minimum. I keep the price as low as possible
because I want everyone to have a chance to make these ornaments for family and friends.

You only pay after you have received the order and are 
100% satisfied with the patterns. Invoice included with
the pattern email. Pay by credit card(secure Paypal), check, or cash.

The patterns will be emailed to you after they are completed.
Please allow up to a week for delivery. 

You can use last names on the ornaments if you like but remember that the more letters the more
difficult they are to cut. Ten letters and up gets pretty small. If you need to you can enlarge the patterns by 10% to make the interior cuts larger. No special characters are supported. I can get a hyphen in there but it looks odd. It has to connect the two letters so it does not just fall out.

$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. 

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Think Safety

Remember to keep the safety of yourself and others in your work shop in your thoughts at all times. Always wear eye and ear protection. Follow all the manufactures warnings that came with your power tools. If I demonstrate something on this web site that you don't feel is safe, don't do it. Your safety is your responsibility. Fingers are handy things, try to keep all of them.
The Scrollsaw Workshop Blog is in no way affiliated with or sponsored by Scroll Saw Woodworking and Crafts Magazine formerly (Scroll Saw Workshop Magazine) or it's publisher Fox Chapel Publishing.

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