Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Hummingbird Box Scroll Saw Pattern.

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This fretwork hummingbird box is 7" wide, 4" deep and 4" tall. I used 1/4" Baltic birch plywood but a nice hardwood is preferable. The box is lined with 1/8" BB ply. I wish I had painted the lining red like I did on the backer board of the lid. 

It's not about the speed for most of us:

I did something with this project that I have not done in years. I used my speed cutting techniques to get this project completed fast. From applying the pattern to the assembly was one hour and forty minutes. For me that's fast. 

I have not had the need to speed cut in years. I don't really like cutting for the time but today I had to.
I spent the day trying to get ready to travel on Thursday. I had more to do than I felt like I could get done.  

I don't even talk about speed cutting on the blog because of so few people need to cut fast. Production cutters have to value their time and make every minute count. A few folks who do large craft shows need to build up inventory fast. Speed cutting, Stack cutting, and assembly line management can all add dollars to the bottom line.

So what is speed cutting?  It's more than just pushing the blade through the wood faster. That is part of it but cutting efficiency is also crucial to improving speed. It is important to understand that top speed is not the goal. The goal is to achieve the fastest speed you can cut and not increase cutting errors more than you consider acceptable.

One thing I had forgotten is how critical a sharp blade it to speed cutting. When you are cutting fast a dull blade will wander off the line very easily. When you are cutting at a normal speed you can compensate and stay on the line. At speed you don't have time. I went through 4 blades cutting this box. That is at least double of the number I would normally use. You have to account for the time it takes to replace the extra blades. 

If you want to practice speed cutting observe every move you make while cutting at normal speed. Where are your hands holding the wood? If you have to move your hands too much it slows you down. If you are cutting a long straight line you should not have to move your grip position until the end of the line(not always true). 

Pay attention to the habit of pausing the cut at corners. Practice quickly spinning the blade and coming out of the turn with the blade pointing the correct direction accounting for blade drift. Try not to stop except for the moment the blade is turning. Learn to pivot on the side and back of the blade.

This is something I do but some people tell me it is harder for them. When I am cutting a long line or gentle curve and I want speed, I look a few mm ahead of the blade. I don't focus at the poing the blade is touching the wood. This one might be a mind game but I have used it and it feels comfortable for me.

Get comfortable. Make sure your stool is set to the correct height for the saw. You can look up correct posture in a seated position on Google. You have to minimize breaks without hurting yourself.

The last thing is confidence. Confidence comes from successful practice. 

I don't think I have ever read an article in a magazine or book on speed cutting. It is usually one of those things you get forced into. You have to figure out how to cut fast or you don't make any money. 

I highly recommend that you not get competitive with yourself and try to cut fast just for the sake of cutting fast. Time in front of a scroll saw should be relaxing and fun. For me, there is nothing fun about cutting 1000 of the same part as fast as possible. That's work not fun. Sometimes we have to work though.

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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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.

Now Available on USB Thumb Drive

Don't have a DVD drive on your new computer. No problem. Buy the catalog on a USB thumb drive.
All the same file but in an easy to use a thumb drive. The USB thumb drive option is $23 plus shipping.

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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3D Paper Christmas Ornaments Scroll Saw Pattern.

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