Sunday, August 16, 2020

Standing Horse Puzzle Scroll Saw Pattern.

Download Below

Animal puzzles are always fun projects to make. Obviously, this puzzle is more of a showpiece than a puzzle that will give you a challenge. If you own or know someone who owns horses this will make a nice Christmas gift.

When you cut puzzles it is important to get a good fit between the puzzle pieces. You don't want the piece too sloppy or too tight. If you use a blade that is too thick then you will have a loose fit. 

I used Ash which is a very dense/hard wood. I also made the puzzle thicker than the pattern calls for. I used 1" thick instead of 3/4" because that is what I had handy. This combination is a setup for problems when cutting puzzles. Here is why.

I used a #3 blade. With the thick/dense wood and the thin blade, you can very easily get distorted cuts. The blade will slightly bend as you push the wood into it. This bend causes a warped cut. The pieces will not want to pull apart resulting in a poor puzzle fit.

The easiest way to avoid this warped cuts is to use a softer thinner wood. 3/4" clear pine works fine for puzzles and is much less forgiving.

If you want to use a dense wood, like Ash then here are a couple of tips. 

Make the blade as close to 90 degrees to the table as possible before you start the cuts. Nitpick the adjustment to the best you can get it.

Use a sharp blade. Use as many blades as you need to keep a sharp blade in the saw. With this Ash puzzle, I used five blades. In a softer wood, I could easily only use one blade for this project. Keep the blade sharp.

You absolutely have to let the blade do the cutting. If you force a small blade through thick/dense wood, you will warp the cut. 

As you push the wood into the blade be very careful not to push the wood into the side of the blade. Keep all the force on the front of the blade. Only hold the wood blank are tight as is needed to keep it from bouncing. A light touch is important with this cut.

Make a few circular test cuts in the wood you plan to use to make sure your cuts are 90 degrees when you finish. 

DIY Lifter for the DeWalt DW788 Scroll Saw:

 Click the image to download the PDF instructions.

In my last post on Friday, I had an error. I had linked to a product that is not currently available. I corrected the error but the emails came hot and heavy. They were not beating me up for the error. They were sharing their DIY lifters. You guys are a resourceful bunch. 

I have made and seen dozens of different lifters over the years. Some of them are complex and some are simple kickstands. If you do a Google image search for "DeWalt scroll saw arm lifter", you will see a few, both DIY and commercial lifters.

One email I received from Ron Walters included a PDF(linked above) of his version of a DIY lifter. Here is part of the email Ron sent.

The first one I built was from 1/8” steel. I later decided to try one using 1/8” Baltic birch plywood so anyone with could build one. I’ve been using it for several years now and it works GREAT! Attached is the pattern I drew. Feel free to pass it on to your readers.

This design is pretty typical but I have never made one from 1/8" Baltic birch plywood. I would not have thought it would hold up but apparently, Ron has used for a few years. You will see in his instructions that he used a stiffener. I think that is the key to using BB ply for this project.

If you are not comfortable with using 1/8" ply then aluminum or steel will work. BB ply would be easier to work with.

Ron's design uses a 24" bungee as his lifting force. That works and is easier to source than a strong spring. 

If you want to get more complex.
Check out my friend, Hans Meier's DeWalt scroll saw in the next photo. This system is not a ten-minute build but it has the advantage of being faster than the others.

Keep in mind that Hans is a full-time scroller. He does arts and crafts shows where he cuts on site. He cuts special projects for the children while their parents look around his booth. (Genius salesmanship). Speed is critical in his situation. Kids do not have a super long attention span and Hans can knock out compound cut puzzle faster than most people can chuck up a blade. His setup is perfect for his needs.

Hans Meier

So the moral of this story is that my error put several of you guys in help mode. I appreciate all the emails with suggestions on DIT lifters. Special thanks to Ron Walters for sharing his instructions.

$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:

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The Lifter

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