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Artie

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly!

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The GOOD-I had fun! I got the saw assembled, and running, and decided to just try the machine as it came from the factory. The BAD- Cleaned the deck with mineral spirits, and while I was letting it completely dry off, before waxing it, I drew out the sign I figgered I’d try to make for my wife’s quilting/sewing/crocheting hobby. Didn’t think it would make that much sawdust, didn’t hook up the vacuum for dust collection, (will tomorrow). The UGLY-well just look at the picture if I can get it uploaded LOL. I was gonna call it Rustic/Primitive, but this makes the first time I tried mudding/plastering seem like a success. So...... Piece was too big (37 inches) and too thick (3/4 Poplar),  Used factory pinned blade, tomorrow will install a Flying Dutchman, on a piece of 1/4 Baltic Birch. Used it as it came from the factory, my son is coming over tomorrow, and we will read the set up instructions, and implement them, before we try making sawdust again. By the way the picture doesn’t really do justice to how bad the lines were not followed. 748FFDD3-1CF3-4933-B277-26A220FD1ED8.thumb.jpeg.93c04be7ca60f42e41d1a4ea8dde92be.jpeg

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Practice makes perfect! Try cutting out kittens... they're SUPPOSED to look fuzzy!:D

John

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Saw looks like it belongs there Artie!

As for your first, out-of-the-box attempt, well it still looks better than anything I've produced from my scroll-saws if that's any encouragement:D

Keep practicing, you're gonna' get this down because you're determined too...that's more than half of the battle!

BTW...thanks for the pics:)

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Actually, that is a good job for a first attempt.

This type of project is what spiral blades are for; you don't have to spin the piece,  just cut sideways or diagonal or whatever you need. FYI I have some spiral blades but I never use them, the only thing I ever found them useful for was cutting plexiglas.

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If it were that easy Artie, everybody would be doing it!

The key here is practice.  Practice, patience,  and learning the craft.

And like Dave said, thanks for the pics!

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Artie if its like most all scroll saws you will have to sit to the right side of the saw and not directly behind it.

Don't force it, let it do the sawing, you just sit there and control the wood..

I do want to tell you the sign is much too long for the saw. You might have to cut the sign in to two pieces so it will turn without hitting the back end of the saw...Funny, no one noticed it yet!

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The vacuum sitting there seems a little out of place for someone looking for a used scroll saw.

That's okay, gotta keep those lungs clear.

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Yes, practice, practice practice .

And here are a couple of practice exercises (taken from "Patrick Spielmans"  Scroll saw handbook with patterns, I HIGHLY recommend this  book).

Start with a piece of 1 x 2 pine about 6 inches long, draw a series of straight parallel lines, 1 inch long about 1/2 inch apart, along one side. Using a #2 blade cut to the end of a line, then using the back of the blade as a pivot point, rotate the piece 180 degrees and come back out the original cut. When done properly there will be a small round hole at the end of the cut and you will not have to cut your way out, the blade should easily follow the original cut. If you have to cut your way out, then either the table is not square or you are putting pressure on the side of the blade.  Continue to pratice uintill you can cut to you satisfaction.

exercise 2.  layout your practice piece as before, keep the lines about an inch apart and an inch from either edge. Tilt your saw (or table) to about 30 degrees. Cut as before, but this time you will get a cone shaped waste piece. Continue to practice this cut until you are satisfied with your quality. You should beable to produce a near perfect cone (no, it's not easy).

 

You're not trying to produce anything here, you are training your muscles and your brain on just how this silly thing cuts.

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9 hours ago, Smallpatch said:

The vacuum sitting there seems a little out of place for someone looking for a used scroll saw.

That's okay, gotta keep those lungs clear.

When my Mom was near the end, we had a conversation, and one thing She asked me was to spend a part of my inheritance on me, for me. This was the impetus for my workshop. I bought the Shopsmith, and some assorted equipment/supplies that my inexperienced (well really, no experienced) mind thought I needed. I am an electrician for a municipality outside of Boston. I talked with some of the carpenters when I needed advice, (I hadn’t found any of the forums yet :( ), and the Festool Vac was universally mentioned as being worth it, even as expensive as it is. If memory serves there was a 10% off deal when I bought it. But yeah, I hear ya! While we’re on the subject, if I take to the scrolling like I think I may, there will be an upgraded scroll saw by years end. I’m currently working Saturdays, for friends, and while there is no money involved, they are looking for ways to pay me. I’m gonna make a reply here about today in the shop. :) 

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Cal, I’m gonna keep practicing, I’m very bad at it so far, but I’m liking it, so motivation is no issue. Wichman3 I will see if that book is available, pine is cheap, learning is fun. I have a pattern for a scroll box I wanna make, a Celtic Cross, and a couple of USMC and USAF emblems. I gotta get way better before I can tackle them and have a project I’m not embarrassed about. 

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Hmmm - I don't see any pics showing off the hands... you still have all your fingers, right?:P  And no bandages?

 

Looks and sounds like you have had some fun with it today.  That's what it is all about.  And I plan to do those practice exercises that @Wichman3 was nice to post up.

I have a magnifying light such as Dave posted that I use when cutting.  For blade changing, though, I have to take my glasses off!  Darn bi-focals.  Either that or all the dirt and dust on them...  might actually be a combination of all those things...

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Well, Artie, all I can say is welcome to scroll sawing. Blades are always a B**CH! I use a Delta 40-690 20", so I can't offer any tricks to you based on your saw. I do use a small magnifying glass/LED light combo. I purchased it at Woodcraft. It does help but eventually I'll do an upgrade when my cheap, um, frugal nature comes across a deal.

 

Lots of light, avoid shadows and concentrate on where the blade is cutting ONLY. Don't look ahead, just where the blade is at on the pattern line. I think that you mentioned a rheostat pedal. You'll get a feel for the correct speed based on the wood, blade, and how sharp it is. Which brings me to another point. Blades are cheap, buy by the dozen to the gross. Toss them when they get dull. You may be breaking them because they ARE dull and you are forcing them to cut. Also, again, make sure that they are tensioned properly. Too loose, or too tight and they will snap. If you are musically inclined, (I'm not), when you pluck the blade they say you should get a middle C note sound. (do a search for a sound byte of people demonstrating this).

 

As for the blades; Flying Dutchman's are great premium blades, but for starting out you will go through a lot of blades, so, any good quality blades will do for your learning process. Something like a Olson is fine and you can find them almost anywhere.

 

When you start branching out and buying different blades I'll take a photo and post a picture of how I keep them separated, stored and available.

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16 hours ago, Grandpadave52 said:

I guess we should assume your wife's name is Lisa...if not, well good knowing ya':lol: BTW...you're getting the hang of it quite nicely I'd say!

Happens to the best of Artie...been wearing bi-focals for over 20 years; hate to say it, but it might be time for an eye exam.;) I suspect one of my near future purchases will be one of these from Harbor-Freight unless I stumble across one at a flea market or yard/garage sale. Normally $39.99 but occasionally on sale plus a 20% coupon brings it to ~$30 or less. As for blade recommendations, I'll let the resident experts direct you there...they speak from VOE...

image.png.5003fe4020c60ad754d210cce76fddc9.png

 

BTW, I noticed the "cat is out of the bag" and resting quite comfortably in the chair.:rolleyes: Familiar sight.

GO HARBOR FREIGHT!!!

 

Herb

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