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Sunday, April 26, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
I want to thank every single person I talked to at the Rally. I had a great time. While I may not recognize every single person if you call, please understand I talked to probably a thousand people yesterday. I do appreciate from the bottom of my heart though you stopping by my booth. I also thank you all for the wonderful compliments you gave me on my hard work. I do put a lot of time into my work. More importantly, I put a lot of love into it. This wood is my passion. You can rest assured that anything I create for you is done with pride and quality.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
You have to assemble it like this to get the fit right. Then you have to take it apart while doing your shaping of items such as the seat and gas tank. Then you stain everything and put it back together.
If anyone wants more pictures of this project, they can be found at http://www.scrollsawvillage.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=6 .
Monday, April 13, 2009
I may post several picture this week of this project in progress. I hope everyone enjoys them.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Several people have been amazed when looking at my work that I've only been scrolling six months. So I guess a little background info is in order. When I decided to scroll, I didn't even know how to put a blade up, down or sideways. Since Ric Hutcheson at http://www.scrollsaws.com/ was what made me want to learn scrolling, his how to videos was a perfect jumping off point for me to get started. I immediately went to his site and watch every video he had there on scrolling. There is some real useful information there. However, some techniques he used just didn't work for me. Just like my techniques aren't yours, his techniques weren't mine.
First of all, the scrollsaw is one of the safest tools in the shop. True, you can cut your finger, but without trying with a lot of determination, you won't cut your finger off. As a matter of fact, in order to cut your finger off, you'd probably have to stop in the middle of it and change blades. The biggest danger there, if you don't wear safety glasses, is sawdust in your eyes. I had a piece in my eyes that drove me crazy for over a week before it worked its way out. Use common sense on the scrollsaw and you'll be fine.
Second, there is no right or wrong way to cut certain things, like corners. Experienced scrollers even have debates on the best way to do this or that. If there was one "right" way, then there would be no debate. Play around and find what's best for you. True, you may break a few blades. you have to think of this as a hobby though. Don't get upset. Think about the price of a new bandsaw or table saw blade and realize that these blades are dirt cheap. That's why most companies offer packs of a dozen dozen, called a gross. Also, stay cool when you mess up a piece. You didn't learn to walk in a day. If you enjoy looking at my work, think of this. I still create fancy firewood more often than you may think.
Then there's the choices of blades and the issue of blade tension. There is spirals and flats, regular and reverse tooth, crown tooth, now there is even a flat end spiral reverse tooth. It can be intimidating to the new scroller. If possible, go to Home Depot, for example. They sell variety packs of blades. That will give you the chance to try different types of blades to see what works for you. Take spirals as an example. I use almost exclusively spirals, while some scrollers won't even allow a spiral in their shop. As for blade tension, consult your owner's manual. Then recognize that info as a starting point. There is a spot in the tension that is tight enough that the blade doesn't wander or follow the grain, but not so tight that your simply practicing blade changes every few seconds. Look at my earlier Wolf Rifle in my last post. That was the first piece I ever cut with spirals. I went through almost two dozen blades on that. Now, after plenty of practice, I can cut that entire piece on one blade.
The final thought I can give you is to remember that this is a hobby. You are supposed to enjoy a hobby. Relax. Have fun. Focus on your finished piece and get yourself determined to finish it no matter what. Often times, if it's a detailed piece, you'll know how to tension you blade by the time you finish that first piece. There are very few people in the world that make their living on scrolling. So don't even set out in the beginning thinking that you are going to do that. If you can't enjoy it because you like woodworking, then walk away from the scrollsaw now. Don't even buy one. I'm not saying you will never make good money at it. I'm just saying that if you do, you're one of the lucky few. If I make enough to support my hobby and maybe carry my wife to dinner now and then, I'm doing great.
So, if there is any advice I can give you, please don't hesitate to email me at email@example.com . Also, there are multiple links on my main page to people who will be glad to help. The scrollsaw community is one that you would not believe the generousity of it's people. Be safe, have fun, and happy scrolling.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Actually before I got my shop or started woodworking, I was looking for something I could do to fill some time. Back then I was stuck in the wheelchair about fifty percent of the time. A friend of ours brought up this Tin Man and suggested I make some. Well I was looking for something I could sell in order to actually support whatever craft I decided to do. I thought there was no way these things would sell. I personally thought they were the ugliest things I'd ever seen in my life. The friend and my wife talked me into it though. Boy was I wrong. People around here went crazy over them.
While I don't devote too much of my time away from my woodwork on these, I do usually try to make up a batch of them from time to time. You have to keep those customers happy.
My first mistake was underestimating the weight of the old saw. When I just grabbed it and snatched it up, it was much heavier than I thought. Then, being a metal table, I turned it upside down on my work table to screw from the bottom into a new table top. Turns out, the table was heavier than I thought too. My wife helped me. However, when we went to turn the table back over, there was a "catch" in my back.
All this happened about mid morning. I didn't think anything else about it. Then about four or five that evening, I started realizing I was hurting way more than normal. Then the next day, I couldn't even get dressed on my own. I've been here before many times since '99 when I fractured my back. It doesn't make it any less frustrating though.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
All that being said, it seems funny to me that considering I didn't even want a scrollsaw, that now my most used tool and I now have five scrollsaws in my shop.
I started with the Ryobi.
I moved up to a Delta that I had to track down and drive to Jackson to buy.
Then a friend give me an old spring drive Sears and Roebuck that was made back in the fifties. It's still a good saw after I cleaned everything up and made a few minor adjustments.
Then I bought a Craftman direct drive at a yard sale. I didn't need it, but I couldn't pass up the chance to try a different saw at a price tag of just twenty five dollars.
Then I recently bought another Delta. They were on sale really cheap and I figured that as much as I use the Delta, it wouldn't hurt to have a spare to use in case the other breaks down.
I guess I found out what the $#%@ I needed a scrollsaw for.
I posted more pictures than normal of this particular clock. I am just so proud of it. Of all my projects, this is usually the first one people walk to.
Everywhere my projects were seen, everyone always has suggestions on what I should build. It always comes up that I ought to build some rocking chairs. Well, what people didn't understand was that I mostly build what I like. It is a hobby after all. If I was going to build a rocking chair, it had to be something that I'd enjoy doing. For anyone who knows me, that means it would have to be something unique or different. Then I seen the plans at http://www.woodcraftplans.com/osc/ for a rocking chair and cradle combo. I remembered the enjoyment I got building the rocking canopy cradle, so that was the rocking chair for me. I had never seen a rocking chair before that with a cradle built onto it.
Monday, April 6, 2009
This particular clock was the first detailed clock I ever done. It was by chance that I wound up doing it, but boy am I glad I did. It got me interested in these clocks that I love so much to build. Had it not had been for the chance way it happened, I probably would never have attempted to do something like this.
A man from Brandon, Mississippi bought one of my "Rocking Roarer" motorcycles and asked if I would deliver it. I agreed to do it since I needed to pick up a few things in Jackson anyway. When I delivered it, he told me he had a project he needed me to do. He pulled what wasn't even full plans out of a desk drawer. It was standard size paper that someone had run off copies onto of these clock parts. I didn't even have as much as a picture of a finished clock to go by. The man had bought several things from me in the past though, so I wanted to keep him happy. I looked it over at his kitchen counter and told him that all I could do was try, since I'd never built anything like this before. For reasons I'll explain in a bit, the man asked me to please try my best, that he felt I coud do it. So, I left his house with plans for a clock that I didn't really know what it was supposed to look like, but being pressured to try. I figured the worst I could do was waste some good wood.
As it turns out, the man had been wanting this "Cottage Clock" for quite a while. While doing a contract job somewhere, another contractor had one of these clocks in his RV. He asked the other contractor how much it would take to buy it but it wasn't for sale. The other contractor did agree that when he went back home, in Texas, that he would mail back the plans for the clock. The man never thought much else about it until about a year later he recieved these clock part copies I mentioned earlier in the mail. He then tried to get someone to build it for him. He told me he'd been trying for five years to get someone in this area to build it. "Noone around these parts does this kind of work anymore" was the common response he got. So now "lucky me", I thought with a frown. I actually had doubts that I could ever piece this thing together.
So, after the "plans" set in my shop for a while untouched, I decided to give it a try. The first one took me longer than it should have, but I was at that time still new to the scroll saw. I got it built though. I really surprised myself. Just think, about two months before that, when my wife wanted to get me a scrollsaw for my birthday, I asked her "What the $%#@ do I need a scrollsaw for?" In the end, the man was happy, but most of all, I was happy. I'd found a new love.
As with most of my clocks, the one pictured is made of mahogany with cottonwood trim. It stands twelve inches tall.
It's one of those weather days for me. I fractured my spine in six places back in '99. I haven't been right physically since. Now days, I have good days and bad days. On good days I can do pretty much what I want, within reason. On bad days I can hardly get out of bed. Then there are weather days. Weather days are like today. The weather changed overnight. I'm out of bed, but if I walk, every step feels like some evil form of torture.
I think that's why I have fell in love with scroll work. With scroll work, as long as I can get myself up and make it to the shop, I can scroll. It's a sit down operation. My biggest problem is getting the wood planed down. If I'm hurting and haven't got any ready, then I'm right back to square one. On days like today, I can't stand at the planer long enough to get any ready.
Scrolling has also became an outlet for me because of the "wow factor" I get from people. Most people in this area don't even know what a scrollsaw is. I love delicate fretwork such as on my clocks. People ask how I get all them holes in there. I tell them a scrollsaw and they look at me with puzzlement and ask "Huh, what's that?" When I was looking to upgrade from my Ryobi saw, I called Sears. They said they sold scroll saws. So I rode on down. They thought I was talking about a saber, or jig saw.
I started to learn scrolling about six months ago. My wife bought me a Ryobi for my birthday. I'm glad she did. It was good enough saw to learn on. I have since bought a Delta and refuse to even touch the Ryobi anymore. I've turned it over to my teenage sons to learn on. I figure if they can learn to cut something nice on that thing like I did, then when they move up to a better saw, they'll do great. That's how I started. At this time though, I doubt I'd recommend the Ryobi to anyone buying their first saw. If someone gives you one, great, but it's a waste of money otherwise, in my opinion. So before anyone jumps on me, remember it's just my opinion. What works for some don't work for others.
That brings me to the biggest question I get. "How do you learn to scroll?" This is my opinion on that. You learn to scroll my scrolling. The machine is pretty easy to figure out even if you don't read a manual. From there, just start cutting. Forget what anyone tells you. Just figure out what works for you. For example, most serious scrollers will tell you that spiral blades are crap. That's about all I use though. I've also found that as for all the different websites trying to tell you how to tension your blade, everyone works better with different tensions. What I find right, others would say is too tight. You have to find that "sweet spot" that works for you. For anyone wanting to learn scrolling though, I got the most help from Ric Hutcheson at http://www.scrollsaws.com/ . He's got all kind of videos there to give you ideas on how to perform certain techniques. Then you can take that knowledge and find your own way.
The other thing I've started learning now is the wood lathe. All I've turned so far is a few fancy pieces of firewood. I want to learn a few techniques before I try to do much. Also, with my health, it's one of those things I can't work on very often. When I do though, I'm enjoying the thrill of learning something new. The most important lesson I've learned so far is that you have to make sure any piece you are turning is balanced as well as you can get before turning the lathe on. I've got a block of wood laying on my lathe table now as a reminder. I mounted it in the lathe and turned it on. Chad (son) dove under the table while Billy (other son) ran towards the door, as I was literally trying to catch the switch to shut down the dancing lathe.
For anyone wanting to learn to scroll, I highly recommend it. If you've got the patience, it's a very pleasureable hobby. There are plenty of free patterns available on the internet. One of the best I have found is from Steve Good at http://scrollsawworkshop.blogspot.com/ . A good source of patterns for sale for the beginner are at http://www.woodcraftplans.com/osc/ . Click on "scrollsaw corner", pick one you like and order it. When you are ready to try something more advanced, go to http://www.wildwooddesigns.com/ . Click on the catalog link and find you a nice clock. Their plans are a little expensive for my budget, but they are well worth it for the detailed pattern you get. Another good source for real nice patterns is Dirk Boelman at the Art Factory. You you find that at http://www.dirkboelman.com/ . A point of interest I have found is that if you look on a lot of the patterns from Wildwood, or anywhere else you find detailed patterns, often where it tells who designed it, you'll find Dirk Boelman's name.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Well, let's get started then. Since this is new, I thought I'd start with the project I just finished. This is the "Patriot" clock. The patterns I used came from Mr. Steve Good over at Scrollsaw workshop. You really ought to check him out at http://scrollsawworkshop.blogspot.com/ .
I actually used two of his patterns here. The top three layers was actually his "Patriot" clock. Then I added my own clock face design and used his POW/MIA pattern for the base section. Then I used stencils to put "pride" and "honor" on the sides of that. The entire thing is made of mahogany and stands forty inches tall. It took about twenty hours to complete. It can be bought at http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6823431 .
As usual for me, this clock was a pleasure to make. There are times when I'm doing good (healthwise) that my wife will walk over to the shop around midnight to find out if I'm coming home. She asks, "Are you married to me, or the wood?"
I love all types of scrolling and fretwork. I must admit though that clocks are my favorite. I think that is so because they are something that when I'm done I get one of two responses. Some who don't know much about scrolling want to know how I get all those little holes in there. Then I get to proudly show a little demonstration of the scrollsaw. Then again, other simply say WOW. That always makes me beam with pride. I hope you enjoy the things I post here. Check back often. When I take breaks from the shop, or when I'm down, I'll post all I can here.
I'll be posting updates to all my latest projects. I'll certainly post photos of finished projects. I will try to also occasionally post some of projects in progress. If anyone has questions on how to do something, please ask. I'll help if there is any way I can.
Questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org .
You can buy some of my finished projects at http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6823431 .