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  • Using Tools

    I received a private message from a member who questioned articles we put in the magazine that require you to use tools other than a scroll saw. I replied, but then I figured if one member has that question and asked, there are probably a few other members who are wondering the same thing.

    I've always felt that Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts is a woodworking magazine that focuses on scroll saw projects. But (Big Ultimate Truth), I've never felt that we should focus on projects that can be done only with a scroll saw. For me, that's a bad mindset.

    Don't get me wrong, it is amazing when someone creates a masterpiece with just a scroll saw, and they should be proud of the fact that they made a project with only one tool. But I just don't think it's practical to present every article that way.

    The member brought up the wooden chain article that was on the cover of the last issue, and the member was upset that you had to use a table saw or router to cut the blank into a cross shape, and that we didn't provide an alternative method to make it without those tools. For me, that's a dangerous mindset for a magazine editor to fall prey to. I prefer an open mindset where we trust our readers to adapt the project to fit their tools and their needs. If you want to do a project bad enough, you'll find a way to make it happen.

    I had a friend who was habitually late to everything, except when she and her family went on vacation, they were at the airport 2 hours early. In this case, she decided to be early. I relate this to a lot of my own personal development, and I think it applies to woodworking as well.

    My job as an editor is to provide exciting and new projects. I just have to trust that if the readers want to do the project badly enough, they will decide to make it happen. Get a friend to cut it with a table saw or router; glue the wood together from three pieces of wood. In our sister magazine, Woodcarving Illustrated, we usually provide a pattern for people to rough out the carving with. Often people use bandsaws, but since I don't have a band saw, I break out an angle grinder equipped with a carving disc, grab a hand saw, or just use a big gouge with a mallet. I make it work.

    That said, as space permits, if I can think of an easy way to make a project without a table saw or router, I'll mention it if space permits.

    Best Regards,
    Bob Duncan
    Technical Editor
    www.GrobetUSA.com

  • #2
    I seem to be one of those people that can't remember a project that doesn't require more than one tool to do. If it is scrolling I have to cut the 4x8 sheet of plywood down to usable size (table saw, circular saw). If doing intarsia the overall board has to be cut down, pencils are used, nails for the hangers clamps, punches, hammers,screw drivers..... I dont see how you can use just one tool to complete a project they work in tandum with each other.

    Or am I all wrong on this one?

    Comment


    • #3
      Good point, Jay. I should be more specific. Larger, more powerful (usually) woodworking tools, such as a table saw, band saw, or router. I take it for granted that people have a sander, clamps, and other basic hand tools like hammers, etc.

      Bob
      www.GrobetUSA.com

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      • #4
        Most of the "need" for the larger power tools is determined by the raw materials you have at your disposal. I use rough sawn lumber because I have access to lots of it and I have the equipment necessary to mill it to whatever size & form I need. For those without access to this kind of capability, they are left with buying their material in more of a finished form. This is expensive and less convenient, but part of the price you pay. For various reasons, I chose to spend my money on tools, because they allow me to do the things I want to do.

        I've been making sawdust in one form or another for most of my adult life. It's taken me 30+ years to acquire the tools & equipment that allow me to work the way I do and provide me with the capabilities to do things I couldn't dream of doing when I first started out. Like Hammer, I presume most folks have similar capabilities. However, I have come to realize that there are many folks out there that don't. I know a couple guys personally who make extraordinary projects and have little more in the way of power tools, other than their scrollsaw.

        Just like any other hobby, though, you have to realize that there are practical limitations to what you can do with just the minimum of equipment. For example, you may be able to take some really nice pictures with a basic camera, but to be able to take great pictures, under a variety of conditions, in different environments, means you probably need more equipment, such as filters, lenses, special lighting and film, etc. I know buying more tools is prohibitive for many folks, and I sympathize, because for many years, that's where I lived. I don't want to imply that everyone needs to have a shop, fully equipped with expensive tools, but each of us has to decide how much to invest, in both time and money, in our paticular hobby, in order to achieve the results we want. That can mean buying more tools, or it can mean learning to do things different ways, with what you have at your disposal. Typically it's a combination of the two.

        Now, as far as the focus of the magazine goes, I can certainly understand the frustration some folks may have in not being able to do some of the things that are described in the articles. However, I believe the purpose of the magazine is to present the projects to us and it's up to us to figure out how to accomplish them, given what's available to us in the way of tools, materials and skills. That's part of the investment in the hobby that helps us grow and advance.
        Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter. Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

        Comment


        • #5
          Woodworking and Crafts
          Rolf
          RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
          Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
          Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
          And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

          Comment


          • #6
            Very few projects can be made with a scroll saw alone unless you purchase already prepared stock. Some times it is easy to come by this stock and other times the only way to obtain it is to prepare the stock yourself. There are other times where using a router, carving tools, and other equipment makes an OK project into a masterpiece. I am all for keeping the magazine's primary focus on scrolling but I am also all for using other tools to prep or complete some projects.
            Scott
            Creator of fine designer sawdust.

            Comment


            • #7
              Funny, I thought getting a scroll saw caused other tools to show up almost immediately. I got my saw, next thing I knew there was a drill press, several flex drum sanders a spindle sander, a planer, a table saw and a belt/disc sander. It seemed to happen nearly magically!

              Jan

              Comment


              • #8
                Ain't that the truth Jan? Of course, we did have a table saw to start with. And one drill, not even a drill press but just a drill. And the other tools just magically appeared after the scrollsaw came into the house. Like Rolf has said, it all depends on your financial ability to afford the tools. Hubby has always said "Buy the best you can AFFORD." He does alot of research before we make any major tool purchases and finds the best for the money we have to spend. I spent just $40 on a drill press but it is used only for my mop sander and I leave it outside in the shed all year long and do all my mop sanding in my "outside" office. Works great. The one I use to drill holes in my wood was more expensive but it is used just for that, drilling straight holes. I mark my boards the length, thickness & width I want, put on the tablesaw and they magically appear back in my area all ready to go!! After they have been on the bandsaw, tablesaw, jointer & planer if needed and run through the sander. As we all know, I haven't touched a tablesaw since 8/25/11 and I don't see that happening in my near future.

                Anyway, the magazine is great and so are the projects. Keep up the good work.
                Betty

                "Congress needs to realize it is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Not of the people, by the people and for Congress." - Dr. Benjamin Carson, Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Johns Hopkins Hospital

                Comment


                • #9
                  .....and.....Good God I want a sand-flea....
                  Jim

                  The limits of the imagination are imaginary.
                  No task is too tedious for Art.
                  Rock and Scroll

                  My Gallery

                  My Website
                  Featherwood Woodcrafts

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I own a table saw, but it's in storage at my Dad's house...And my landlord, as much as I love her, won't let me make that kind of dust..so there it stays...

                    However, I do have a really good assortment of carving tools...
                    not to mention that the first time I saw a chain made from wood was all done with a knife...
                    I've got one hanging from my drafting lamp that I made...
                    Jim

                    The limits of the imagination are imaginary.
                    No task is too tedious for Art.
                    Rock and Scroll

                    My Gallery

                    My Website
                    Featherwood Woodcrafts

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I support your approach wholeheartedly, Bob.

                      Some of the finest work produced by fretsaws is applied to joinery that has either been manufactured or purchased by the woodworker. One only has to look as far as the marquetry of Sorrento or that produced by Boulle in order to confirm this opinion. Traditionally, fretwork has always been an adjunct to fine woodwork and it would be remiss of a magazine editor to overlook this.

                      Of course, there is a place for scrolled projects which rely on the use of the scroll saw alone, but that's rather like saying the only pizza worth eating should have a topping of tomatoes, cheese and basil. Traditional Neapolitan pizzas are tasty enough but it would be a sad world if the pizza police were to deprive us of our ham, pineapple and pepperoni toppings too.

                      Oh, and a touch of chilli flakes with rosemary in the dough for me, if you please .
                      There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
                      (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I agree that the magazine should focus on projects that showcase the scrollsaw, but it shouldn't be limited to projects which use only the scrollsaw. Ideas for ways to include scrolling as part of a larger project are both interesting and relevant.

                        I don't have a fully equipped shop and would be frustrated if all projects in the magazine required significant other machinery, but even if I can't (yet) make a project I can enjoy the article and mine it for ideas. The same goes for the artist showcases: I can enjoy reading about and seeing what they do even if I can't make something similar.

                        There should be (and is) a balance.

                        --Rob
                        Puzzles can be made with just a scrollsaw and a bit o' sandpaper. None of those weenie drills required. Puzzles for purity!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Jim,
                          The Sandflee with the lates upgrades was on display at the Saratoga show. They have made some very significant improvments from the one I own. The new table top is Aluminum 1/4 Jig plate. Jig plate is a very dimensionaly stable and flat. Their web site has not yet been updated.

                          Regarding tools I just ordered two pneumatic drums from Klingspore a 2x9 and a 6 x 9 and will be building my own Intarsia sanding station for about a third of the cost of the sand rite that Judy Gale has. I will post pictures as I build it.
                          Thes ar are tools I did not even know about before I got into scrolling since I did not know what Intarsia was 7 years ago nor did I do any real scrolling before that. Just for giggles I should add up what this hobby has cost me so far although in all fairness most of my tools are used for my house renovation not just play.
                          Rolf
                          RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
                          Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
                          Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
                          And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I am getting the upgraded table for my Sandflee. I could never get the original table completely flat, despite shimming it at the hinges, as instructed. It's been a surprisingly versatile tool, especially for jointing little pieces of wood for glue-ups.

                            We have our condo up for sale, and if we can get an acceptable offer, we can move to a real house, with room for more tools, like a drum sander and a sawstop (the only table saw Joe will consider).

                            Rolf, I look forward to seeing your new sanding system. And I'm sure if you totaled up what you've saved by doing your own house renovation, it would more than pay for all your toys . . er . . tools.
                            Carole

                            Follow me on my blog: www.scrollsawbowls.blogspot.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Starting married life with almost nothing, my first tool was a hammer, followed by a bucksaw and tape measure. With those, I built my first barn. That was over 45 years ago. The tool box has been filling up ever since, with tools and machines being bought, trade, upgrade, and replaced. I've made some very nice, and large pieces, ie. Dining room tables, benches, sideboards, China cabinets, gun cabinets, etc. With the fewest, and least expensive tools. It's always a joy to be able to buy a new tool or machine that makes the work easier or of better quality, but I could do the same job with just the basics, handsaws, hammer, tape measure, draw knife or plane. I just would rather not!
                              Manufacturer Of Heirloom Quality Sawdust

                              I wasn't born in the south, but I got here as fast as I could!

                              Dewalt DW788 Hegner Maximat 18

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