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'Nuther Newbie!

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  • 'Nuther Newbie!

    Greetings, Sawyers!

    Another newbie! New to this list, but not to woodwork or to scrolling. Current
    scroll saw is a Craftsman. Not what I wanted, but what I could afford. I'm sure that many can identify.

    I've done a lot of simple ornaments, various practical projects, a few decorative ones. Early this month, I knocked out a pretty spiffy logo for a woodworking church group that I lead called "Chips off the Old Block". Fun little project to serve as a "sign" for those who might be interested in joining our semester-long small group. Did it out of a nicely figured piece of birch-faced 1/2" plywood, about 13"x10". I'll try to put up a picture to further the brag. 8^)

    The group is specifically aimed at boys from roughly eight years and up. We've had a whole raft of kids interested and a number of faithful boys & young men from 8 to about 17. Their dads have also come along to help guide and guard, and to enjoy just being "with the guys".

    This is not a "sexist thing", but rather an outreach especially to little boys who need to be able to hand around some mature and maturing men, to find out how mature men handle things. We have one 10-year-old who is kind of my poster child for this project. His daddy died about 5 years ago. Mom is a doper and not in his life at all. He lives with grandma, great-grandma, two teen-aged aunts, and a younger sister. This kids needs to know about testosterone!!! 8^) Anyhow, we're also intentionally reaching out to single moms whose boys need some safe father figures in their lives. It's been a lot of fun so far, and looking forward to introducing these kids to more than the scrollsaw. [Back to the "sexist" comment for a second: there is a plan afoot to do a semester for an all girls woodshop experience, too. We have a couple of women in church who enjoy woodwork and can handle themselves well around tools. But, that's in the planning stage.]

    Last semester's projects included a couple of ornaments, along with the basics of safety and saw operation. We talked about wood and other materials, strategies (cutting the inside cuts first!), basic cuts, sanding, and finishes. We visited a friend's full-blown shop so they could see the kinds of "toys" that big boys play with. The kids are learning that it's okay to make dirt and clean up, too, including sawdust, workshops, lives and language! It's working for several of them.

    In planning for this semester, one of the youngsters asked if we could do some sort of turkey ornament for Thanksgiving. So, I'm also looking for a pattern that these kids can cut, or one that we can adapt for their levels. Last year, we did a 6-pointed star to help them learn how to change blades and to learn how to cut straight lines and turn corners. We had one of four that survived, got painted, and taken home. The others were practice pieces that ended up in too many pieces to salvage. They also did a locomotive from one of Tom Zieg's books. The adults drilled the holes, and cut the innards. The boys cut the outsides, sanded and painted. The "object lesson" was, "'Train' up a child..." Pun was not wasted on anyone. Boys and dads all got the point. I also modified a froggie ornament pattern to make it a little more 8-year-old friendly. I cut several of them, finished them myself, painted 'em froggie green, added googly eyes and a little banner, and gave them as "graduation presents". F.R.O.G. "Fully Rely On God". Gotta get that message to them, along with some basic knowledge of woodworking, and a sense of what it means to be a guy in God. I'll try to whip up another F.R.O.G. and take a pic for posting. Found some cute little butterfly beads to make it even better.

    Thanks for reading. Looking forward to reading more and sharing more as time goes on.
    Dean Thomas

  • #2
    Welcome aboard. Your cause sounds noble, all the best with it.
    This is a great forum with tons of help and advice for scrollers of all levels.
    I am sure you will fit in just fine
    Keep up the great work, we look forward to seeing your posts.
    "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
    Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


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