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  • New Kid on the block

    I am learning to cut. I have a new glass to see with and I can see the lines so much better HOWEVER, I have some questions.
    1) what do you all use when following the line. The outside of the line, down the middle or inside line. I assume the outside but while I was practicing, I didnt do either very good.
    2) I want to make some easy projects using the same wood then using some stain to change the color. a) What is good wood to use. b) What type of stain works well with that particular wood.

    Thats if from me.
    Regards

  • #2
    kd- you are going to get a lot of different answers on both questions. Everyone has a prefrence as to both- me I cut on the line on some things and and on the inside on others- the stain I use is Minwax- I can buy little cans cheap and even get big quart size if need be. I know others have their own brand they use but wally world gets most of my money cause I can put things on my grocery list and my son picks it up for me and so we go with what wally world has.
    Sharon

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    • #3
      Thank you Sharon. What about wood. What is very good to work with and easy to stain. Pine?

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      • #4
        Greetings KLD - I have been getting into some serious scrolling that past 1-2 months, finally. The first thing I did was grab scrap Pine and Oak, which I have available. I usually scroll on the waste side of the line so any errors can be sanded out. I tried a folding basket yesterday and for that I scrolled on the line. With practice you will be able to determine where you need to cut and in no time won't even be concerned about sanding. Anyway I'm hoping I won't need to do much.

        Presently I am using Minwax for staining. Will be doing some painting of some items shortly as well. Paint will be mostly on children's projects.

        Have fun practicing.

        Paul S.

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        • #5
          KD - I don't like pine because it is so bad about breaking -it just doesnt scroll well - but on the same hand if you are making furniture and feeders and such it is fine.
          Oak is great --but I use - and most here do too - baltic birch plywood for the portraits and the animals. I have even used it to make furniture to . The home depot carrys that and you can get it in 1/4 and 1/2 inch thickness - most portraits are done on 1/4 or 1/8 -- I would suggest you use 1/4 on pictures- works better for me anyway/
          If you ever get to wondering about something you can go back to some of the old threads and read what you need on most questions.. or you can just holler and we'll answer again.
          Sharon

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          • #6
            KD,
            Welcome to the group.
            Sharon is right about the pine - it can be difficult to cut because the hard & soft places (from the grain) try to get you off your line - no matter which part of it you are following.
            The Birch ply from Home Depot around here is OK - pretty white with no voids, but that from Lowes is much darker and only comes in 4' x 8' sheets (the hd stuff comes in 2' x 4' handi panels - much easier to transport and work with).
            I have understood from other sources that Baltic Birch plywood is a different (far better) thing altogether - so that could be something to keep in mind for later. I understand that the Canadians can get it in 5' x 5' panels - but I haven't been able to find it here in CA. What I use, I get by mail order in 1' x 2' panels - and it is not cheap, but it is very uniform - both in color (light) and there are absolutely no voids in the plies. It comes from 1/32" to at least 1/2" thick - I have only used the stuff 1/4" and thinner.
            I love to use poplar (from hd) to scroll if the project can use thicker wood (I use so called one-inch (really 3/4 inch) stock in various width boards. It cuts very nicely, sands beautifully, and accepts stain (I, too, use mostly min-wax - wally world or hd) really well. It is also the least expensive hardwood available around here.
            Oak may give you a few fits with the grain leading your blade astray, and pine will also take stain somewhat splotchily at times.
            What you use may also depend on what sort of projects you are eager to try - ornaments, portraits, puzzles - etc.
            You should also try just cutting freehand, without any patterns - just cut a heart, or a letter or something - to get used to the way the saw cuts.
            And check out the best book I've ever found for beginner scrollers - John Nelson's Scroll Saw Workshop. It answers lots of questions, too.
            Again, Welcome!
            Sandy

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            • #7
              Funny how geographacal areas make a big difference in the price of wood-- here baltic birch is from $20, to $30 a 4x8 sheet and a 1x12x6 of poplar is $40. ( making poplar out of my price range ) The HD and Lowes here will cut the sheets into as big a sheet as you want as long as you are buying the whole sheet - which is cheaper than the small panels. I have a sheet cut into 6ths then I can cut them to the size I want myself. Sometimes I want a large piece so this is handy for me. Just rember to keep it laying flat and out of drafts and a sheet will last a long time.
              Sharon

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              • #8
                Yes, the true baltic birch comes standard in a 5 by 5 foot sheet, in thicknesses from 1/8th up to at least 1 inch. I would suggest 1/2 inch as a thickness of any wood to scroll until you get the feel of it.Much thinner and its difficult to control your cut without practice, and much thicker and you will tend to wear out your blades prematurely.Once you gain that experience, the other thicknesses will scroll easily for you. I think any hardwood like red oak, walnut, poplar, elm, or countless others is a much better choice then pine, and pine doesnt stain very well at all.As for stain, I pretty much use Minwax brand, but any brand is probably just as good. I cant think of more then one or two scrolled projects I have stained, I generally choose my material for each project by color, and stay natural. If you need stain, get whatever you can find easily, and yes, Wally World carries a lot of stain. While you are there, pick up yourself an aerosol can of Deft clear wood finish for topcoating, and maybe some danish oil for sealing the wood, and bringing out the true beauty in the grains.
                For following the lines.... I try my best to stay consistant. If I start out cutting down the center, I try my best to stay down the center, or on the edge of the line or whatever. One thing you will learn is that once your pattern is removed from the wood,most all of your blade wandering from the line arent very noticeable, even though it does look horrible with the pattern still on.And, whenever possible, rather then stopping, and correcting your spots where you wander off the line, try making it a gradual cut back to the line. That will be far less visible then a bunch of stops and starts. Think of cutting a circle, one steady cut all the way around as close to the line as possible, even if you wander a little off the line, as long as you meet up with where you started the cut,it will appear pretty round without the pattern on. Now, think of stopping to correct yourself each time you wander off the line, by backing up a little, and correcting your cut and procedeing. What you will end up with will more closely resemble a stop sign, but maybe not that drastic, but hopefully you understand what i mean.
                dale
                Dale w/ yella saws

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                • #9
                  Thank you all for your great information. I will go shopping this weekend and let you see what happens.

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