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  • Carbon paper?

    I haven't started my first project yet but I have been getting very "smart" going thru this forum. I have been reading everybody's techniques for attaching the pattern to the wood. However, doesn't anybody use carbon paper for tracing the pattern and if not, why not?

    Also, does burning the wood come from a dull blade or going too slow or both? Don't ask me to change speeds because the used Skil I just purchased for $50 only has one speed. I experimented on a piece of 3/4" pine with the blade that was in the saw. The blade feels sharp but I guess that probably doesn't mean diddly.


    Making sawdust with a Dremel 1680.

  • #2
    I have always photocopied my patterns even when they were too big to fit the paper . I just make sure that I get all the pattern in the copies and then tape the pieces together to make the full pattern. Just my preference no particular reason .If precision is not an issue say for a rocking horse I will cut the pattern out of luan plywood then keep the template as the pattern.
    Dewalt 788


    • #3
      scrollsaw newbie, welcome to the forum. I transferred a few patterns by tracing and using carbon paper, it works fine unless you have a very intricate pattern. I did notice that on some types of wood such as Finnish birch plywood the carbon would get into the grain of the wood and leave a black residue which I couldn't sand out. I now cover my wood with the purple or lavender masking tape then glue my pattern to the tape using spray adhesive. I have had the best luck with this method. Burning the wood could be a number of things, most likely you have the wrong type of blade for cutting 3/4" pine. I would use an aggresive blade with not too many teeth per inch such as a #5 or #7 for wood that thick. Mick.
      Mick, - Delta P-20

      A smile is a small curve that straightens everything out.


      • #4
        Carbon paper is just way to time consuming, and really hard to trace intricate lines, and get the lines straight. If you carbon paper a pattern on wood, you might notice your stylus or pencil will sometimes try following the grain in the wood, because of softer and harder wood within the growth rings.Trying to carbon paper some patterns would work ok, but nothing intricate would be practical. Its so much faster and easier and more accurate to attach a copy of the pattern to the wood and scroll. My method is. Sand your wood some, cover your surface of the wood with clear packing tape (or blue painters tape,or masking tape) , which helps lubricate the blade, making it cut cooler, and reducing your tendancy to burn the wood, and as a bonus, makes pattern removal much simpler after its cut.I then spray the back of the photocopy of the pattern with 3-M super 77 spray adhesive (or spray adhesive of choice). a light to medium coating, then i slap it carefully on the taped surface of wood, and press it on. Dont get air pockets, or wrinkles .Then, choose where your going to begin scrolling (I usually choose the toughest areas first). Drill entry holes in some waste areas (I like to keep a count of how many holes just because I am nuts, and on an intricate piece, I usually drill 30 holes at a time). lightly sand the back to be sure theres no wood poking out around the drilled holes, then head to the scrollsaw.A good quality blade is essential to eliminating burning, but it happens to all of us on occasion.I think we all know when a blade is spent, but we all try to squeeze an extra little bit of life out of it, and always think to ourself that we learned our lesson, only to do it again on the next blade! Take your time, let the blade cut the wood, dont force it. Enjoy yourself, and keep on scrolling!~!!! Dale
        (does your saw accept pinless end blades, or pin end blades only?)
        Last edited by lucky788scroller; 06-15-2006, 10:32 PM.
        Dale w/ yella saws


        • #5
          Welcome to the board newbie,

          As the others have said, tracing a straight line or curve is not easy. That is why most prefer to photocopy/scan the patterns an use expendable copies to scroll.

          If for some reason you do need to trace, I would recommend you use graphite paper instead. it comes off with thinner or mineral spirits (can't remember which) without leaving the deposit Kevin mentioned. Another advantage is that it comes in different colors such as white or red; which could mean the difference between having fun and going blind on Walnut for example.

          There is another method called "pouncing", which consists of using a wheel that has needles all around to trace the pattern, then to use a chalky powder substance to "pounce" the pattern. The chalk goes thru the holes and leaves a trace on the material. You need to stabilize that trace or it may get erased (good old hair spray will do). This method will require effort to remove the trace after.


          DW788. -Have fun in the shop or it isn't a hobby anymore.

          NOTE: No trees were killed in the sending of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.


          • #6
            I have a few dozen plain end blades on the way plus some baltic birch plywood from Sloan's to start with. Thanks for the advice.

            I think this forum is great. I'm also a member of a fishing forum but this one is much more informative. Thumbs up to the individual who spawned this idea.

            Making sawdust with a Dremel 1680.


            • #7
              well no wonder my projects have taken so dang long lol thats all I use is carbon paper lol it does take quite a bit more time but havent had any problems removing it other than just sanding it off ,as well mine arent that intricate either lol

              "Everything Happens for a Reason"
              Craftsman 18in. 21609



              • #8
                Hi and welcome to the group newbie. I am so glad you are here. its folks like you that remind me where i started. I too wonted to save money and draw my own copys. then i got into the little fretwork and that took way too much time. not to speck i lost some of my lines while scrolling. with carbon papper. the ink smeared and widend. drats. lol. I fownd that copying the patterns was the way for me. it only cost like 18 sence per copy at staples. of course I had to drive there to get it done. but after awhile i had more projects to copy and it was worth the drive. it also gave me time to let it lye. and come back to it when i wonted too. when i got my patten home. and was ready to aply it to the wood.I did sand my wood so as not to have foids. wiped it off. so the saw dust didnt hinder the stickyness of the glue) I just got some cheap spray addisive and sprayed it on the back of my pattern.. glued it down tight might i add. didn't wont it to come off. then did my cutting , and used minirale spitits to get it off. I do let it soack for a couple minuts. dabbing some more on if it don't work. I use a little makeup spounge to dab it on with. then it will come off in one piece. then dab alittle more on the project, to get the glue off, with a tie shirt rag to wipe it down with , if need be. then sand away. there is alot on sanding too. I have my sanding down . I use my little palm sanding things set up with some ready glue one sanding pieces. at differant grits. that way i can hold my work down. and lightly sand without breaking the fragile pieces. blow it out with a comprisser. and then i'm ready to do my finish. hope this helped. your new friend evie
                Last edited by minowevie; 06-16-2006, 03:49 PM.


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