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  • Instructive Critiques Welcome

    DSC02958.JPGHello to all my new friends in this GREAT family,
    I would like to thank Robert aka Sawduster for making this nice and for me doable pattern for a portrait of my son-in-law.
    I would also like to acknowledge Sylvia and Emmitt for the plaque pattern.
    Two of my granddaughters are first year school teachers, so I stack cut the plaque for their classrooms.
    Please offer any suggestions on anything I can do differently to improve my scroll sawing.
    I was going to wait until I had put a finish on them, but I am to anxious to show them on the forum.
    Thanks in advance for any help.

    Dale M.


  • #2
    II'm going to try again to put up the cutting made from Roberts pattern.
    Thanks again Robert, for such a nice and fast job on this pattern.
    Dale M.DSC02956.JPG


    • #3
      Looking good, Dale. Are you sure "Teaching" is spelled right?

      All kidding aside. the only criticism I can come up with, and boy I tried to come up with a bunch, is it could maybe use a little cleaning up. I notice on some of the letters, e.g. the lower left of the W and the middle of the O next to it, there seems to be a little nib or nub or whatever still attached. Maybe you just haven't got that far yet but they should really be sanded down smooth. Other than that, you did a very fine job on the letters.

      Making sawdust with a Dremel 1680.


      • #4
        DAWGONE YOU Mike, you had me in a panic , I thought, "did I miss something like that". I actually looked at it again before I read the rest of your post.
        That kind of assesment is exactly what I need. I actually have done some clean up, but obviously not enough. That is part of the learning for me, to pay attention to the details.
        Thanks again,
        Dale M.


        • #5

          I like it a lot. Good job.

          But may I ask a question? When you saw do you rest your wrists on the saw table? This is just a suggestion if you do, try to cut from scrap wood the outside of the apple with your wrists straight with your lower arms. Just like if you had a pair of those 10-pin bowling gloves on each hand.

          Now when you cut a long curve, use your entire arms to swing the wood around not just your finger tips. And keep your thumbs off the wood, period.

          (look at the pictures in the scroll saw workbook by John Nelson, wrist off the table!)

          again, very good job.



          • #6
            Hi Dale,

            Lettering is not the easiest task.

            You did a fairly good job but, as Carl already mentioned, I can see many rough spots.

            My suggestion, because you don't give the size of the object, is to get (if you don't have one) a set of needle files and go over the whole thing to smooth out the curves and take out the nibs.

            Expect to spend more time than you did doing the initial cut.

            After doing this a couple of times, you will slow down and spend more time trying very hard to make the curves round and lines straight so you spend less time "going over".

            I grade you A for effort, but only B+ on the quality.
            The bonus is you get a chance for a make-up exam, go do your homework and present it back to us.

            Sorry if I seem a little harsh, it is intended to be constructive.

            As for the portrait: A+ all around

            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.


            • #7
              a set of files...

              these files works great for any areas that need to be cleaned up a little..
              I got these over at Lowes for like $19...
              I've also got larger set for bigger projects...about the same price...

              your project looks good to me....

              Hawk G-4 Jetcraft
              Fish are food, not friends!


              • #8
                My first impression was very good, but after reading these sage observations I see what they mean about the letter shapes. A bit of finishing ought to really "polish the apple".

                One idea that helped me a lot with control is keeping in mind that you are feeding wood into the blade, which is always done from the front. Sounds dumb, but this keeps me from trying to make the blade turn into the wood by applying side pressure.

                And speed, yeah, if you go slow enough you won't stray from the pattern by a micron. As a noob, I slow down by turning down the saw speed, but am working towards keeping the saw speed more constant and adjusting my feed rate instead. This gives a better finish than crunching through a difficult section at low RPM.



                • #9
                  I was a teacher, and he got me to go back and look, too!
                  Trout has already shown you a fine set of files. I can also recommend the "needle files" from Harbor Freight. On sale, they are often 2 to 4 $ for a set of 5 or 6. They also have some nice diamond ones that are practically never on sale. Additionally, you can always use emory files (meant for fingernails). They can be cut with an (OLD!!) pair of scissors to fit almost any part of your project. The finish-up is always the most tedious part for me, but it can be done to music or even while listening to tv.
                  I have to say, though, for a project in progress, I'd give you a quite high grade.
                  Welcome to our group, and I hope you come back often.


                  • #10
                    If teaching is the work of the heart then your Scrolling is truly a gift of the heart!

                    There has been lots of good advice offered here.
                    As mentioned before letters are quite hard to cut, they are less forgiving if we stray off the line a little.
                    As you get more experienced in scrolling you will look ahead of the cut it, just like driving a car, we don't look at where the tire meets the road.
                    As you are looking ahead you will see if the blade wants to drift away from the line. If you can correct the drift before it happens the wobbles won't show up as much.

                    This may sound quite basic but I remember one year our city hired some line painters who looked at the line not the road ahead. They lasted around 2 days and then got canned. Too hard to adjust the drift and far too hard to correct.

                    As for saw speed, I like to run my saw on slow to medium. When I am cutting letters or fine work, slower is better for me.
                    Select a blade that is not too aggressive when you start, I would avoid a skip tooth till you get the hand of the turns and straight aways.

                    You are right in stack cutting, the thicker wood allows for more control.

                    Thanks for sharing the piece with us and for asking for the critique.
                    One last thing, above all else, have fun, enjoy each stroke the blade makes.
                    There will be times, when you have completed a project, that will be bittersweet. You rejoice in the fact it is complete but you are sad there is no more to do.

                    I still have the first project I did, a rose coaster, using the wrong materials, with a pattern that was too complicated, and splinters and tear out are all over the bottom.
                    I wont sand it down I just keep it as a reminder, others may not like it but I still think it is pretty cool.

                    Keep scrolling and enjoying a great hobby.
                    CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
                    "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
                    Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


                    • #11
                      Thank you all so much. You have given me a number of suggestions to help me improve. I did have a hard time on those letters and then just when I thought I was getting the hang of it, my blade got very dull. When I changed it for a new blade, it would really get away from me again. I was using a #3 slip tooth rev.. Then when I did the outside of the apple, I used a new #5 blade and the curves really got away from me.
                      The size: Apple approx. 7"x8" Portrait approx. 7"x9.5"
                      I truly appreciate the frank critiques. That helps me know where to emphasize my attention and work. You were kind to mix some sugar with the sour. I would expect no different from good friends
                      For sure I am having fun and I will be back to request more help.
                      Dale M.

                      Last edited by Iamdusty; 08-24-2006, 01:13 AM.


                      • #12
                        One of the hardest things for me still is making my line come together at the end of a cut . I used to make this gradual sweep from my pilot hole into the line but found my blade jumping into this cut too soon at the end. now I come in to my line much steeper and find it a little easier to marry the 2 at the end. You've gotten good advice with the needle files. That is one investment that paid off in spades for me. It's tedious , but has saved me more than once
                        There are some really sharp blades here and they can always be counted on for good ( and personable ) advice .....don't know what I would do without them !

                        it is always humbling to me to see a pattern I made actually cut in wood
                        Thanx for the honour sir !

                        You're coming along nicely ....keep up the good work !
                        DW788 and Hawk 226

                        " Please let me grow to be the man my dog thinks I am "


                        • #13

                          First off let me just say I'm impressed with the overall attitude and maturity displayed by you and the members of this forum. You asked for constructive criticism and you accepted it well. Kudos to you. I've been to other WW forums where such an invitation could have quickly degenerated into something less pleasant. Kudos to those who responded to Dale's request.

                          As for your project, one thing I've noticed about scrolling is that even with flaws, the recipients are almost always impressed and grateful for the effort and time put into the project. Scrolling is kind of an obscure craft, people don't see a lot of it, so they will generally oooooh and aaaaah over a piece, even if it has (what you regards as) obvious flaws. As the creator of a piece, we are our own worst critics, but I have yet to make & give anything away that hasn't elicited a very positive response, even if I wasn't totally satisfied with it.

                          Keep up the good work and the good effort and have fun making sawdust!
                          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."


                          • #14
                            Check out this set of files at Harbor Freight, they are 12 files for $3.99 (on sale) or $5.99 normally.

                            Don't think I can add any to what has already been said. Good job on the portrait by the way!



                            • #15
                              Again, thanks all for all the comments. I would have learned nothing, if everyone had simply said "nice work" and though I appreciate any of the positive comments, I appreciate even more the comments about the flaws. But not only were they mentioned, but the solutions to them were too.
                              I think I had the misconception, that with proper sawing, the work was essentially finished. I realize now, that even for some of you who are very skilled and experienced, there is still cleanup and finishing to do. It's just that right now, mine is far more to do.
                              It turns out, I have a set of the Harbor Freight files I'd forgotten I had. I will put them to work on those letters and apple today.

                              Dale M.



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