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  • Best Newbie Advice...

    spend time with someone who knows (has experience) what their doing!

    I had the priviledge of spending a full day with a dear friend who has been doing scrolling for several years. What I learned from Fred in 1 day just gave me a leaps-and-bounds boost with my own scrolling. If you're just starting out and can find someone to sit with - do so! It's well worth the cost of donuts and coffee!

    Thanks Fred!

    The wood ornament was my first attempt after sitting with him watching / learning / experimenting. He then gave me 'homework' - the acrylic ornament. Boy, is his 788 a lot sweeter than my Ryobi! However, I have learned to be happy with what tools I have...please Santa, let there be a 788 under the tree for me this year!

    I'd appreciate your comments and critique on both of my meager attempts. I'm still having fits making round circles and I know I need lots more practice.

    However, momma gave me appropariate feedback by letting me put them on our tree - and she didn't hide them around back where only the cat will see them!
    Attached Files
    "Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday." John Wayne.

    "Make the project so you're happy with it. It makes no difference if someone else likes it or approves of it. If you're happy with how it turned out, then it's a masterpiece". - My Dad 2010

  • #2
    Thanks for sharing your advise, your projects show you learned your lesson well.
    We can all learn by observing, asking questions, and sharing what we know.......that's what this site is all about. We are fortunate members, or lurkers.
    Hope you get your new saw even though you do all right with the old one. Just don't mention that to santa.....
    Gloria ............... Two memorable things to say in life, "Hello" for the first time, and "Good-bye" for the last.

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    • #3
      Your projects look very nice. Like most say here, we are our worst critics. Follow your passion and enjoy the ride.

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      • #4
        I would second Wood Dog's had to say. I have learned so much just checking out every single thread on this site along with the tuts on inkscape and other tuts from Steve Good and others. Plus reading up on questions and answers from other beginners and old soldiers alike, Taught me a hell of a lot in a short space of time.

        Your work is nice, I do like the acrylic piece. Good job.
        The Journey Is Everything.

        http://www.sunlion-pyrography.co.uk/

        My Google+

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        • #5
          One very important piece of advice I can give to a new scroller is "NEVER" ever, cut with your tongue between your teeth. Don't forget that, and don't ask why I speak with a lisp.. Most of all have fun....
          Chuck D


          When a work lifts your spirits and inspires bold and noble thoughts in you, do not look for any other standard to judge by: the work is good, the product of a master craftsman.
          Jean De La Bruyere...

          l
          Hegner 18, Delta p-20, Griz 14 inch Band saw

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          • #6
            I found that if you are having trouble with circles get a pattern that has a bunch of them an start cutting. By the time you are done you will be alot better. Same goes with 90's and other shapes. Pratice and just get in there an do it.

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            • #7
              You did a very nice job with both. I agree, that if we all could have tried a scrollsaw before purchasing one, we would do it with more confidence. And a tutor is really great. They can tell us right away how the correct way is, to do a cut, especially a circle or curve. Those take a lot of practice & I am still practicing after years of it.
              PERK

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              • #8
                I'm real new myself and I've found that if I go slow and really watch the line I can stay on a curve much better.
                In the beginning I wanted to go real fast and couldn't figure out why I couldn't stay on the line but now it's starting to come together.
                Like the pieces you made, I stacked 6 pieces of 1/8 ply and cut the star and it was fun to do.
                PS: Hope you get the new saw.

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                • #9
                  Thank you all for your comments and advice. I haven't worked up the courage to try a stack cut yet - but it's on my short list to conquer(ok at least try).
                  "Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday." John Wayne.

                  "Make the project so you're happy with it. It makes no difference if someone else likes it or approves of it. If you're happy with how it turned out, then it's a masterpiece". - My Dad 2010

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                  • #10
                    Steve Good has a set of 1/8" wood tags to put on presents. Get a copy of his patterns and stack about 3 pieces of 1/8" plywood and cut the all out. It is great experience.
                    I just cut about 30 of them today and it was fun and somewhat challenging. give it a try.
                    Steve has a lot of good stuff.

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                    • #11
                      From your pictures, it looks like you learning your lessons well and putting the good advice you received into practice. Your pieces are symetrical. The points are sharp & clean. Your lines are straight. Can't ask for much more than that. Good job!

                      I've been giving a lot of thought lately to the things a beginner goes through when just starting out with. There are so many things that a lot of us veterans tend to take for granted as common knowledge, that folks new to the hobby may struggle with. I'm going to be teaching a beginners scrollsaw class next Spring, a first for me. I appreciate stories like this because it helps me look at the hobby through the eyes of a beginner. Hopefully that will help me provide the best and most useful information to the students. As your post illustrates, the benefits of learning from someone with experience are invaluable and can save a lot of time and frustration.

                      Thanks for sharing this story 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."

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                      • #12
                        Bill,

                        Thank you for your comments. I'll pass along a couple of things Fred suggested that I've put into practice and helped me progress:

                        Make a zero tolerance overlay for my saw. You can see it in the photo of the cross. I made it from Luan from the big box store (cut off bin for .51) and double side taped to my saw table. I made a very small hole for the blade and it's made it's own hole as I've used it - but boy did it help! I have since put car polish on the luan and I think it made everything smoother.

                        Fred also suggested that I use only 2/0 and #1 FD blades with my saw cutting at the slowest speed the material will allow. The amount of control this gave me - which directly translated into confidence that I can follow the line and cut the pattern - was a great boost. Now, I know that this isn't the best advice given material being cut, thickness, etc - but for the 1/4" BB, the 3/8" Poplar and the acrylic I'm cutting (right now) I'm not afraid to sit down and try a pattern.

                        Fred also taught me to drill a hole outside of the pattern and use that to start my cutting. He believes (and now so do I) that keeping a solid ring of supporting material outside of the pattern supports the cutting better. Some of you experienced folk may disagree, but I felt / percieved that having all the material intact and not having an entry cut made everything feel stronger. It all adds up to making me feel more confident that what I was moving around the table wasn't going to break.

                        The last thing that I'll suggest is you allow (or demand) students learn on 'real patterns' or real projects. I had cut a small bucket full of learning patterns, curves, ziggly lines and it was (1) boring and (2) I had nothing to show off to my family. Even the cat was bored with what I cut. Fred gave me a bunch of patterns one evening and told me to pick one. He then cut it out, mounted it to a piece of 3/8" Basswood and told me to cut it. - My first real project. That lead to my coming back for a full day lesson and then I recut the same pattern. I have the "before and after" on a shelf and in a month, I'll cut the pattern again and guage my progress.
                        Last edited by SonOfMartin; 12-21-2011, 11:39 AM.
                        "Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday." John Wayne.

                        "Make the project so you're happy with it. It makes no difference if someone else likes it or approves of it. If you're happy with how it turned out, then it's a masterpiece". - My Dad 2010

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for passing that along. I also drill entry holes outside the pattern to cut the finished piece out of the blank, especially if I'm cutting several pieces out of one blank. I agree it seems to keep things much more stable and supported. I'll never be one to cut for speed, so if anyone expects me to teach them how to do production cutting, they will be disappointed. I tend to run at a lower saw speed and feed rate than a lot of guys. I just works better for me and blades seem to hold up better.

                          As for practice samples, I agree that the beginner needs to see something tangible for their effort. If the students are all complete newbies, I'll probably start them on some simple lines, just to let them get the feel of the how the saw cuts, but I intend to have plenty of simple patterns on hand for them to try as soon as they feel ready.

                          I appreciate your perspective and wish you luck as you continue to progress in your new hobby.
                          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."

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                          • #14
                            I think the best advice I ever received was one of the oldest rules: "Let the Saw do the Work". I found that the opposite is true too. The saw won't work unless I push the wood. Using this principle, I found that when I didn't push the wood, the saw didn't cut. As a result, I found that for tight corners I could take my hands off the wood and turn the wood without cutting to then renew doing so. Now it comes fast and natural - and I can cut the shape of the end of a pencil point into a puzzle piece and have it look like it's just been sharpened.

                            Phun! Carter

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