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how long did you practise before starting a project? and blade question

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  • how long did you practise before starting a project? and blade question

    so i got a gift card from lowes for xmas and went there to buy some wood and some blades, i got 18 blades its the skil brand. i will be buying more online hopefully flying dutchman. so i just got one piece of wood, my scroll saw wil lbe here tuesday i am moving up early stuff happened and i have to move up now. but i will buy a few more pieces when i get it up here. the wood is i think like 1/4 birch but not 100% sure i forgot. anyways how long did you practise before you tried your first pattern? also concerning the blades i got 5" but there is another number on it it says tpi 15 since its an assortment pack there are 3 different ones 15, 18.5 and 20 what is that and what is the difference between them

  • #2
    I would start off just trying to cut a few very simple ornaments. Sure you can try practicing on wood but why not just start on a simple project. BTW Lowes does carry 1/4" and 1/2" poplar. I would use that before using pine boards.
    Scott
    Creator of fine designer sawdust.

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    • #3
      ok i will check it out next time i go and get some. i will try a few simple things that are small. thank you

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      • #4
        tpi is "teeth per inch"

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        • #5
          ok thank you. one more question. for the backing i see diffeerent color and alot of black is that felt or what? do you put another peice of wood on the back then the felt or what?

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          • #6
            For the backing, people use all kinds of things. Some use wood and paint it. Some use felt. Myself I like the "craft foamies" you can get at craft stores and Wal Mart, and I usually use black, but other colors look nice too. I am sure you will get a lot of suggestions from the other members.
            Fran

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            • #7
              A picture or scene or portrait usually has a backer of thin plywood or felt or even heavy art paper, or perhaps colored plastic sheets. Sometimes they go in a frame and the frame has a backer.

              For practice, use some scraps and just draw something with a lot of tight turns, maybe a flower, and then cut it. One fellow tried to cut an outline of his state. The object is to stay on the line. You will find long straight lines and long even curves challenging. Any minute variation will show on the final product. I "practiced" making outline cuts of things I designed for several months and then went to simple ornaments. But I have a large allotment of the Klutz gene.

              Look for a site called ARPOP. I believe he has teddy bear patterns in a number of variations and they are free, just save and print. If you don't like the final thing, just chuck it, and keep the ones you do like.

              Wood is traditional, but you can cut CDs, paper, cardboard, thin metal such as cooper or aluminum foil, postcards, playing cards, the list goes on.

              Your Lowes blades are going to be a problem for intricate work, but will do outlines ok.
              Best wishes.
              Got Moose?

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              • #8
                You can do what I did just jump in with both feet and cut something you find beautiful take your time if it doesnt turn out oh well start a fire with it and enjoy your smores tomorrow will be waiting for the next project and more lessons dont be afraid to try, its just wood I used lowes blades for my first projects also but when I got good blades in the mail OMG what a difference they make soooooooo much better. just cut something you like it will be more fun

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by sawitall View Post
                  You can do what I did just jump in with both feet and cut something you find beautiful take your time if it doesnt turn out oh well start a fire with it and enjoy your smores tomorrow will be waiting for the next project and more lessons dont be afraid to try, its just wood I used lowes blades for my first projects also but when I got good blades in the mail OMG what a difference they make soooooooo much better. just cut something you like it will be more fun

                  Pretty much what sawitail said. I jumped straight in (due to time running out till christmas) after just a couple small cuts on scrap. I also waited till I rfecieved my flying dutchmen to arrive from US. (Thanks Mike hehe)

                  It worked out, because I made sure it did, hehe, I invested time, money and effort so was putting myself under pressure to learn and do. It worked. If not as sawitail says, it would have made a nice little fire to warm, my at the time, cold fingers.

                  If I had had more time I would have practiced more with the ply I had at hand if I am totaly honest however, but the time was against me so I bit the bullet and jumped in both feet first.
                  The Journey Is Everything.

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

                  My Google+

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                  • #10
                    You can practice as long as you feel you need to in order to be comfortable cutting a pattern. You can practice on actual finished pieces if you wish, just realize that it may take a couple tries before you get one that you are satisfied with. There really isn't any rule of thumb. Some take to this hobby quicker than others. Some are just bolder than others. The pace of your progress is totally up to you and comparisons to anyone else aren't really applicable.

                    As for blades, don't spend too much time with the Skil blades or at least don't let them frustrate you if you seem to be having more trouble with them than you expected. Good blades will make a world of difference. The 15, 18.5 & 20 TPI designations refer to the number of teeth per inch on each blade. The higher the TPI number, the finer the cut. The lower the number, the more aggressive the blade will be, relatively speaking. Generally blades with the higher TPI are also physically smaller than blades with lower TPI. Smaller blades are best used for thinner material and/or more detailed patterns. The larger, more aggressive blades will cut faster, but may be a little harder to control in thin stock, so they are better suited for thicker material and patterns with fewer tight turns and fine detail.

                    Hope this helps. Good luck 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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                    • #11
                      I grew up around tools so I just jumped right in. I then joined a local club Long Island Woodworkers Club that connected me with some of the most incredibly talented scrollers. Their work showed me what could be done with a scroll saw. It made me realize we are self limiting. So now I just do it, what is the worst thing that can happen, it is only a piece of wood if it gets screwed up just do it again.
                      Therefore my philosophy below.
                      Rolf
                      RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
                      Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
                      Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
                      And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

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                      • #12
                        Like everyone has said just start cutting. You will get more and more comfortable as you progress. Just do not get discouraged with the blades that you have as everyone has pointed out they are not of the best quality. Make sure that the teeth point down when installing the blade. Take pictures of your work and post them with any questions that you may have. Also keep your first few tries and compare them to what you cut in six months, there will be a big difference if you are like most of us but there are a few that have the touch from the beginning. Have fun and enjoy the new addiction. Steve
                        If This HillBilly Can't Fix it Then it Ain't Broke!!!
                        My Gallery
                        [email protected]

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                        • #13
                          thank you guys so much. i went back to lowes and got 2 popular boards and 1 set of bosch blades. i am ordered flying dutchman today!!!!!!! the assortment pack. so i will see which ones i like out of that. i will be buying stuff from him from now on probably but since i had a lowes card i couldnt wait. i also want to buy a footswitch and a light. i will be trying a pattern probably thursday or if not deffiantly friday. i am looking into scroll saw clubs as i moved up here to tennessee. thank you for the info on the blades that helped me alot. my wood is 1/4 of an inch all 3 pieces. i cant wait to get the nice blades but deff cant wait to get my scroll saw up here. thanks yall for the info i will be sure to post my first couple of patterns probably with a thousand questions
                          here is my first project im going to try do you think it will be to hard
                          ok i will try to get it shrunk took it down
                          Last edited by flagrl; 12-28-2011, 05:33 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Hmmm, I think you need to resize your posting as it took up 1 1/2 my screen width. I would tell you how to do that, but as everyone here knows, computer smarts I am not! LOL. That looks to be a pretty easy pattern for your first cutting. Just don't get discouraged and learn from your mistakes.
                            Betty

                            "Congress needs to realize it is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Not of the people, by the people and for Congress." - Dr. Benjamin Carson, Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Johns Hopkins Hospital

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                            • #15
                              ok here is the pic in a ,link sorry about that

                              hummingbird.jpg picture by flagrl17 - Photobucket

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