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Fretwork help

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  • Fretwork help

    It may not matter but

    When doing a fretwork do you start in the middle of the piece or the outside or does it even matter?


  • #2
    Good Question!

    Ever notice when someone says Good Question there is no easy answer?

    It depends on the piece you are scrolling. I find it best to start in the middle and work my way out. There are times though where the fretwork pattern needs strength while cutting. It is sometimes best to cut out the fragile pieces first.
    Once they are cut I tape them back in place for support.
    Then if there is some chatter on the wood there is less chance of the fretwork breaking.
    If you leave the fine sprues or bridges for the end then they can break ruining the entire piece.

    There are times though when I like to cut the outside edges of the piece to aid turning it on the saw table and giving me throat clearance.

    You need to look at the pattern before you even start drilling holse and visualize how the cuts will progress. This will make the selection much easier.

    "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
    Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


    • #3
      Yep...what Carl said, hehehe.
      It all depends on the pattern. I will typically start with what looks like the toughest or most fragile part of the pattern (usually the eyes with animals and people). On my Hangin' out with Mom Cutting though, I started on the outside with the cubs and worked my way inward while with my Shades of Autumn the middle was the last area I cut. I'd rather screw a piece up a few minutes in than 10 hours in. The rule of thumb is to start in the middle, but as with everything, this isn't always true. The other thing I do is save the largest areas for last. One other tip is to plan your cuts, if you have a delicate "hanger" start and finish your cut at base of the hanger. Also, with fragile areas, DON'T kick the piece out with your blade (this is from experience ). Try to plan your cuts such that you always have an uncut side to work to. In other words, try not to leave yourself a narrow cut between 2 cutouts. Hope this makes sense.
      Scrollsaw Patterns Online
      Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671


      • #4
        Originally posted by Jediscroller
        Try to plan your cuts such that you always have an uncut side to work to. In other words, try not to leave yourself a narrow cut between 2 cutouts. Hope this makes sense.
        Yep Kevin, clear as mud.

        Actually, the only MO I use is leaving the largest pieces until last. This also means, as mentioned, do the smallest and most fretful frets first. Like Kevin said, it's better to screw up early in the project than at the end.

        Another thing I sometimes do is drill only the very small pieces and then cut them out. Then I go back with a larger drill bit for the larger pieces. The reason I do this is when bottom feeding, many times I'll feed thru a hole I wanted to save for later. If I do this, I then have to rethread or cut the piece before it's time. When there are a lot of holes it is very tough to distinguish which is which from the bottom of the board.

        Making sawdust with a Dremel 1680.


        • #5
          I like to do the little fretwork cutouts first and I never drill more than 20 holes at one time. I don't get bored so easy that way. I don't like drilling holes. Cutting them out is OK.
          I set and study the pattern for a while before I any drilling, I try to never get in a hurry, I have plenty of time. ( I hope )

          Delta P-20 & Q-3

          I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me!


          • #6
            Well that is what I thought..

            I was doing a Wagon and left the wheels for last.. big mistake.. after a couple of hours in it broke.. I wanted to cry.



            • #7
              Dale, I believe most of us have had the same sad but enlightening experience. It just makes us stronger.

              Making sawdust with a Dremel 1680.


              • #8
                My wife could always tell when I made a mistake out in the garage. Usually involved shouting and then me stomping into the house to do something else for a while.

                I do the delicate stuff first, bigger stuff last as most seem to. I save the bigger stuff in case the piece can stand electric sanding at the end. I put them back in and use them so that the inner pieces won't break. I only do this on thick stuff though, but I mostly use 1/2 to 3/4 hardwood in my projects.

                Also, when making a cut, start at the most fragile portion of it, so that it might have some support on the other side before you get done. Nothing is worse than realizing that you have a huge piece that you are cutting out supported only by one little thread, and that you have to separate them!!!
                Mark Abbett


                • #9
                  dale, I usually cut all the small ones first starting in the middle. Then the medium ones and ending with the larger ones. Pieces that I think may break I leave some tiny bridges to help hold them in place then go back with a blade that has many t.p.i. and slow my speed to remove them. I mark them on the pattern with a red pen.
                  Mick, - Delta P-20

                  A smile is a small curve that straightens everything out.


                  • #10
                    I generally start in the most tricky area, that way if I goof it up, its goofed up early. Also, I drill only about 30 fret holes at a time, then cut those before drilling the next batch, so if I do goof it up, I can still save the wood from the uncut part for something else.On a current project I am cutting, I started one the extreme outmost frets.I did this only because I am using flat blades, on a 22 inch piece, with a 20 inch throat saw. By 'creative hole placement' you can cut things bigger then the saws throat with flat blades. Tight tolerences on some sections made me choose flats over spirals. It is coming along nicely, Im over 1/2 way with it, pictures will be posted upon completion. Dale
                    Dale w/ yella saws


                    • #11
                      I did as you all told me.. I started in the middle then used tape after the cut to hold things together..

                      Works Great.
                      thanks again


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