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WOW! I figured this out in a dream.

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  • WOW! I figured this out in a dream.

    Ok, I'll admit it. I've been frustrated with trying to make some Christmas ornaments. My biggest problem has been getting the **** roundness to the ornaments. It's a hummingbird ornamenet where the wings, beak, and tail stick out of a round boarder. Well last night I was scrolling in my sleep and realized that I'm following the line too closely. I can get much better results by following the line, but by leaving just a thin bit of waste between the blade and the line. Then I can just sand my way down to a more perfect roundness.

    Now this won't help with the really narrow waste areas. However I can simply follow the lines as close as possible there and roundness be ****ed in those places. Artist discrecion I think it's called...Or is it Artist Perogitive?

    Another thing I've had problems with coming out of a corner. I know if I pull a bit towards me the blade shouldn't cut much and will wait for me to push backwards a bit. But I find that the blade will still curve. Now is that a speed/pressure issue, or is that a blade issue. I have it as tight as I can get it. I'll try the tune up later, but don't want to take the time to take the saw appart.

    Sorry for the long post.

    John Patrick,
    John Patrick, Bird Oasis
    Using Dewalt DW788. Working on a new line of birdhouses and bird feeders for the store.

    I welcome any and all ideas for bird friendly scrolling.

  • #2
    John-- a lot of insperations and problem solving comes to me in dreams also- and no problem about the long post -it isn't long as long as it is worth reading
    I am not sure about your problem with the corners- it may be the size blade also-I cut to the end then backup and gently turn just before the corner- this gives me a almost perfect cut.


    • #3
      I admire those who are so skilled and experienced at scrolling that they can just pivot on a fingertip to get any size arc they want. Circles still make me nervous.

      A couple of things that have helped are (1) to not feel bad about putting aside blades that just aren't holding the line, and (2) slow down the saw enough to maintain total control.

      I've used Sharon's trick, and it works a charm. Something I'd like to add is that if you're in a corner that must be perfectly square, turn the wood without any forward motion. The blade may twist with the wood, but it will pop into place eventually!



      • #4
        I think the main thing here is practice practice practice.I do a lot of scrolling in my sleep as well, thinking out different cuts, techniques and troubles. I cant even really explain how it is that i do a tight turn like a perfect 90 degree turn. I do it so often i do it without thinking, but I do think Sharon explained it quite well. As for following a circle, cut it where-ever you feel most comfortable cutting it, once the pattern is removed its our secret where the line was! Dale
        Dale w/ yella saws


        • #5
          I've had the same problem with tight corners when the blade was too small for the wood I was working with.
          As far as cutting curves, the keys are to maintain a steady speed and feed rate and do it in one continuous motion. If you're wandering to the outside of the line, either your feed rate is too fast or your turning too slow. If you're wandering off to the inside of the line your feeding too slow or turning too fast. As Dale said, it takes practice to achieve the right balance of turn and feed speed. I also find that positioning myself slightly to the right of the saw helps as does using larger blades for continuous arcs or circles (providing the radius is large enough to permit it).
          Scrollsaw Patterns Online
          Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671


          • #6
            There are a couple of things I do when I cut ornaments. I stack cut to a minmum of 1/2 inch. I do all of the inside cuts first. Most of my ornaments are very intricate so by the time the inside cuts are done I put in a NEW blade for the outer circle or elipse. It is much more difficult to follow a curve with a dull blade.
            I also find that it is easier for me to cut a bit faster than slower and in one continuous arc. To me it is like spackling, the more you putz with it the worse it gets.
            Mainly as others have said the rest comes with practice.
            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


            • #7
              Sharons trick worked like a charm. I can do corners much easier now. Now all I have to do is get the curves down.

              I know that I'm the only one that knows where the mistakes were, but when the ornament has a round or oval frame, my lack of control is extreamly evident. However my last piece (stacked 4 1/8 bb, oval with a christmas lamp) turned out with a really bumpy oval, so I took my dremel to each one to make it look a bit better, and a little crafty.
              John Patrick, Bird Oasis
              Using Dewalt DW788. Working on a new line of birdhouses and bird feeders for the store.

              I welcome any and all ideas for bird friendly scrolling.


              • #8
                This thread came to mind when I was cutting this pooch yesterday evening. Went very S-L-O-W because I couldn't risk being off even 1/16". I agree that more speed will give smoother arcs.

                Bobbled the top inside loop of the "l" when the stupid pattern came off, but it turned out OK.

                This is a puzzle piece, so sanding is verboten.

                Attached Files


                • #9
                  Originally posted by PeteB
                  Bobbled the top inside loop of the "l" when the stupid pattern came off, but it turned out OK.

                  You mean you don't cut your figurals freehand, Pete?

                  I'm sure the person doing the puzzle wouldn't notice that bobble. Someone said on here recently that we are own worst critics. Having said that it still bugs me when I can see a mistake I've made even if noone else can see it!

                  Scrolling with a Dewalt 788


                  • #10
                    I will admit I tend to wander of the lines a bit too on the curves ,and truth be told , my dremel has help me shave off the bumps-on a spiral blade I can shave with the blade itself - but when I am not real worried about a piece being on a intarsia piece or a puzzle I use a large blade for my circle. I cut this out last if at all possible and keep as much wood as possible in the piece before disgarding- this means don't disgard the waste-even go so far as to scotch tape it in if need be- the stability of the waste seems to help me a lot - but then I am shaky anyway and doing circles still gets me sometimes-especially on those tiny circles.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PuzzledMoose
                      You mean you don't cut your figurals freehand, Pete?
                      LOL! I can't draw my way out of a paper bag. I tried a freehand figural once, and it looked like something a 5-year-old drew. Had to scrap the puzzle.


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