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  • Westie

    My first stab at fretwork!

    I'm doing portraits of my sister's Westie and my brother's toy poodle. Here is the finished Westie. The dog's name is Medb (pronounced "Mave"). It's a Celtic name. First picture is the finished scrollwork next to the gray printed pattern and the source photograph. Second picture is a closer look at the scrollwork.

    It's 12 x 12 Baltic birch plywood cut with a FD flat-end #5 spiral blade on a DW788. It took 5 hours to cut and probably just as long to make the pattern. What a fun project - I'm very pleased and am looking forward to starting on the toy poodle.

    Question for experienced fretters out there: Any tips to minimize tearout and fuzzies on the bottom of the project? The spiral blades are great, but..... I tried tape on the bottom - it helped somewhat, but not completely. Do they make reverse spiral blades?
    Attached Files
    Inside every piece of lumber, there is a pile of sawdust waiting to be uncovered


  • #2
    That's a very nice piece Andy. I have found pets to be an entirely differnt beast (pardon the pun lol) when doing portrait work. I much prefer human faces but from time to time, I have to do a pet one.

    What's worked for me with regard to the fuzzies is keeping a good blade in the saw. What I mean is, I don't wait for it to snap before I change it...I can "sense" when it's starting to strain on the wood and that's when I get the most tear-out, etc on the bottom.

    After cutting I use very light sand paper on the back with half a spiral blade to just agitate the fuzzies ... then holding my hand on the piece I use a shop vac on top of my fingers to suck up the fuzzes...I keep my hand there to hold the more delicate pieces in place so they don't get sucked up in the vac.

    Good Job Andy!
    Check me out on the web:


    • #3
      A very nice portrait of the Westie, Andy. You cut it well and it looks great.

      I'd never seen that spelling of Mave (or Maeve) before - the Celtic version I knew was Meabh but here it is

      Irish currency isn't half as interesting since they adopted the Euro

      Scrolling with a Dewalt 788


      • #4
        Andy, you should be pleased, especially considering it's your first stab at fretwork. Super job. Personally, I'd rather make patterns for dogs and wildlife. Maybe it's because I relate better to them.

        Making sawdust with a Dremel 1680.


        • #5
          That is a great cutting. I'll bet you're hooked on scrolling now!!

          Craftsman 16" VS, Puros Indios and Sam Adams!
          Scrollin' since Jun/2006

          My Gallery

 (reciprocal links welcomed)


          • #6
            Andy to get rid of the fuzzies you can use a propane or butane torch. Be sure and place a piece of wood flat against the front side to keep the flame from the good side. Set the flame as low as possible, pass the flame over all the fuzzies and watch them disappear. Keep the flame moving. Practice on a scrap piece to get the feel of it. Keep away from very thin cuts as they will disappear with the fuzzies.
            Mick, - Delta P-20

            A smile is a small curve that straightens everything out.


            • #7
              That's pretty impressive! Nice job.


              • #8
                Thanks for the nice comments about Medb!

                This weekend, I worked on my brother's dog, Rory. There were far fewer holes than the Medb pattern, but it was much more delicate cutting.

                I taped a piece of cereal box cardboard on the bottom of my workpiece before cutting. This really seemed to cut down on the chip-outs and fuzzies. I used 100 grit sand paper to remove the fuzzies, but I'm going to try the torch idea too.

                Next weekend, I will make some framing moulding on the router, and hopefully finish these two pups.
                Attached Files
                Inside every piece of lumber, there is a pile of sawdust waiting to be uncovered



                • #9
                  Very nice Andy - you definitely captured Rory's likeness well - and you're right: there are some delicate bits in there - good job ..

                  Scrolling with a Dewalt 788


                  • #10
                    very nice Andy, for your first fretwork that is an outstanding portrait
                    Daryl S. Walters Psycotic scroller with a DeWalt 788


                    • #11
                      Outstanding job on both Andy! I can't help much with the fuzzies as I pretty much stick with flat reverse tooth blades for that reason.
                      To answer your question, Flying Dutchman offers a reverse-tooth spiral but I have no experience with it.
                      Scrollsaw Patterns Online
                      Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671


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