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  • Shadow Portraits

    Finally sent the manuscript for the book in and getting back to sawing for fun!! I started a shadow portrait of an Indian chief yesterday and a whole new learning curve has come in to play. I'm doing this thing from !/8 inch baltic birch ply. Started with a #5 FD blade and found it too aggressive (lots of very delicate cuts). Switched to a #3 FD and it was better but still cut too fast. I have a dozen Olson 2/0 blades so I tried one of those and now at least I can control the cuts. (Not knocking the FD's Mike...The ones I have on hand are just too fast for the wood). Questions: What wood is best for shadow portraits? Should I use a scrap piece for a backer to slow the cuts for better control? What blade is best for this type of work? I've never cut thin ply before and have never attempted a shadow portrait so I'm relatively ignorant as regards the whole process. So far it's fun but a little frustrating trying to feel my way through this first one. Any advice will be well received!!
    If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!

  • #2
    Neal

    A lot of scrollers use spiral blades for portraits...but I would suggest a backer board and a top board if you are using 1/8" ply...just for protection.

    Bob
    www.GrobetUSA.com

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    • #3
      As Bob said, lots of folks use spirals for portrait cuttings. My personal preference however is Mike's FD-SR's. I typically stack 5 pieces when cutting 1/8" and use #1's or #3's with #3's being my first choice. I use #1's for extremely tight cuts but 99.9% or the time the #3's get the job done. With 1/4", I'll usually limit the stack to 3 pieces.

      Kevin
      Kevin
      Scrollsaw Patterns Online
      Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671

      Comment


      • #4
        Neal,

        The FD-SR are no good to use in 1/8" baltic birch plywood. It is skip tooth blade with too much room between the teeth. The FD-PSR, what is a double tooth blade, would be much better. It is less aggressive as a skip tooth blade.
        Like Rob is saying most people who make portrait like to use spiral blades, numbers 2/0 or 1. It does not matter that you get off the line a little, like it is with making a clock ect.
        The new spiral blades would be good I would think, easy to control and they last longer.

        Mike M
        SD Mike

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        • #5
          Ooops, hit send a little too quick. As far as what wood, mainly I use 1/8" BB ply but have cut portraits out of 1/2" Mahogany, 3/4" Oak, it just depends on the project. I think you'll find most folks who do a lot of portrait cutting use either 1/8" or 1/4" ply.

          Kevin
          Kevin
          Scrollsaw Patterns Online
          Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by 3_M
            Like Rob is saying most people who make portrait like to use spiral blades, numbers 2/0 or 1. It does not matter that you get off the line a little, like it is with making a clock ect.

            Mike M
            On some of the portraits I've cut, it matters greatly if you "get off the line a little." I have portrait type cuttings I've done where there is a bridge of wood of 1/64" or less. I'm surprised you'd say that about the FD-SR's, they're all I use. I can't control spirals sufficiently to cut most of my cuttings. I am also aware of at least one person who uses spirals to make clocks, so it's a matter of what you're comfortable with too.

            Kevin
            Kevin
            Scrollsaw Patterns Online
            Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671

            Comment


            • #7
              Neal, I cut portraits out of 1/8" Finnish birch plywood, just one thickness and I use a 2/0, 28 tpi, reverse tooth blade available from Wildwood. Stock #44150. I can make very tiny, delicate cuts with this blade. (sorry about that Mike), I do use Mike's blades for everything else I cut. Mick.

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              • #8
                I always use Mike's FD-PSR 2/0 for 1/8"

                Bob
                Delta P-20 & Q-3

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

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                • #9
                  Neal try turning your speed down -- I have to use birch ply because thats all I can get where I am but I cant seem to get the hang of cutting the thin wood - I seem to break more wood than leave-- also I use a # 2 craftsman blade -but thats what I can get so it isnt anything against any others blades- I just use what I can get when I can get it -

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                  • #10
                    Sharron, I'm close by.

                    Darrel, That is a double tooth blade you are using.
                    It is a little less aggressive as a single tooth blade.
                    I don't have much experience cutting portraits but I go by what other have told me and what they use.

                    Mike M
                    SD Mike

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                    • #11
                      Thanks everyone for your help. I think my biggest problem is the single ply 1/8 inch board. Next time I'll stack cut to provide a little more blade resistance. I will however order some FD PSR blades just in case I ever need them. I'll post a pic. of this thing when I get it done so you portrait folks can give me a few more pointers. Thanks to all again.
                      If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Neal, I don't know how to post pictures in here but if go here you can see a picture of a trout that I cut with Mike's 2/0 blades.

                        Bob

                        http://pic2.picturetrail.com/VOL1011.../100316814.jpg
                        Delta P-20 & Q-3

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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          That's one pretty picture Bob -- now just fry that bad boy up and we're ready to eat ......

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Picture

                            I'll try to attach a pic. of the unframed portrait. Had problems trying to upload to the gallery. (Again)!! The next one will be better, I hope. I didn't plan ahead on this one and wasn't able to cut all the fine detail because I sawed myself into a corner ...so to speak.
                            Attached Files
                            If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Looks good enough to me. Very nice. Need one of those for my bedroom. My wife decorated our room with Native American stuff. Which works great for me cause there's plenty of Native American things to cut!

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