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Annoying patterns

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  • Annoying patterns

    I sometimes get annoyed with some of the patterns I buy. Many are all black and have thick black lines on them and I find it almost impossible to follow the lines as the blade is black. I have tried cutting just outside of the line but it takes so much longer. I would have thought that the people who design the patterns would be scrollers themselves and would understand the difficulty of following black lines. I overcome this problem to a certain extent by re-colouring as much as possible in photoshop. Some patterns are really good with a red line outline and pink shading for the waste bits.

  • #2
    Try to copy them and print out in red if you have a color printer.........or use a yellow, or pink highlighter over the black lines. It's not a total answer, but you will see highlighter on each side of the line, it helps a bit.
    Gloria ............... Two memorable things to say in life, "Hello" for the first time, and "Good-bye" for the last.


    • #3
      Good tip WD.
      "Still Montana Mike"

      "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
      Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC


      • #4
        Yes Ditto WD - I've also struggled with the black.
        Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.


        • #5
          I scan the pattern into my picture file as a color photograph, adjust the color to red using "adjust image", save the file, and then import it into Coreldraw as a red image. From there I can make other changes. It sounds like a long, involved process, but it's fast and easy after you've done it a couple of times. If you don't have Coreldraw, the free downloadable Inkscape program may allow you to do the same thing. Without changing the color, my old eyes can't follow the black pattern lines.


          • #6
            Thanks for the tips everyone. I had never thought of using highlighter. Next time i get a black pattern i will give it a try. I can just get by with my basic photoshop skills to re-colour the patterns but it would be nice to be able to add a nice thin outline to the patterns, that would be truly amazing and so easy to follow.


            • #7
              I have never had a problem guiding the blade along a black line. The only person I've seen who produces patterns with red lines is Judy Gale Roberts. All others that I've seen or purchased, all have black lines. What bugs me about some patterns out there, especially some of the more complicated ones, is when they don't shade out the areas not to be cut. That "other" scrolling magazine is famous for that and their patterns drive my eyes crazy. I feel Scroll Saw woodworking and crafts does a fantastic job producing the patterns for the magazine. I feel they have the thickness of the black lines just right too. I guess everyone has their own preferences on what they like.

              Fretnot, what blades are you using? I used to use only Olsens (which are black) but switched over to FD's this year and those blades are silver. Maybe that alone would help you.


              • #8
                Hi Sawdust, you have a unique gift being able to follow a black line. I agree with you about the people who design the patterns, I often wonder if they them selves are scroll saw users or just in it to make some money. I refuse to buy black patterns anymore but there are still plenty out there that are designed by people who scroll themselves for the cutting lines are very distinct and thin and the wasted areas are shaded lightly and this is a big bonus where there are a lot of cut outs. In the main I use Mikes ultra reverse blades and they are all black. I use number 1s, 3s, 5s and now and again maybe a 7. I was going to put another order in to Mike but will wait till after Christmas now as parcels sent over a week ago here in the UK have still not reached me and I have treated myself to several presents for my scroll saw work.


                • #9
                  I dont have any trouble with black lines as long as they are thin. Why do some pattern makers seem to insist on making their lines so thick.



                  • #10
                    The patterns I find difficult to cut are the ones in which the areas to remove are solid black. In that case, I scan them into photoshop or just copy them with the printing intensity reduced to about 30%. That seems to help.

                    As for printing them with red lines, that is much more expensive for the magazine or printer to do and would raise the price of the pattern with no one but the ink supplier making any extra money.

                    A day without sawdust is a day without sunshine.

                    delta 650, hawk G426


                    • #11
                      I never knew the ultra reverse are black. I use the regular reverse skip tooth blades from mike and they are silver. I think one of the problems you may be having is that it sounds like some of your patterns have very thick black lines and thats no good. With lines like that your blade can get a little lost in there. To me a good black line in a pattern is one which is defined but not too thick and mostly disappears as you are cutting. But honestly I have never given this a thought ever. Even using black blades, I can still see the up and down blade motion in the black line. When I took a intarsia class at Judy Gale Roberts, she used patterns with red lines. To be honest, for me it didn't feel like it made me cut any better.

                      Let me ask you this question.....Do you use a magnifier lamp? I use one and it doesn't matter what color anything is. I can see the blade fine inside those black lines.


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