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  • Bridges

    Why must we create bridges as part of our scrolled portraits to connect sections that would otherwise float freely?

    Kevin (Jediscroller) has mentioned elsewhere that they lend strength to the finished product. That's a valid reason, but is it always valid? It seems to be universally accepted within the scrolling community that floaters (or floaties) must be avoided at all costs. I wonder where this rule arose? I wonder why we're so reluctant to break it? In these days of hi-tech glues which can secure floaters in place on backer boards, are we not in danger of becoming hide-bound by doctrine? Are we not limiting our creativity?

    I haven't made up my mind yet.

    There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
    (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)

  • #2
    I know, I know, I already replied about the need for bridges.

    I've seen some fabulous work with parts (especially when it comes to the eyes, stars on flags) that are what would be technically be considered floaters. So, to answer your question, are they necessary? It depends.
    I think the goal is to avoid unintentional floaters, not necessarily to say that a pattern can't contain multiple parts. Of course, this creates the issue of gluing the pieces in the right place.
    Technically speaking, the Corvette plaque and the name plaque I did had all of the letters as floaters.

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


    • #3
      My feeling - that part of a good design is to be able to portray your subject using the bridges. If all floaties were allowed, then what's the point of a scroll saw design?
      I don't think I am saying what I mean, but to me, the ability to make a scroll saw cutting without floaties is the challenge. Anyone can make the design with floaties and gluing it all together..... to me there is no skill needed to do that. But to make the design look right and hold together - there is the challenge.
      But, I am one who hates to use a backerboard in anything. I have used them, I just don't like to.


      • #4
        Creating a good design with bridges can be quite a challenge. Even more so when birds are in flight.
        This could be one aspect of pattern design that really appeals to an artist.

        I have seen some incredible patterns before that have no pilot holes drilled.
        If you look at the rose you will see a pattern that consists of one continuous line.
        This is a layered project from Scroller Ltd.

        There are other patterns there that follow this technique, some of which I really like.

        This would be a real challenge. I would love to design something like that someday. I would also like to see designs that can be cut with pinned blades and still have artistic merit.

        I would like to see other pattern designers explore more techniques.
        Most of us as scrollers think of fretwork, intarsia, compound cutting and segmentation as all there is.

        I want to see us think outside the box and try new things.
        "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
        Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


        • #5
          Gill, Please!!

          Please quit making us think so much!!!! About the floaters.. why do you think we should have them? And, why should we be obligated to attach a backer board just for the purpose of suspending the floaters? Why cant we finish them with some sort of anti-gravitizationally engineered finish? Dale
          Dale w/ yella saws


          • #6
            Gill, I have cut several portraits where the person's teeth were showing. The guy that makes my patterns used bridges to hold the teeth in place and they made the person look like they had fangs. I just cut all the way around the teeth and glued them to the backer board, looked much nicer that way. I have also added some tiny bridges where I thought the piece would be very weak if I didn't. Some rules are meant to be broken.
            Last edited by Mick Walker; 10-07-2006, 11:25 AM.
            Mick, - Delta P-20

            A smile is a small curve that straightens everything out.


            • #7
              Well Gill,

              I think it's good to think outside the box!
              Rules can be broken when one knows the rules...

              But there is nothing like telling a potential buyer or a person
              you just gave a gift to that, "That's all one piece of wood."

              But when you get down to it... you are making me think to much.


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