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  • Backing

    [Been doing mostly fret work for about a year. I see alot of projects on this site that have a dark backing. Is it hard wood or some type of cloth? Thanks for your help.

  • #2
    People use all sorts of materials for backing. Various shades of wood seem to be the most typical, but fabric and paper are also used. I've even seen patterned paper and fabric used to great effect! Part of the fun in scrolling portraits is choosing what you're going to back the project with.

    Gill
    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)

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    • #3
      Backing

      Thanks Gill, When you say wood do you mean thin hardwoods? If i use baltic birch, would you use a 1/8 dark hard wood, or a black cloth backing.

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      • #4
        Gosh, portraits aren't really my field - I just posted because nobody else was around and I thought you might need immediate assistance. The few portraits I've cut have all had backers made from scraps of whatever offcuts of plywood I've happened to have lying around . I've usually painted the backer, too.

        Bear in mind that if your fretwork is being cut from 1/8 board, thick backing material will lift your piece away from the wall when you come to hang it. Also, the backer is more likely to be visible from the side, especially if it extends right to the edge of the portrait. So I'd suggest you use the thinnest backing material that's available. Fabric might seem like a good idea but it does have a propensity to sag over time, which has always deterred me from using it.

        Gill
        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)

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        • #5
          One product I really like for backing is craft foam. it comes in many colors and also offers a little cushion for the fretwork.
          If you cut it slightly smaller than the piece it doesn't show on the edges.
          Like Gill said fabrics can sag but this is fairly rigid.
          The craft foam is a matte finish which can really contrast the finish of the fretwork
          CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
          "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
          Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

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          • #6
            Backing

            Best site on the net for answering your questions . Thanks for your help

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            • #7
              For things like the leaves that I've been cutting out of half inch oak I've been using 3mm Finnish birch ply sprayed black (or green or blue occasionally)

              I stack cut the ply when I cut out the leaf outline.

              Carl, your idea of craft foam sounds interesting - what thicknesses does it come in - I assume that you mean the kind of dense foam stuff that you see things like door knob hangers cut in? Or am I on the wrong track here?
              Ian

              Scrolling with a Dewalt 788

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              • #8
                That is the foam I use Ian but I am not sure of the thickness. I get it from the dollar store 4 sheets for $1. mix and match the colours.
                If you are in the dollar store you can also get scrapbook sheets. Lots of sunsets and clouds, they are both good for backgrounds
                CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
                "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
                Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

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                • #9
                  I cut all my portraits out of 1/4" ply and use 1/8" black acrylic (plexiglass) for the backing. I and my customers like the shininess. I think the luster of the acrylic makes it appear richer.
                  Mike

                  Making sawdust with a Dremel 1680.
                  www.picturetrail.com/naturephotos

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                  • #10
                    Here's a short list of what I like to use depending on the portrait. I believe what Carl is referring to I buy as "foamies." The only drawback to these is that they're only good up to 8 X 10 (I haven't found larger pieces yet). I find them in craft shops and Walmart. I've used painted bb ply for larger pieces, felt, velvet, scrapbook paper (you can get some really neat ones), fabric, and mirrored acrylic.
                    Kevin
                    Scrollsaw Patterns Online
                    Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jediscroller
                      Here's a short list of what I like to use depending on the portrait. I believe what Carl is referring to I buy as "foamies." The only drawback to these is that they're only good up to 8 X 10 (I haven't found larger pieces yet). I find them in craft shops and Walmart. I've used painted bb ply for larger pieces, felt, velvet, scrapbook paper (you can get some really neat ones), fabric, and mirrored acrylic.
                      The foam comes in larger sizes at Michael's. That's where I've found it. I'm not exact on the dimension, but it's more like a legal sized sheet of paper. I love the stuff, it's so squishy.
                      Kelly
                      "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." Walt Disney

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                      • #12
                        All i use is the black velt spray glued on to a piese of cardboard to sturdy it up a bit. would like to try other stuff but everyone seems to like the look of the velt around here.
                        Rick

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                        • #13
                          chefjohn, I use 1/8" luan plywood as a backer. I use a dark stain or flat black paint on it then stain my frame to match. I glue the portrait or pictue to the luan. Try several different backers and you will find a favorite. I like the luan as it gives the whole thing a lot more rigidity.
                          Mick, - Delta P-20

                          A smile is a small curve that straightens everything out.

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                          • #14
                            I have only backed things that I frame and I use colored paper. It is the good quality art stuff and I get it at Michael's. It comes in a variety of colors but I have only used black and dark green.

                            EarlinJax

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                            • #15
                              A word of caution when using felt. Make sure all dust is blown off the felt before you glue it to your cutting. You'll have a rough time getting the dust off afterwards.
                              Mike

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

                              My Gallery

                              http://scrollcrafters.com (reciprocal links welcomed)

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