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  • PeteB
    replied to Pricing of work.
    A rule of thumb I heard from an old crafter is five times material cost. I often use this as a pricing formula when I am in a down and dirty competitive bidding situation for something not covered by my market-based price lists. If it gives me a decent hourly rate, I'll fly with it. I usually get...
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  • PeteB
    replied to 3 ply?
    When I started cutting puzzles, I used a 3-ply 3/16" birch, because that was how some antique puzzles I have were made. I switched to 5-ply 1/4" because it is generally more widely available and therefore cheaper, and makes for a more impressive finished product. 5-ply is also less prone...
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  • PeteB
    replied to World War I poster puzzle
    Very nice! I especially like how you did the letters.

    Some pictures cry out for CLC, and others don't. This one does. When it can be done, CLC is the best thing about hand-cut puzzles, IMO.
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  • PeteB
    replied to Noisy blades
    It seems to be a surface finish issue.

    When I get a noisy one, I polish it a little with fine steel wool. This works very well.
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  • PeteB
    replied to What's the difference
    Here's a link to your product, Diane. It is made with real tung oil, but from the instructions I'd say that it is a wiping varnish, i.e., 1/3 oil, 1/3 thinner, 1/3 varnish.

    Swing Paints Circa 1850 Tung Oil

    Tung oil is reputed to be the least-yellowing oil for wood finishing,...
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  • PeteB
    replied to 3 Shape Shifting Jigsaw Puzzles
    John, those are great. I especially like the two on the middle and right with their patterns.
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  • PeteB
    replied to Tried A Different Bowl Finish
    Those look great, Bill. What sort of care instructions do you give with your bowls?

    I often use wax for a top coat, as it gives such a nice feel to the wood. The 'tung oil' wiping varnish I use (Minwax) recommends against it, though, unless the finish is very well cured, so I haven't...
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  • PeteB
    replied to Formica??
    Cherry birch is not cherry, but a type of birch that looks like cherry, apparently. This is Formica:



    It looks a lot like natural cherry to me. Cherry stain is usually red rather than brown.

    If I had your project, I would experiment with a couple of methods...
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  • PeteB
    replied to New guy questions
    Here's a great place to learn the basics:

    Rick's Scrollsaw

    Welcome to the forum!
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  • On John's website, he has logs of his puzzles with links to detail pages having notes about each one. Each detail page is linked so that you can go from one puzzle to the next. A few years ago, I read very extensively on his site, as I found it quite interesting.

    If you read through,...
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  • PeteB
    replied to Puzzle Blades
    My experience has been exactly the opposite, so I suggest you try both. Pegas blades are available at Bens Scroll Saw.com, and I always get great service from Ben Fink....
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  • PeteB
    replied to Need Advice On Alder
    I have used plywood with an alder core and it was very light, like birch, darkening to a tan with no sign of orange, so that color comes as a surprise to me. Maybe it's a particular variety?

    Looking at alder wood items online, I see some that are a pronounced orange.

    Betcha...
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  • I once heated up a puzzle that had been finished with shellac and managed to stick it to a piece of shop plywood. In an attempt to get it loose, I flooded it with alcohol and observed the swelling that you describe.

    I agree with Sue that it would probably be best to brush or each piece....
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  • PeteB
    replied to Blade/Speed Selection
    For cutting finer detail, the key is the width of the blade. I often cut 1/2" plywood with 10 plies with #5 modified geometry reverse blades. This is probably tougher than 3/4" pine because of all the glue, yet the blades rip right along and leave a very nice surface and edge finish....
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  • PeteB
    replied to Need Advice On Alder
    Alder is gaining popularity for cabinetry as it is a fast-growing 'renewable' wood. It has an even grain and cuts nicely, like cherry. It would probably be an ideal scrolling wood were it not peppered with knots.

    Found these comments about staining alder that may be helpful:
    ...
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