Fretwork together with Scroll Sawing Happenings.

Fretwork is “decoration or patterns or patterns on a surface created by cutting into or through the outer lining”, in accordance with Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary. But in my experience, fretwork and scroll sawing, as it is frequently described, is a good solution to relieve stress and at the same time get an expression of accomplishment whenever your item is finished. There is a wide variety of materials that can be used for fretwork, including thick paper, numerous wood materials, soft metals and plastics. Although I used Plexiglas, plywood and cardboard, my true passion for scroll sawing is wood.

From my viewpoint, the hardest part of using wood is having the board to a finished thickness and smoothness so your pattern could be attached. There are numerous locations that you can aquire finished lumber, beginning as thin as 1/8″ Baltic birch and up. If you have the necessary tools, the most economical way to get started is to get rough cut lumber from a nearby lumber yard. Rough cut lumber is usually 1″ to 1 1/4″ thick, and most lumberyards may have one edge trim so you can start out with a straight edge. There are so many beautiful grained hardwoods available, though I primarily use oak, cherry and walnut. Now, the wood is run through a band-saw and cut into strips, anywhere from 2″ to 2 1/2″ wide, depending on the original width of the board, so they’re fairly uniform in width.

Once cut into strips, the strip is switched on its side and run through the band-saw again, cutting it so it’s between ½ and ¾ inches thick. I prefer to utilize what they call a re-saw blade within my band-saw, one that’s anywhere from ¼” to ¾” wide. I always be sure that I’ve the guard down as near the bit of wood that I could, never wear loose fitting clothes and wear protective eye goggles for safety reasons.

Once all of the strips are cut, they can be glued together, making certain the grain of the wood is alternated to prevent the wood from warping. Then all that’s left is putting on the finishing touches. I run both edges through the joiner to be sure I’ve a set, straight edge and then through the planer to obtain it down to the required thickness.

Now I’m almost prepared to utilize the scroll saw. When the pattern is selected, spray art glue is used to lightly spray the trunk of the pattern and put it on the finished board. When honored the wood, holes are drilled for each place where scroll saw blade access is needed. The clock shown only needed 21 holes drilled, but I did some designs where over 300 holes were needed. With respect to the scroll saw that you use, it is rather quick to detach the top of the blade and insert it from the underside of your workpiece in order to start to cut. Delta has a handy quick release blade chuck which will also work with some other brands of saws.

Among the nice results of utilizing a scroll saw, is that there is hardly any sanding that needs to be achieved, mainly on the trunk and sometimes in the corners, depending on what you do them. The blade that you use will also determine simply how much sanding is necessary on your inner cuts. My preference could be the Olson Double-Tooth, Skipped Tooth blade; it appears to keep a little cooler this means it lasts a little longer. One thing you do not want to utilize is a dreary blade, as it is really hard to keep on your lines with a dreary blade, and sometimes there isn’t a lot of room for veering off lines. When the piece is sanded to your satisfaction and glued together, all that’s left if putting on the finish. I prefer the natural grain and color of the wood, so I usually make use of a semi-clear gloss coating, which really enhances the natural grain.

It’s really great to start with a piece of rough cut lumber and end up getting a keepsake. I demonstrated the scroll saw for A-Line Machine and Tool at some workshops they’d on woodworking, and discovered this hobby is enjoyed by all ages. Kids as young as 9 years old and as much as 90 years old came in and wanted some tips about scroll sawing. There are a large amount of personal preferences as it pertains to scroll sawing, including the machine and blades used, cuts of wood or forms of materials, or what finish is applied to their art. But most people that try it once, love using the scroll saw.

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