Getting Started on your new project
Before starting any of our projects it is a good idea to have some understanding of the safe use of the tools required to create items from wood. If you have very little or no woodworking experience, I would suggest you check into classes taught by your local community college, or vocational center. Learning the safe use of power tools should be your number one priority.
Saving our Patterns: All of our free patterns are laid out to print on one or more 8 1/2" x 11" sheets. We suggest you make a copy of your pattern and place the original in a three ring binder, or envelope. (Binders are easier to quickly find a particular pattern.) Always make a copy of the the pattern you are going to cut out, keeping your original. You will find our website address on our patterns, so you can return to download any patterns you have used without copying. We are constantly adding patterns to our site, so you will also want to return occassionly to see what is new.
Most of the patterns you pay for, and we ship to you are printed on 11 x 17 sheets, and can easily be folded to fint in a three ring binder. Most local copy shops can make copies of your patterns for you.
Applying Patterns to Wood: Use a temporary spray adhesive to attach the pattern and then cover the cutting area with clear packing tape. The packing tape will act as a lubricant for the saw blade and prevent burn marks on the wood. After cutting, you can easily remove the tape and pattern for sanding. If you accidentally use too much spray adhesive and cannot remove the pattern, apply some mineral spirits, and it will come right off.
Cutting Straight Lines: The first thing every new scroller learns is that a scroll saw does not cut in a perfectly straight line. Generally, the saw blade will veer to the right when making straight cuts. The blade manufacturing process causes this problem due to a burr on the right side. To compensate for this, try standing slightly to the right of the saw and feed the wood straight into the blade from the new position. You should be able to achieve a much straighter cut from this angle.
Hand Positioning: Your hand position must allow you to move the wood around the blade freely. Place one hand on each side of the wood. Apply enough pressure to prevent the wood from bouncing but will allow the wood to rotate easily. Try to keep your dominant index finger close to the blade to improve cutting accuracy. Allow the wood to feed into the blade. Forcing the blade into the wood will cause it to break and potentially ruin the project.
Cutting Curves and Tight Corners: To accurately cut curves, pick an imaginary point about 1/16 inch in front of the blade path. Concentrate on keeping the kerf in line with the imaginary point. Cutting to the imaginary point helps to keep the blade on the proper path. Navigate tight corners by quickly spinning the wood until the front of the blade is in line with the new cutting direction. Since the sides and back of the blade do not cut, use this to your advantage by applying slight pressure to one of these areas to hold the wood in place as you spin it. The spin should be fast enough to avoid burning the wood.
It is also important to find the best blade for your project before cutting your final lines. A good guideline is to use a No. 3 blade for thinner pieces of wood, in the 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick range, whereas a No. 4 or No. 5 blade is better suited for thicker woods. The key, however, is finding a blade which works for you, which can be determined by using a piece of scrap wood of the same thickness and wood type as your craft and finding a blade that you can most comfortably manipulate.
SCROLL SAW SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS
- Only cut stock with a flat surface.
- Make all adjustments when the machine is at a dead stop.
- Install blade with the teeth pointing down.
- Turn motor shaft knob one rotation to make sure all parts are clear after installing or changing the blade.
- Make sure the hold-down pressure foot is resting on the stock to be cut before turning on the power.
- Tighten all nuts and adjustments by hand, NOT WITH PLIERS.
- Hold stock down firmly and feed at a moderate rate of speed.
- Do not place your hands directly in line with the saw blade when feeding stock into the saw. If your hand should slip, you might be hurt. Never allow fingers or hands to cross the blade path.
- Keep your fingers at least 2 inches away from the blade when operating the saw.
- Never try to clean scraps of material from near the blade with your fingers while the saw is running. Use a stick at least 10 inches long.
- If small pieces get caught in the throat against the saw blade, turn the power off and wait until machine has come to a complete stop, before trying to remove them.
Our Intarsia Art, Inlay, and Medallion Patterns
My favorite material for cutting out most of the Intarsia Art, Inlay, and Medallion patterns is western red cedar. This material can vary in color from light to medium or from medium to dark which helps when you are trying to create depth or shading.
I have also used engineered wood (hardwood flooring) or vinyl floor tile using different colors to create some beautiful floor medallions from the intarsia art and medallion patterns. You are only limited by your imagination when creating your items to hang on the wall, or incorporate into a new floor.