Scroll Saw Goodies Has Moved!

Scroll Saw Goodies has expanded to offer even more goodies! Scroll Saw Goodies continues to post regular blog updates to highlight tips, tricks, tutorials, and free scroll saw patterns found on the web. Please join us at http://www.scrollsawgoodies.com.

Happy Scrolling!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Are You Excited Yet?

Are you ready? Are you as excited as I am? Because, tonight at midnight is the grand unveiling of Scroll Saw Goodies redesign! A complete overhaul with a couple of new features that I think you'll really enjoy! So be sure to stop by and see what all the hub-bub is all about! Tonight at midnight, Midnight, MIDNIGHT!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays!

I wanted to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. I hope you all enjoy your time with your families and hopefully create a few memories along the way.

I know it has been quiet around SSG for the last couple of weeks. I've been working hard on the redesign of the website and will be launching the new changes in 6 short days. So join me on January 1, 2009 to ring in the new year and a very special Scroll Saw Goodies. I've added a couple of new features I think you'll really enjoy!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Little Update

Here's a little update for those of you who take the time to follow my modest blog.

As you know, I haven't been posting as frequently as I normally do. For that, I apologize. So what's the deal? Have I been slacking? Nope. I've been working on a project that's been keeping me pretty busy, lately. I've been working hard on redesigning the website. I've even added a feature or two that I think you'll really enjoy. "What is it," I hear you saying. I can't tell you. Its a surprise. A New Year's surprise! So, make sure you stop by on January 1, 2009 and find out what the special surprise is. I think you'll like it.

Anyway, I'm still around and will continue to provide more Scroll Saw Goodies. Even if it is less frequent right now. But the end result will be worth it.

I hope you all are having a wonderful Holiday season. Be safe in your travels, and Happy Scrolling!

---Travis

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Automata Dog

Here's a fun little automata project that's perfect for the scroll saw! This project is provided by Lee Valley Tools. They include detailed instructions with plenty of photos. They also provide the pattern in PDF format for easy printing. The project is easy enough for an afternoon in the shop. Check it out! And while you're there, be sure to take a look through their woodworking catalog. It's like being a kid in a candy store!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Color & Shapes Puzzle

Here's a fun project that would make a perfect gift for the little ones in your life. This Color and Shapes puzzle was designed by relfEZ of Tangible Art Projects. The pattern is provided in JPG format for easy scaling. This quick project can be easily cut from plywood or MDF. Paint the shapes with craft paint, a quick clear coat of acrylic spray and you're set! Check it out. And while you're there, check out his other projects. He has a lot of unique scroll saw patterns freely available for download. Very cool.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

No More Handmade Toys

We all remember the massive toy recalls back in 2007. Toys made in developing countries, namely China, contained dangerous amounts of lead and other chemicals. This brought a lot of fear and concern about regulations regarding toy manufacturing. As a result, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) was passed in August 2008. This act requires third party testing and certification of all toys distributed in the US. This testing could cost up to $4,000 per toy. Large manufacturers could easily absorb this cost. Unfortunately, it will kill the handcrafted toy industry. Thousands of home crafters who make toys to supplement their income will have close up shop because they can't afford to have their toys certified. Parents who want a natural alternative to Mattel products will no longer have that option. Can you imagine a world without handcrafted toys? No more wooden cars and trucks. No more plush teddy bears or dollies.

The Handmade Toy Alliance has a website that explains the details of the CPSIA and how it will affect crafters. I urge you to send a letter to your Senator and Congressperson and request changes to the CPSIA so we can save handcrafted toys. You can find a sample letter and the name and address of your representatives on the Handmade Toy Alliance website.


Addendum:
You can also sign an online petition here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Easy Book Ends

Here's a fun project for that little reader in your life. This bookend project is provided by Sabrina of Seeds of the Heart blog. This is a great afternoon project that turns out really neat. The instructions are pretty straight forward. For the letters, choose your favorite font in a graphics program or word processor. Enlarge the letters until the fit and you're set! Definitely give this project a try. It goes to show you that even the simplest of projects can turn out extra special.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Taking Lath Art To The Next Level

Dave Lampman has been doing lath art since 1979. He describes his work as "Casual art with a touch of understated elegance." Whatever it is, it certainly is beautiful. Check out his online gallery of some of his work. Perhaps it will inspire you to give lath art a try. When you're ready, head over to Lath Art Discussion Help and Examples blog, where he's a contributing author. There you'll find some great tips and more examples that will get you on your way!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wood Mosaics

Here's a neat video about wood mosaic artists Robin and Kathy Tucker. It isn't scroll sawing per se, but it should interest those of you who do inlay, marquetry, or intarsia. Check it out!


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Puzzling Out 50 Years

Here's a neat article that was in the news yesterday. Pam McPherson is an 84 year old scroller from Carbondale, Colorado. She has been making jigsaw puzzles for her friends and family for the last 50 years! She cuts about 100 puzzles per year, but has nearly 3,000 images in queue. Check out this article from Glenwood Springs Post Independent.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Layered Deer Mountain Scene

Here's a great layered deer mountain scene pattern provided by GAbaptist. Perfect for that outdoor enthusiast in your life. The pattern is hosted on Bukisa, which offers a unique interface distributing documents as shown below. Unfortunately, Bukisa doesn't offer a download option But you can easily print the pattern by choosing the Print option under the iPaper menu. GAbaptist has a number of other patterns available too. Including several Christmas ornaments just in time for Christmas! Check out what he has to offer!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Black Friday

It's looming...Black Friday. Here's an opportunity to support Scroll Saw Goodies and get something for yourself at the same time. Why spend Black Friday scrambling for amazing deals and fighting for mall parking spots when you can shop in your pajamas from behind your keyboard? We already know that Amazon provides great service and so many products, you can easily and safely fulfill your entire Christmas list.

So, what's the catch? When you purchase something for yourself or as a gift for a loved one through one of SSG links/banners, we get a small commission. That commission allows us to continue to provide great content, purchase equipment and bandwidth for the podcast, and help expand SSG. So in the end, you win both ways. You get great your Christmas shopping done early and you help support an online resource that continues to bring you great content!

Here's the deal. The Black Friday banner on this post has some incredible deals for a short time. So if you're looking to stretch your Christmas dollar, definitely check this out. It's for limited time, so you'll have to act fast. I'll also have an Amazon banner at the top the website through the end of Christmas. This will take you to the regular Amazon website where you can find everything under the sun. If you're looking for something specifically scroll saw related, you can check out the SSG eStore where I handpicked a lot of scroll saw related goodies.

There's other ways to support Scroll Saw Goodies, too. Most of them don't even involve the wallet. And in many ways, these are even more important to our success. You can read this article to find out more information.

Thanks for listening to my sales pitch. I try to keep these things to a minimum, so this will be the last you'll hear about it for the year. Thank you for your continued support and I look forward to what the next year brings. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Holiday Season. Stay tuned for more Scroll Saw Goodies.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Silhouette Letter Holder

Here's a neat project from Christine of Chantournage which I thought was rather clever. She cut out a silhouette of an animal. But instead of throwing away the scrap, she turned that into the back panel for this letter/napkin holder. It really gives this project a nice effect. Possible Christmas gifts? I think so! This would be a great project for those on your Christmas list as it can easily be cut in an afternoon. You can find silhouette patterns in a number of areas. Dingbats, internet clipart, Dover Clipart books or even 99 Silhouette Patterns for the Scroll Saw by Terence Calway!

Be sure to check out Christine's website and check out some more of her other work. Maybe it'll spark an idea or two for other Christmas gifts!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Turkey Tote

Here's a fun little project that should please the pilgrim in you. This free Turkey Tote pattern is provided by The Windfield Collection. Use this as a centerpiece filled with flowers, or vegetables from your fall harvest. They provide a nice printable pattern with detailed assembly and painting instructions. Make sure you get both parts of the pattern (November 1, 2008 and November 2, 2008). And while you're there, be sure to see what else they have to offer. They have a lot of great holiday patterns that are sure to please. Gobble gobble!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

ep03 - Making A List And Checking It Twice

Who's on your Christmas list? This episode I brainstorm some ideas for possible handmade gifts for the loved ones in your family. There are a lot of great ideas out there, so this certainly isn't a comprehensive list. But it should get you on your way.


Listen to Episode 3 - Making A List And Checking It Twice.


---SHOW NOTES---

Traditional Puzzles

Standing Puzzles
Tray Puzzles
Logic Puzzles
Japanese Puzzle Boxes
General Toys
Chess
Checkers
Tic Tac Toe
Barrel Of Monkeys/Elves
Hair Clips
Earrings
Mirror
Pencil Holder

Note Holder
Clipboard
Name Plate Pattern Generator
Business Card Holder
Letter Opener
Key Chain
Ornaments
Free Standing Word Art
Lichterbogens
Christmas Pyramids
Wildlife portrait Coasters w/Inlay Team Logos
Sports Number Plaque
Desktop Book Shelf
Book Marks
Trivets
Paper Towel Holder
Napkin Holder
Wine Caddy
Wine Holder
Candle Holders/Luminaries
Shelves
Custom Portraits

Trinket Boxes
Bowls/Baskets
Music Box
Clocks
Inspirational signs

A Few Notes:
First, a little self promotion. Scroll Saw Goodies has a ton of great information and links to free scroll saw patterns. Be sure to check out my "Free Patterns" section as well as the "Toys & Games" section. I have highlighted hundreds of free scroll saw patterns that should keep you busy until next Christmas!

Both Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts and Creative Woodworks & Crafts has a ton of great patterns. It would take me too long to link to each individual issue, so I only linked to the magazine's main website. Wherever possible, I noted the issue in which the project came from. I encourage you to consider buying a few back issues of these great magazines. I love having access to so many great projects.

Absolutely Free Scroll Saw Patterns has recently merged with Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts forum. I still have linked to the main MSN Group page. But it won't be long before the patterns will be moved to Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts. If you have trouble finding a project, just post a question in the forum. Everybody there is very helpful and can point you in the right direction.

Steve Good at Scroll Saw Workshop has a lot of great free scroll saw patterns. Again, it would take me too long to link to all of the patterns I've discussed in the podcast. So instead I pointed you to his main website. You can dig through the archives to find patterns. Or you can scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and select the "Pattern Catalog". This is a picture reference of all the projects available.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Lichterbogen

One of my favorite sites belongs to the German pattern designer, Arnold Volkner. He is best known for his lichterbogens (lighted arches) and Christmas pyramids. His patterns reflect a lot of German tradition that has a quaint old-world feel. He has a section on his website where he offers a free pattern. I like to keep my eye on that section because he rotates a new pattern every few months. Right now he's offering a lichterbogen with a wonderful winter scene. Check it out. While you're there, check out his other patterns. His website is in German, but with the aide of Google Translator, you shouldn't have too much trouble navigating his site.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Brass Snowflake Ornament

Many times, us scrollers only think about cutting hardwoods and plywoods. But there are a number of other materials that we can cut as well. The folks at Woodworker's Journal has a great article on how to scroll saw a snowflake ornament out of brass! The article includes the free pattern, detailed instructions and accompanying photos. You can find brass and other sheet metals at your craft store or hobby store. If you still can't find any brass, check your home improvement store. You should be able to find a brass kickplate for entry doors that would work great. After you cut this pattern, dig through some of your other Christmas ornament patterns. That will give you plenty to cut out with this great material.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Do You Tweet?

This morning, I jumped on the Twitter bandwagon. Twitter is a micro-blogging tool that answers the question, "What are you doing?" The posts are limited to a mere 140 characters and is namely used for basic updates on what you're doing or thinking at that moment. A lot of woodworkers in the woodworking community stay in contact with each other via Twitter. They share ideas, new projects and get advice. Perhaps us scrollers could do the same! Think about it. A network of scroll saw enthusiasts sharing their next project, answering questions, and ranting about how the fast food drive-through forgot your fries again!
Stop by the Twitter website and check out their video. It explains the concept of Twitter very well. After you watch the video, sign up and start tweeting! I've added my Twitter feed to the sidebar. You can also follow my Twitter feed by clicking here. Be sure to let me know what your user name is so I can follow you too! Tweet On!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Wooden USB Thumb Drive

Here's a great project for that tech junkie in your life. This wood enclosed USB thumb drive (a mini hard drive that plugs into a USB port on a computer) can easily be made with nothing more than a scroll saw and a sander. Matt Burns of CrunchGear.com put together this great tutorial, showing you each step of the process with detailed instructions and accompanying photos. He uses contrasting woods for each of the layers to create this unique and beautiful thumb drive you won't find anywhere else. It may look intimidating, but all you need is basic skills and patience. It can easily be accomplished in a weekend. So, give it a try!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Compound Christmas Ornaments for the Scroll Saw

OK...now that Halloween is over, its time to get serious. Christmas is much closer than you think. Only 8 weekends away! Can you believe that? I know there are a lot of people on your list, so lets get started. How about adding a bit of dimension to your scroll saw Christmas. This week's Book Of The Week is Compound Christmas Ornaments for the Scroll Saw by Diana Thompson. Inside, you'll find 48 ornaments and several other projects. My favorite is the compound cut nativity scene. Check this book out. It might be just the excuse you've been looking for to try your hand at compound cutting.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, everybody! Don't eat too much candy and watch out for the black cats! For those of you who subscribe via email, stop by the website to see how Martians attacked my website. I found it rather amusing. Anyway, I hope you all have a spooky and safe Halloween!

This just in. The UFO attack has been defeated. The martian attackers returned to their home world, vowing to come back next Halloween better armed. But we'll be ready!

--Travis

Thursday, October 30, 2008

T-Rex Dinosaur Puzzle

Since we're on the subject of T-Rex, here's a fun little dinosaur puzzle you can easily make for the budding paleontologists in your life. This free standing puzzle was designed by William Berry for Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts (Issue 29 Holiday 2007). You can read the full article online which includes detailed instructions and a free PDF version of the pattern. Check it out!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

T-Rex Pattern

Long ago, dinosaurs ruled the earth. And the king of all "terrible lizards" was the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

I designed this pattern for my nephew who really wanted a dinosaur picture for his room. The pattern is provided in PDF format for easy printing. It is sized at 8x10" so it can easily fit into a premade picture frame. Give it a try. When you're done, be sure to learn more about T. Rex to find out why he was the king of dinosaurs.

If you enjoy this free scroll saw pattern, please consider a small donation. Proceeds go to supporting SSg podcast and future expansions.
Thank you for your support.
Make A Donation

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hooked

A while back, I wrote about Frank's Wood Shop and his video demonstration of a windmill project. Well, Frank came through once again with a very detailed set of videos, documenting the cutting and finishing of a bass portrait. So, grab some popcorn and enjoy the videos. After you're done, be sure to stop by his website and check out some of his work located in his gallery. Very cool stuff!

Note: I believe portrait being demonstrated was designed by Charles Dearing and is available in the Spring 2007 issue of Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts. Give it a try!











Monday, October 27, 2008

As Chance Has it

Its often said that "Its a small world" and "technology is shrinking the world." But with the vastness of the internet and the endless number of websites, I would normally disagree. Until now.

Our good friend and fellow blogger Allison from Wood-Alley recently tried her hand at scrolling cork flooring after reading a article here on SSg. As chance has it, the fellows at Wicanders stumbled across her blog. They noticed that the cork flooring she used looked like the cork flooring they manufacture. So they asked about it. While she was reading the email from Wicanders, the person that gave her the cork flooring happened to be there with her. So she asked him about it. And sure enough, it was the same stuff. Once she confirmed that it was indeed their product, they asked Allison if they could write about her cutting on their blog.

What makes this story interesting is the amazing collection of coincidences. One blog post leads to another, to another to another. The mere chance Wicanders happen to stumble across Allison's blog. The chance that she scrolled the same cork that these people manufacture. And the chance that the person that gave her the cork happen to be there at the same time she read the email. What does it mean? I'm not quite sure. Maybe there's the meaning of life hidden somewhere in there. Or maybe it's just a crazy coincidence. Either way, it's pretty cool. Congrats Allison on being recognized in the "civilian world" for your work.

You can read Allison's blog here. You can read the article from Wicanders about Allison's work here.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pictures In Wood

When I came across Pictures In Wood, I had a tough time choosing what to write about. They had this really cool farm toy with some progression pictures of the construction process. I was really drawn to that because of my recent interest in toy making. But on the flip side, their intarsia is amazing as well! You see my dilemma? Do I talk about their super cool toy, or do I talk about their amazing intarsia? Well, it looks like I just talked a little about both! Check out their website. It'll certainly inspire you to get out into the shop and make something super-cool too!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Huh's New Hobby

Yost69 of HuhDoWhat.com has a nice collection of original scroll saw patterns he made available to those who want them. He covers a wide variety of subjects from Whistler's Mother to sports cars. He has a little something for everybody. While you're there, be sure to check out his cuttings in his gallery. He has a lot of great pictures that will surely inspire your next project!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Intarsia Workshop

You can definitely tell Brent Rogillio of Intarsia Workshop was bitten by the intarsia bug. His love for the artform is very apparent in his work. Brent has put together a great gallery of over 60 pieces he has created, mostly for his friends and family. He creates each piece for a specific person who has influenced his life. While he works, he often reflects on what that person means to him. What a wonderful way to work.

His website also includes a brief history of intarsia as well as an overview of the process. He even has a few pictures of his workshop! Check it out! Perhaps the intarsia bug will bite you too!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Scroll Saw Goodies!

Scroll Saw Goodies turns 1 years old today! Can you believe it? Time really flies when you're having fun. It has been a great ride and I look forward to what the next year will bring. I want to thank all of you that have taken time to read this blog. I had a great time looking at your galleries, your projects and ideas. What started off as a way to bookmark some of the great scrolling resources I have come across has quickly become a great resource in it's own right. I have written 213 articles (as of this post) covering a wide assortment of topics and information for scroll sawyers. From tips to tutorials, galleries to new ideas and inspiration. Lets not forget the free scroll saw patterns! Hundreds and hundreds of free patterns available at your fingertips. I have highlighted fantastic books and hand picked a lot of great products I believe my readers would like (available in the SSg estore). I started a new podcast for scrollers that I hope will become a great resource as well. I even have a few other ideas in the works that I hope the scrolling community will really enjoy. But you'll have to wait! ;)

Ahhh. What a year. I must have done something right, because a lot of you have really enjoyed what we have to offer. Here's a few numbers for you statistics hounds out there.

  • 33,473 Visitors to the website.
  • 21,637 Are new visitors.
  • 11,836 Are returning visitors.
  • 97,214 Total page views.
  • 184 Subscribers to the email updates.

  • 63% are from the US
  • 8% are from Canada
  • 4% are from the UK
  • 3% are from France
  • 2% are from Australia
  • 1% are from Germany
  • 1% from Italy
  • 1% from Spain
  • 1% from Brazil
  • 1% from Netherlands
  • The rest come from pretty much everywhere else you can imagine.

  • 82% speak English
  • 5% speak French
  • 3% speak Spanish
  • 2% speak German
  • 1% speak Portuguese
  • 1% speak Italian
  • 1% speak Dutch
  • 1% speak Turkish
  • There are a lot of other languages, but too many to list.
Here's to the next year! Continuing to provide even more Scroll Saw Goodies! Now lets eat some cake!

Friday, October 17, 2008

9 Halloween Scroll Saw Patterns...Ah, Ah, Ah!

Arpop of Free Scroll Saw Patterns by Arpop has put together a nice collection of Halloween designs free to download. He has 9 Halloween scroll saw patterns to choose from. From blood suckers to late night mistresses to thing that go bump in the night. Check it out! And while you're there, check out his other patterns. Arpop is a talented designer with a lot of great stuff to choose from.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ghosts, Pumpkins, and Bats. Oh My!

Here's another great Halloween craft pattern for the scroll saw provided by Accents Woodcraft Designs. This is a layered design that adds depth and makes painting much easier. This free pattern is provided in 3 separate GIF files with detailed instructions for sawing, assembly and painting. Check out this quick and easy project and add to your Halloween spookiness! While you're there, be sure to check out some of their other great Halloween projects.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Halloween Witch

Here's a fun little witch decoration designed by Trish from Trish's Crafts. It can easily be made out of scrap 3/4" stock. Trish provides a printable pattern in JPG format. She also includes detailed painting and assembly instructions. The painting may look intimidating, but you can be as elaborate or as basic as you want. Either way, this free project will be sure to please all the ghosts and goblins in your home.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ready-to-Use Humorous Halloween Illustrations

I thought I'd stay on the Halloween theme this week. So to kick things off, this week's Book of the Week is Ready-to-Use Humorous Halloween Illustrations from Dover Clipart. I really like Dover clipart because they are all royalty free images and perfect for designing some of your own patterns. Often, the clipart is in black and white, which really makes it easy to adapt for the scroll saw. If you're pattern maker, or an aspiring pattern maker, check out the clipart that Dover offers. There are so many possibilities, you won't know where to begin. Would you like a few free samples from Dover clipart? Check out this article I wrote last February.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Peek A Boo

Here's a ghostly box to hold all of your Halloween treats. This free pattern was designed by Heidi Markish of Heidi Markish Designs and hosted by FreeCraftz.com. Heidi includes a materials/supplies list, printable pattern, assembly instructions and a great painting guide. This is a quick and easy cutting, but the painting may take a little longer. Even if you don't think you have talent with a brush, I think you'll still be able to put together this great design to add to your Halloween decor! Boo!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Halloween Luminaries

Here's a great idea by TLT on the BT3Central.com forums. Rather than cutting pumpkins this year, he decided to take a few of the free pumpkin carving patterns available on the internet and use them as patterns to make his own luminaries. He used corner blocks with dadoes cut to hold the plywood panels, which really dresses up the project. However, you can easily glue the corner blocks to the inside instead. You can read the details of the thread here. Registration is required to see pictures, but it's easy and free. So check it out. And to get you started, I listed some of my favorite pumpkin pattern sites below.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Black Cats Only

Sue Mey is tempting fate by inviting black cats over for Halloween. Bad omen or not, you can't deny, this is a great pattern. This Black Cats Only design is available free on her website. This design is provided in JPG format for easy scaling. While you're there, check out some of her other Halloween patterns. She has some really great looking haunted house designs. Check it out!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The New Scroll Saw Handbook

Yesterday, I posted episode 2 of Scroll Saw Goodies Podcast. In this episode, I talk about how to choose a scroll saw. One of the major resources I used while researching this topic was Patrick Spielman's The New Scroll Saw Handbook. This is such a great book, I wanted to make it the Book Of The Week. This book is a must own for all scrollers. It has some great history, which is really interesting. But what makes it a necessity is that he explains everything you wanted to know about scroll saws, blades, and additional equipment. He also goes into great detail about pretty much every form of scrolling, from fine fretwork to intarsia. But, don't come here looking for patterns, though. Instead he packed it full of invaluable information and techniques. This is great for casual reading or as a reference book and is a must have for any serious scroller. Check it out!

Monday, October 6, 2008

ep02 - Choosing A Scroll Saw

Choosing the right scroll saw for you is an important decision. It can really make or break your enjoyment of this great hobby. Knowing what to look for is half the battle. In this episode, I cover a few things to look for when choosing your next scroll saw.

Here are a few helpful resources I found when researching this episode:

  • The New Scroll Saw Handbook by Patrick Spielman - A must-own book for every scroller. This will tell you everything you could possibly want to know about the scroll saw. Highly recommended.
  • Rick Hutcheson's website has a lot of great information about scroll saws, including a nice article called "Choosing a saw."
  • SAW (Scroll Saw Association of the World) also has a great article called "Choosing A Saw."
  • The Home Depot has a pretty good buying guide for scroll saws.
  • Woodcraftplans.com has a nice article "Beginner's Guide To the Scrollsaw" with a specific section on choosing a scroll saw.
Aside:
I recorded this episode last week, but the sheer amount of information provided required a lot more editing time than I expected. This episode runs about 35 minutes. I used a higher compression when making the MP3. So the sound quality may not be as good as last time, but the file size is 8 megs as opposed to 42. This will save you a lot of download time and save me a lot of bandwidth. Let me know if this isn't something you can live with. I can tweek my settings until most everybody is happy. Anyway, on with the show!

Listen to ep02 - Choosing A Scroll Saw

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Hobby Horse Toys

International travel is fun, huh? Well, let's not stop, because this time we're flying over to Ireland. Last week I wrote about hobby horses during folk toy week. During my research, I came across some hobby horses that I was in awe of. I desperately wanted to write about it at the time, but they were so wonderful, they really deserved their own post.

Dan Hillman of Hobby Horse Toys has a really neat approach to his hobby horses. Each hobby horse includes wheels on the end to lighten the wear and tear as well as help facilitate easier movement. He also incorporated a saddle-like swoop for comfort! He painstakingly paints each horse individually with his own homemade paint and finish. Each customized with whimsical scrolls and the child's name. Dan's hobby horses really captures magic and fantasy that will delight the imagination. Be sure to check out his blog and website. He has several other cool products that you might enjoy. And keep an eye out for the dragon hobby horse! Very cool!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Real Fez

While you have your passport out, lets jump over to Algeria. Real Fez has a new blog where he shares his most recent works. If that wasn't enough, he was also kind enough to share some of his patterns! And who doesn't love free patterns? Recently, he's been experimenting with cork, which has been really interesting to read. It would be fun to try working with this often overlooked material. I think there are a lot of possibilities there. Anyway, check out his blog. He has a unique approach to his projects that might serve for some great inspiration.

Monday, September 29, 2008

La Bottegaccia

Time to grab your passport, because this time we're flying to Italy. Cristina Gallons is an Italian scroll saw artist with a relatively new blog called La Bottegaccia. Here she displays many of her portrait cuttings of the stars of the past, my favorite being this portrait of Charlie Chaplin. You'll find such stars at Abbot & Costello, Marylin Monroe and John Lennon. Her most recent cutting was a backlit lamp, that really turned out stunning. She has a lot of great stuff to look at, so be sure to stop by and check it out. Perhaps it will spark an idea or two for your next project!

If you don't speak Italian, don't worry. You can easily use Google Translate or Babel Fish to translate her website. Or you can just click here for a translation. The translation tools aren't perfect, but it should give you a pretty good indication of what's being said.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Scroll Sawing Egg Roller Toys

I wanted to end the week with a book review that got me started on this folk toy kick. I recently got Scroll Sawing Egg Roller Toys by Doug Turner. Don't look for it on your bookstore shelves, because you can only find it online. This is a self published 44 page ebook with detailed instructions, 12 egg roller patterns and 2 bonus craft show quick-sellers.

An egg roller is a wheeled folk toy popular in rural areas. A wooden egg balances between a set of wheels and spins as you push the roller. This mechanical movement is a lot of fun will provide little ones with hours of entertainment.

Traditionally, the egg roller was a pull toy. But the long string is now recognized as a strangulation hazard. So in the interest of safety, Doug left the pull string off the designs. He was also conscious about making sure that the wheels and egg would not be a choking hazard. To avoid toxic chemicals, he chose not to paint or finish his toys. However, he does offer suggestions for safe finishing.

The ebook comes on CD and mailed to your home. All you do is email Doug with your name and address, and he'll send a PayPal request via email. The CD was in my mailbox within 3 days. So I was very happy with the prompt service.

When I looked through the patterns, I immediately wanted to make the turtle roller. I read through the instructions and printed the pattern. I found the wheels and egg at a local craft store. I ended up using some scrap poplar and began cutting it out. The cutting, sanding and assembly took less than an hour. I wanted to add some color to my roller, so that took a bit more time. But in the end, I had a fun little toy for my son pictured to the right.

When I showed it to him, I was the greatest person in the world, at the same time the most unimportant person in the world. He was completely focused on his cool new toy. He grabbed it, sat down and immediately started to push the roller on the floor. It was quite a thrill to see my son enjoy a toy I built with my own two hands. At first, he wasn't terribly interested in the egg until I showed him how it worked. Then all he wanted to do is watch the egg spin! I think I have a winner! I'll be making a bunch of these for my nieces and nephews for Christmas!

Overall Impression:
I was pretty happy with Doug's book. The egg rollers were simple and easy to build. The charming design will certainly delight young and old alike. I can easily see how this would be a great seller at craft fairs. The patterns were a simple and effective. I found the turtle roller was a bit front heavy. But it certainly didn't affect the enjoyment or playability of the toy. The other designs look a bit more balanced. Doug provided great service, but I wish he had a shopping cart with instant download on his website. I'm an immediate gratification kinda guy. But the CD was at my home much quicker than I expected, which was a pleasant surprise. The book may not be as polished as something you'd find at a bookstore, but I didn't expect it to be. The information and the patterns contained within is where the real value was.

OK, here's the rundown:

The Pros

  • Full size patterns.
  • Descriptive assembly instructions and photos.
  • Instructions for production runs.
  • Jigs designs to make production easier.
  • Lists sources for pre-made parts.
  • 2 bonus craft show sellers.
  • Very good at answering questions promptly.
  • Prompt shipment and service.

The Cons
  • No shopping cart.
  • No instant download.
  • Turtle pattern was a bit front-heavy.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Jacob's Ladder

The Jacob's Ladder is a folk toy that dates back to the ancient Egyptians. This simple toy was especially popular during the American Colonial times and still played with children to this day. Donald DeVeny of Woodcraft Arts has a nice tutorial on how to make this timeless toy. While a scroll saw isn't necessary to make the Jacob's Ladder, the flat panels do offer an opportunity to embellish the design with fretwork. The panels can be made with any size lumber, and the ribbon can be any width. So get creative and make a few of these Jacob's Ladders for the little ones in your life.

PS - They make great stocking stuffers!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hobby Horse

My son loves cars. If it ain't got wheels, he just isn't interested. Mom and dad drive cars, and so does he. Much was the same for children of former times, but instead of driving cars, they imitated their parents by riding hobby horses.

Woodcrafter.net has provided a nice set of vintage plans with instructions to make your own hobby horse. Unfortunately, the horse's head graphic is not full scale. So, I recommend saving the JPG file and enlarging it with a graphics program until the grid measures 1 inch. You could also use a photocopier to enlarge the pattern. Then all you have to do is glue the pattern to the wood and cut out!

When finished, paint it with some non-toxic acrylic paints or leave it the natural wood color. Maybe break out your wood burning kit to add the details. Perhaps add some reigns, or some string for the mane. Intarsia artists, I think there's certainly a great project waiting to be born. There's so many possibilities with such a simple concept. Get creative. Have fun!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Climbing Bear

This little climbing bear folk toy has been around for generations. Originally, it was used to teach children the art of milking cows. But in today's day and age, it's just plain fun! Pull each of the strings in an alternating pattern and the little bear climbs to the top. Release the strings and he comes back down.

Shopsmith has a pattern and detailed instructions for this cute little toy.They recommend a tilting-table drill press, but a hand drill could be carefully used instead. The angle of the holes should be close to 45 degrees as possible, but it shouldn't matter if you're off a little. Just eyeball it and you'll be fine.

Give this cute little toy a try. They're easy to make, and will certainly delight young and old alike!

Safety Note: The strings dangle and can become a strangulation hazard for young children. So I'd recommend supervised play with very little ones.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Folk Toys: Patterns & Projects For The Scroll Saw

In this day and age of mass-produced plastic toys, it's so nice to see a hand-made wooden toy. Toys that have character in their simplicity, but never short in fun or imagination. There's definitely a sense of great satisfaction when a child puts down his Transformer to play with a toy you built with your own two hands. So I thought I'd step back into history and talk a little about Folk Toys this week.

To start things off, this week's Book of the Week is Folk Toys: Patterns & Projects for the Scroll Sawby Ken Folk. This book includes 19 patterns for the scroll saw with detailed measured drawings. The patterns range in difficulty from beginner to advanced. A great place to start if you're looking into creating some 'old fashioned fun'. Check it out!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Bobby's Scroll Saw Works

Bobby from Bobby's Scroll Saw Works has a number of great patterns, including the wonderful picture of the Columbia shuttle crew. The patterns are provided in JPG format for easy scaling. To save these patterns, just right click the image and choose "Save Image As" and save it to your desktop. This pattern is located under "Portraits (NEW)". Bobby has a lot of great patterns to choose from, so take a little time and explore his site. He has a deer shelf pattern that I have my eye on. Check it out!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Kat Cat Intarsia

Here's a fun site for you intarsia artists out there. Kathy from Kat Cat Intarsia offers a number of great things on her website which really makes it interesting. First, and formost, she has several original patterns for sale that might interest you. But my favorite area is her Catalog. Here she is able so show off her work and skill. There's nothing more inspirational than looking at another artist's work. Perhaps it will even spark an idea or two for yourself! While you're there, check out her quick history of intarsia and be sure to check out her workshop! She has provided a couple of great photos and a description about her work area. Fun website!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

How To Listen To SSG Podcast

First, I want to thank all of you for the kind words and encouragement. There are a lot of you just as excited about this podcast as I am, which is quite a relief. I was afraid no one would listen! Hopefully we'll be able to discuss a lot of great scrolling topics in the months ahead.

I received a few emails from people wanting more information on how to use the podcast. I've put together a little tutorial to show you different ways of listening to the Scroll Saw Goodies podcast. Steve Good has also put together a great video showing you how to subscribe to the podcast with iTunes. You can see his video here. If these videos don't quite answer your questions, feel free to email me with specific questions. I'll do my best to answer them for you.

I'm already in the planning stages for episode 2, which should be out in a couple of weeks. Until then, we'll get back on track tomorrow with our daily dose of Scroll Saw Goodies from the web.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ep01 - Getting Started in Scroll Sawing

Listen to Episode 01 - Getting Started In Scroll Sawing


Did you get through Episode 0 without falling asleep? If you're ready for more, here's the first official episode of the Scroll Saw Goodies podcast. In this episode, I talk about the bare essential tools needed to get started in this great hobby of ours. I've included the show notes, where I provide links, updates, and additional information mentioned in the podcast. If you have any questions or comments, or just to correct any misinformation, please leave a comment or shoot me an email at scrollsawgoodies[at]gmail.com.

Enjoy!

SHOW NOTES:

Saws

  • Craftsman 16" (Note: This is not the same model I have. It looks like they've updated the design. The one I have is pictured here. Before purchasing, make sure this new model has thumb screws for changing blades, or you'll be hating life.)
  • Delta
  • Dremel
  • Black & Decker
  • Hitachi CW-40
  • Ryobi 16"
Saw Blades
Drills
Sanders
Pattern Sources
Other Supplies
  • Drill Bits (1/16th or smaller)
  • Sand Paper (80 grit, 120 grit, 240 grit)
  • Blue Tape (3m or Scotch)
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Clear Acrylic spray (semi-gloss or gloss)