Conrad Armstrong is a puzzle crafter from Boston who creates rather unique puzzles. He breaks away from the traditional key and lock method we are so familiar with. Instead, he uses a very organic, amoeba like swirl to interlock his pieces. He also uses custom figure pieces that fit with the theme of the puzzle. He shares his techniques of creating these one-of-a-kind puzzles, covering tools, materials, and mounting procedures. If you're a puzzle maker, or an aspiring puzzle maker, be sure to check this great resource. And while you are there, be sure to check out some of his great puzzles.
Scroll Saw Goodies Has Moved!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
There is no such thing as too many fonts. Scrollers love them! But often we have to modify our favorite fonts in order to get them cuttable. Wouldn't it be nice if there were some fonts designed specifically for scrollers? Well, Mike from Scrollcrafters has come through by offering 3 different fonts for your computer. The first font (Deskset) is designed for desk nameplates. The other two (Scollsoni and Stencil) is intended for fretwork. Be sure to add these free fonts to your collection. While you're there, check out some of his cuttings. He does fantastic work!
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Lath art has really caught my imagination. I like the rustic/folk art feel that it provides. Since there isn't a lot of information about this great American folk art, I'm always excited to see a new website pop up. Rod Skramstad from Classic Lathart has a number of pictures of his one-of-a-kind creations. His lath art paintings range from simplistic to intricate. Each piece full of personality and stories waiting to be unveiled. While he doesn't sell patterns, his work is certainly inspiring. Check it out. And be sure to read the history of lath art on the front page. Very interesting reading.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
This week's Book of the Week comes from the queen of compound cutting, Dianna Thompson. Compound Scroll Saw Creations is a great book for those wanting to get started in 3d cutting. Those with more experience will find some great patterns too. Not sure if compound cutting is right for you? I've written an article about Dianna before, where she provides a free tutorial and pattern to get you started. You can read the article here. Once you have the basics down, be sure check out her book for a lot of great patterns.
I love books. I read mostly informational/how-to books, but I love 'em! So, I'm always on the lookout for new books to add to my library. The great thing about the scroll sawing hobby, there is no shortage of books to look at. So I thought I'd start a new feature on this blog. Introducing, Book Of The Week. But wait, Travis, you already have Book Of The Week. While it is true that I have highlighted a new book each week for the last 17 weeks, it wasn't a regular blog feature. You'll still be able to find the Book of the Week in the upper right corner of the website, but in addition, I'll write a quick article each week talking about that book. I'm hoping to expose my dear readers to a wide variety of resources for scrollers, as well as archiving these recommendations for future readers.
What kind of books do I cover? I'm glad you asked. I cover a wide variety of books I feel you may be interested in. I cover pattern books, intarsia, clipart, business books for crafters and the list goes on! I hope you enjoy this new feature and I invite you to take a look at the previous Books of the Week.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Here's a fun site for you compound cutters! Bill and Kathy Coons from Wood Lovers Shop has a creative way of turning a generic compound cut figurine into something extra special. These figurines have two images, depending on which angle you look at it. They have a video of the figurine turning on their website. Just like magic, the image comes together before your eyes. They have cut a number of these designs for their customers. I don't think they offer their patterns, but this clever idea can easily be adapted for your own designs. Check it out. While you're there, check out some of their other great products. A very talented team, indeed.
Update: Thanks to the Anonymous poster in the comments section below, it turns out these patterns are available from Sam Keener's book 128 Compound Scroll Saw Patterns. So if you like to try your hand at these patterns, check out his book!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
If you read any of the scroll saw magazines, or hang out on the scroll saw message boards, you already know Kevin Daly of Scroll Saw Patterns Online. He has designed a lot of great patterns, but he's best known for his wildlife and scenic designs. Kevin has posted a free pattern of Jesus falling beneath the cross for anybody who wants it. The pattern is provided in JPG format for easy scaling. It looks like he swaps out his free patterns from time to time, so make sure you take advantage of this great pattern. While you're there, check out his other designs. I'm sure you'll find one you can't live without!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I have mentioned before that scherenschnitte (paper cutting) is very similar to scroll sawn portraits. The only difference is the medium in which we work. But the principles of design remain the same. Since the two art forms are so similar, us scrollers can easily look to scherenschnitte for patterns and inspiration. I recently came across a great collection of scherenschnitte patterns available for download. The collection also includes the Back Street Collection, an archive of out-of-print scherenschnitte books made available to the public. The patterns are provided in JPG format for easy scaling and printing. There are so many wonderful patterns to choose from, you won't know where to begin. Check it out!
Monday, August 18, 2008
Need a little help adapting patterns for scroll work? Sue Walters has written a great article for Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts covering just that. The article first appeared in the Summer 2006 issue of SSW&C. She explains the overall concepts of breaking down a line drawing or photo into sections. She explains negative and positive space in conjunction with bridges, which scrollers rely heavily on. These simple concepts will take you on your way to designing your own patterns in no time. Check out this quick article. You will look at patterns in a whole new way.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
David from Tuliptree Crafts has published another great pattern for those who wants it. He's been working on this Buckeye Butterfly pattern over the last few days, and he finally finished it. Cut from 1/8" hardwood for the wings and 1/4" for the body, this will make a stunning centerpiece. This pattern can easily be turned into a magnet or a pot sticker. Or just hang it on the wall. This free pattern is provided in PDF format for easy printing. It also includes instructions to get you on your way. Bring a bit of nature indoors with another great pattern from David!
You can read more about the Buckeye Butterfly in this short Wikipedia article.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Here's a fun little project for a kid's room to help keep the CD clutter under control. This free Dachshund CD holder pattern is provided by Sawdust Making. The materials are inexpensive and can be accomplished with minimal tools. But you end up with great results. I really like the CD holder unfinished, but you can easily paint it for a little extra flair. One note, however. When you look at the pattern for the body parts, the image is distorted. This is easily fixed. Just right click the image and choose the View Image option before printing. That should fix it. So if you're looking for a quick project, be sure to take a look at this great CD holder project.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Imagine you're at a craft fair, selling some of your creations. You'll get some traffic, sure. But what if you brought your scroll saw with you and demonstrated your techniques. You'll get a lot more traffic. But imagine pulling out a homemade, foot-powered scroll saw made with various hardwoods and polished to a high sheen. Think of the crowds! Even if you didn't do craft fairs, it would still be really cool to have a scroll saw you created with your own two hands! Well, Michael Martin (aka Nailbender) has come to the rescue with this great set of plans to build your very own wooden scroll saw. You'll end up with a showpiece that will draw a lot of oohs and ahs.
Michael offers these plans for free off his website. The plans are broken up into two PDF's for easier downloading. He has plenty of instructions, diagrams and photos to make construction that much easier. Check it out. Very cool!
Friday, August 8, 2008
Almost as important as the saw, is the stand the saw sits on. If it isn't at the right height or angle, your neck and back won't be happy with you. You could buy a commercial stand, but where's the fun in that? Michael Martin (aka Nailbender) has provided a nice set of plans for your scroll saw. The stand includes an adjustable tabletop angle, an easy access cubby to hold tools, and enough room on top to hold other odds and ends. If you look closely at his pictures, you can see a clever scroll saw blade storage made from PVC (no plans available, but I'm sure you can figure it out).
Michael has created his stand as inexpensive as he could, but you could easily upgrade the building materials to create a great looking scroll saw stand. You can adjust the height and angle of the stand to fit your needs. So if you are ready to move your scroll saw from the TV tray to something a bit more stable, check out these free plans!
Thursday, August 7, 2008
I must say, Darryn's (aka Whitewolf) pattern collection and Photoshop tutorial is quite popular! In an effort to save Darryn bandwidth and hosting fees, we decided to move his collection over to the Scroll Saw Goodies server. During the file move, I have made the following changes:
- I fixed the tutorial ZIP file, so it should work properly for all users.
- I removed the RAR version of the tutorial, as RAR is an obscure compression format which the majority of users do not have access to.
- The pattern ZIP file has been renamed to make organization a bit easier.
- I have also updated the original blog entry to reflect these changes.
Hopefully these measures will keep Darryn's great pattern collection available to everybody for a long time to come.
Incidentally, if you have patterns, tutorials, or files you wish to make available to the scroll saw community, please contact me. I'd be happy to host the files for you, saving you bandwidth, time, and most importantly, money!
Friday, August 1, 2008
Last post, I talked about Darryn's (Whitewolf) patterns. He has designed a nice collection of patterns. He was kind enough to zip his entire collection for one easy download! His collection includes all of the patterns shown on his myphotoalbum.com website, as well a few new patterns. In fact, he has over 200 in all! The download is a hefty one, weighing in at about 15 megs. So those with dial-up may want try downloading the file while you sleep.
Not only has he made these patterns freely available, he has also included a on how to create your very own patterns. I checked it out and it looks pretty good. So if you want to try your hand at designing your own patterns, this is definitely a great place to start.
Darryn has 2 files available for you to download: