The Scroll Saw Lady

Ladies (and gents) Come Learn a New Art Form Scroll Sawing

Woodworking Tools Basics

Posted by scrollsawlady on June 12th, 2008

Some basics you should have if you are going to get started in woodworking.  Again, don’t spend a lot of money on these tools till you know you are going to love woodworking and know which tools you are going to use all the time.  Till this day, I still buy tools, I think I need at outlet stores, then if I find I really use them all the time I will replace them with better tools.  But, why pay a lot of money for something you only use occasionally?  (Unless you have a lot of money and just like nice things!)

Basics; My Dollar Store hammer works as good as any-one’s I am very sure, how do I know this?  Because I can pound a nail into a board just as good as the guy next door! So there.  You should have a couple of different size saws, now, here is one of those places where Dollar Store might be a problem, if you want to make clean cuts you might want to think about buying better saw.  There is definitely a difference in cheaper saws.  Also, give some consideration to a Japanese pull saw, they cut much easier and if you are going to start out with just hand saws in the beginning (as I did) then a Japanese pull saw is a good choice.

Okay, let’s go back to Dollar Store or outlet type items; get a set of chisels, a set of screw drivers, needle noise pliers, wrenches, different grit sandpaper, couple of sizes paint brushes (for staining and painting projects), metal straight edge and a combination square (to measure angles).

Go look for bag o clamps, not kidding, plastic clamps or all sizes and you will use them everyday.  And very handy to have around are small files.  These are the minimum tools you can probably get along with.

You are also going to need some type of surface to work on.  I started with some old cabinets someone had taken out of their kitchen and through a thick piece of plywood on it.  Not the best workbench in the world but it worked!  You could also go to Sears, Lowes, Home Depot, or any of those home improvement place and pick up what is called a Workmate, it is sort of cross between a sawhorse and a portable vise.  It is a sturdy little bugger and I have one in my shop for small jobs, I use it all the time.  You can start out with that as your workbench though.

Okay, there is your shopping list for today.  Next I will talk about scroll saws (oh it gives me tingles just to say scroll saw!) : )


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The Beauty of Scroll Sawing

Posted by scrollsawlady on June 7th, 2008

wolf-and-moon.JPG Scroll sawing to me is way to relax, to create beautiful things, and feel a sense of self accomplishment.  To know that I made this piece of art with my own two hands, and never did I have any formal training, just a desire to learn and the ambition to get out a try it.  This is a piece I did fairly early on in scroll sawing years.  It is made out of oak.  The picture isn’t great I know, but it is really is a wolf howling at the moon.


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Safety First, Please

Posted by scrollsawlady on June 7th, 2008

I can’t stress enough how inherently dangerous woodworking can be if you are not careful.  Please, always be at your best whenever you are doing anything with sharp tools or power-tools for that matter.  Don’t woodwork if you tired, sick, or just not paying attention to things, this can result in serious injuries and even death can occur.

Now, with that out of the way…. You will need some basic safety tools if you are going to do anything in woodworking.  Head right over to the Dollar Store and pick these things up.  (and do not listen to your husband or boyfriend if they are telling you, you can’t buy your equipment at the Dollar Store!)

Girls, my Dollar Store hammer, works just as good as any guys, who had to buy the best hammer Sears had for $25!!!  Go buy the Dollar store hammer and then take yourself out to dinner and tell him your hammer cost as much as his did.  (well technically it did, as it cost you for the dinner and the hammer too) See how my mind works?

Truly, when you are starting out in woodworking, don’t spend a lot of money.  Buy the basics at the Cheapo Depot and if you find out this is something you are really going to enjoy, then go out and spend some money to upgrade your tools.  And for heaven’s sake, NEVER, use his tools!  Trust me on this.  You will never hear the end of it if you put a ding in one of his chisels or something is to happen with his saw and you bend the blade slightly.  Not like he has never done those things also… but, you will never hear the end of it so, go out and get your own stuff. Enough said on that subject.

Okay, some must haves for safety;  you are going to need a good pair of safety glasses, don’t go for fashion here, go for protection.  You want glasses the cover as much space as possible so flying wood chips can not get around the glasses and blind you in some freak accident.  You are going to need some type of ear protection, this depends on you.  Some people hate things in their ears so the foam ear plugs are out.  Some people don’t like the big clunky ear muff type.  You decide which will be more comfortable for you.  Then you are going to want to pick up some disposable dust masks.  Here again you can go from the very basic to the replaceable filter type.  I say again, start cheap and see if you are going to like woodworking or not.

Always have a first aid kit in your workshop where ever that may be.  If by change you do cut yourself, you want to be able to take care of it immediately and not run through the house dropping blood everywhere!  Let’s just hope you never need that first aid kit.  It is also a good idea to keep the phone by you when you are doing anything in your wood shop too.  Just in-case.

If you are going to have power tools right from the start, then you need to have a fire extinguisher also.  You should really get an extinguisher that is rated “ABC”  That covers everything from wood and paper fires to electrical fires and to chemical fires which might be caused by using stains and paints.

Okay, there is your first shopping list, before you even get started with anything.  Next, I will talk to you about some basic tools you will want to get to start woodworking.

Even though the title is Scroll Saw Lady, there will be much more talk about all kinds of woodworking then just Scroll Sawing.  Even if you want to learn scroll sawing and I hope you do, there are many, many other facets of woodworking that come into play before you start scrolling your first piece of wood.


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Welcome to Scroll Saw Lady

Posted by scrollsawlady on June 7th, 2008

This is the first posting for The Scroll Saw Lady, Wow, it is like I am just born now!

I have been dreaming about doing something like this for years.  And now…… well, hopefully your finding my little spot of the world and enjoying my tips on starting to learn woodworking and especially the art of scroll sawing.

I am not a professional, I did not learn from any one special, I did not go to any school, I was not an apprentice of woodworking.

I watched my grandpa when I was growing up whenever I got the chance.  He was a wizard with everything, especially with wood and woodworking!  He had no formal training and yet there was nothing that man could not do with wood.  He made half of the machines and tools he had in his garage also!  He saw a need and so he made what he needed to fill his other needs, if he wanted to bend wood, he would just build a tool that would let him bend wood.  Like I said, “he was amazing!”

I hate that I was to young and too dumb, as to think I always had tomorrow.  I wanted to learn how to woodwork from him and yet, there was always tomorrow, so I just watched here and there but never really learned anything from him.

My grandpa was taken from me way to early in life (cancer) and since then, I have had only one regret in my life.  You go ahead and figure out what that regret was on your own.

One day though, I realized I had a regret in my life and I thought, how can I die having regrets?  And that was the same day, I decided to do something, I didn’t know what I was going to do but I had to do something.  I bought a book on beginning woodworking.  Then, I bought two books, then three and on and on it went.  I was fascinated!

Finally, I knew I needed to actually do something with woodworking not just read about it.  I bought a table saw.  It scared the crap out of me!  I will say, I was probably the most cautious person ever to operate a table saw in the history of mankind.  Okay, so, now I could cut wood!  Big frickin deal, what was I supposed to do with all this wood I was cutting up?

I built a couple of planters, they were hideous and fell apart before the summer was even over.  Oh well, it was still fun.  Then it happened!  I heard about a wood show coming to town!  Like a kid on Christmas day, I dragged a friend of mine and we went to see what this was all about.  I was so excited I do not think I slept the night before.  There it was, the giant dome that held “The Wood Show”.  It was magnificent!

It was pretty much over with after that show.  What?  My life as I knew it!  I was obsessed with learning everything I could about woodworking.  Oh, it didn’t mean I got any better at cutting wood, but, I could tell people the right way and wrong way to cut that wood!

What , I did learn from that show was about scroll sawing.  I saw this lady making little itty bitty reindeers, and that hit me right away as something I wanted to try.  I went out and bought a Dremel 12″ scroll saw and I loved it!  ( I never did make a itty bitty reindeer).

Funny that I would love this thing called scroll sawing, because as I was growing up I HATED sewing!  Hated it in school, hated it at home (not a great thing, because my mother was a fantastic seamstress and made our clothes and our Barbie’s clothes) and I hated it!   I pretended not to be able to do anything with sewing machine so my mom wouldn’t make me do it!  I sewed sooo slow, she would get mad and tell me to get out of the way. <g> (sorry mom)

You say so what, what does that have to do with anything?  Scroll sawing IS sewing only with wood!  If you can run a sewing machine you can run a scroll saw.  It is one of the safest and easiest machines on the planet to run!  I highly recommend to all women everywhere who want to do something with woodworking, you start with a scroll saw, it will build your confidence level and I am sure with a little patients it will become a new love of yours too!

I hope you have found this spot because you are looking for something new in your life, or because you are rekindling an old passion, or just because you are curious.

Try something different today, it might just be the start of something wonderful!


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