Welcome to my blog. Let what you see stimulate your imagination and inspire your own creations.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

New project

I was looking for an interesting design for a pivot-lid box, and adapted the pattern from a Vietnamese temple window. The box also gave me an excuse to use my new assortment of rare earth magnets, which are amazingly powerful. To avoid cutting the tiny decorative circles, I used slices of 1/4" walnut dowel.

The new box book has a chapter on making boxes with pivot lids. The ones in the book use a slightly different construction that does not involve magnets, but the basic principles are the same. I would avoid magnets on boxes for children, because of the potential swallowing hazard if one ever came loose (unlikely, but possible).

These boxes are easy to make, and easy to customize or vary, and I think should be good crafts fair sellers.

Monday, October 24, 2011

New experiments

In a search for a way to dress up my "cakes", I took advantage of the knowledge base of folks on the scroll saw forum, and decided to play around with fabric paint (thanks, Kim!). I tried using the squeeze container itself, then found I had better control with a small bag made from parchment.

This is not baking parchment, which is treated with silicon to be non-stick. It's the parchment used to make disposable cake decorating bags, and is created from a triangle of whatever size you want. Instead of a metal tip, you just snip the end, which allows you to use every bit of the icing (or paint!), then you throw it away when you're finished. As you can see, I was able to get small dots, which look great when piped all over a cake, as well as a beaded border. The paint dries firm, and looks as though it won't fall off with handling.

I am also experimenting with flocking, and found that liquid fusion glue (a non-foaming urethane glue) worked well to adhere it to the wood. Last on my list is using stencils. I bought some small punches of various shapes, and found that by backing both blue tape and green (frog) tape with wax paper, I was able to punch out shapes. I'm planning to punch out a strip of shapes, like hearts, remove the wax paper, attach it to the "cake" and use acrylic paint to stencil the design.

As soon as I have something completed that actually uses some of these techniques, I'll post it. And if you decide to "play", please send photos of your results!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Just in case I created confusion, the book proposal that Fox Chapel declined was for Jewish-themed projects, like the menorahs I've been working on. The box book is a done deal, and right on target for release as planned. Sorry if I wasn't clear.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Some new ideas

After the projects for the box book were completed, I decided to "mix and match" techniques from different projects. Using the technique from my Pineapple Upside Down Cake Box, adding bows from my bow boxes, and a pedestal from the stand for the cupcake boxes, I came up with a two-layer cake decorated with bows. Each layer forms a separate box

I figured that once the book was out, and people could access the basic information, it would be fun to show how the different parts could be combined. This particular version was for a "chocolate" cake, mostly because I had some walnut on hand, but aspen or maple would work, too. And I kept the loops and tails simple on this, but the book shows how to make multicolored ribbons, which could be used as well.

When I first started learning how to use the scroll saw, one of the books I found helpful was Diana Thompson's box book. And in her book she stressed that by using the same techniques, but with variations, you'd never run out of projects to make. Good advice, and I intend to keep that tradition going when my own box book becomes available.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Disappointing News from Fox Chapel Publishers

I received a formal turn-down this morning from Fox Chapel, the publishers of my bowl and box books, and Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts magazine. Of course I am disappointed, but they are the ones to decide whether it's financially feasible for them, and they felt there was not sufficient interest to proceed.

I had almost all the projects prepared, and am now going to have to give some thought to where to go from here--whether to try marketing the items themselves, seek a different publisher, self-publish an ebook, or sell the patterns individually. Any ideas you might have are very welcome.

Here are the menorahs I proposed for the book. Thought you might like to see what might have been.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Anyone having trouble posting comments?

I've noticed that no one has been posting comments for some time. I just assumed that no one had anything much to say in response to the posts. However, I just heard from someone who was not able to post a comment, and I was wondering if that's happened to others.

So, if you've been unable to post a comment, please email me at my blog email address, scrollsawbowls@yahoo.com. If more than one person has had a problem, I'll see what I can do to get it corrected. I enjoy reading your comments, and kind of miss seeing them.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Issues with the DeWalt 788

In 2006, I was asked to research scroll saws to determine which one should be purchased for the community woodshop where I live. There was no contest--the DeWalt 788 was hands-down the choice for a mid-priced saw.

Now, five years later, things have apparently changed. The scroll saw forum, sponsored by Fox Chapel, is full of reports of poor quality control, and really awful customer service. While some scrollers have had their saws for many years, others are finding problems right out of the box.

Just as troubling are the reports of technicians in factory authorized service centers have little knowledge of the tool, making incorrect or hasty diagnoses of problems, and holding the saws for weeks or months.

In response to this situation, letters are going out to Black & Decker, of which DeWalt is now a part, making these concerns explicit. When many people have the same types of problems, it's clear that something has changed. The letters may not make a difference, but you never know!