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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Pad sander flexibility

One of the workhorses for makers of scroll saw bowls is the flexible pad sander.  Invaluable for sanding the exterior of bowls and other curved surfaces, these sanders come in 2" and 3" sizes and several different densities.  Discs for these sanders, available with or without scallops, are attached with a hook and loop system.  This makes changing grits a snap. 

I usually recommend the 2" size sander, in standard density, as a starting point.  This density is appropriate for wood removal, and the 2" size is easy to manipulate.  The 3" pad is more aggressive, and suitable for larger projects, or those without petals or waves.

Sanders with less dense foam pads are ideal for removing scratch marks left by coarser grits, since they refine the surface without altering the shape of the wood.  They are available as complete sanding units, or as add-on pads that attach to the standard pads, using the hook and loop system.  

Using an add-on pad is an economical choice, since a single sander can now function in two distinct ways.  The add-on pads are also available in the standard density, and can be used to extend the life of the sander.  The sanders shown in the photo are both 2", with standard density.  The one of the left has a standard density add-on pad.  The add-on pad for the one on the right is of thin foam; thicker ones are also available.

Friday, July 2, 2021

Still making sawdust

It's been a while since I've posted, mainly because of recurring inappropriate comments, but I've never stopped making sawdust.  I continue to get my projects "out there" for others to enjoy, or to use as springboards for their own creative work.

My bowl-making has continued to evolve, and a recent project, making live edge bowls from crafts store rounds, currently appears in Issue 84 of Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts.

Whether you're a newcomer to my blog or a previous visitor, feel free to check through years of entries for ideas, inspiration, and technical advice that never go out of date!

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

A simple holder for coasters

Having made all those coasters, I needed a way to turn them into gift sets.  This simple egg crate, quick and easy to make, was the perfect solution.


Wednesday, May 6, 2020

COVID-19 project

I recently acquired a set of 4" Corian sample tiles.  Each had a small hole at the top, which screamed out "fretwork"!  So, I got to work, created a bunch of patterns, and started cutting.  I grouped the tiles in coordinated sets of four so they could be used as a trivet, or individually as coasters.  Still have three sets to go, and I must say that I'm getting to be a very skilled cutter!

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

The Corian base in use

Here's a simple way to use the base, once it's shaped a bit.  Look for more Corian info and ideas in a future issue of Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Bending Corian

I never would have thought of doing this until I was introduced to the process known as "thermoforming".  Usually done commercially, it can be done at home, using a 325˚ oven, with timing based on the thickness of the piece.

My first effort was shaped by hand, using oven mitts.  I'm in the process of making a mold to hold the shape until the piece cools.  This process certainly adds an extra dimension to what can be done with Corian, a material that looks like marble, yet can be cut and shaped like wood.

Monday, January 6, 2020

A useful addition to my finishing supplies

I've recently added a new piece of equipment to my finishing supplies, which has proven to be a big time and work saver.

My go-to finish these days is shellac, sometimes followed by coats of spray lacquer.  Since I never use sprays in the shop, my winter finish is brush-on shellac.  I start with a one pound cut, then add additional coats of either one- or two-pound cut, buffing between coats with a well-worn 320 grit sanding mop.  This creates a soft, deep shine.

The new addition is a headlamp whose light can be aimed in three different positions.  The light reflects the shine off the bowl, and easily shows up any missed spots or sags.  It also keeps my hands free to rotate the bowl, although I think my next addition will be a turntable, rescued from my cake decorating supplies.

You never know where you'll find your next "woodworking tool"!

Friday, November 15, 2019

Sloan's Woodshop is closing

After many years of providing caring and professional service to the scroll saw community, Sloan's will be closing its doors next week.

I bought my first blades from Rhonda and David, still have some small drill bits that go back many years, and learned of Weldbond, my go-to adhesive from their site.

Best wishes to the Sloan's for peace, good health and happiness in the coming years.  You will be missed!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Making dovetails with the scroll saw

Among the less well-known capabilities of the scroll saw is the ability to do a large part of the cutting for dovetails.  The result is often much neater than can be done with a handsaw and chisels.

There is one important limitation: while all components of the tailboard and the sides of the pinboard can be cut with the scroll saw, the portion of the pinboard between the pins must be cut out with a chisel because the scroll saw cannot make the angled cut that is needed.

Here's a photo of a tailboard that will become one side of a small drawer.  I tried my best to keep the cutting as regular as possible, and am quite satisfied with the results.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Double-sided tape discovery

I typically use double-sided tape for stack cutting and double bevel inlay.  I had been using turner's tape, which is extremely strong, but sometimes overkill for my purpose.

When I discovered a thinner tape with adequate holding ability that was easier to remove, called XFasten Double Sided Tape, I started using it instead of turner's tape.  The down side was that this tape cut poorly with scissors, and the backing tended to separate prematurely when small pieces were needed.

The solution was quite simple: attach an end of the tape to the workpiece, unroll the amount needed and press it down, then cut the tape with a razor knife.  The wood stabilizes the tape, but you need to be careful not to score the wood as you cut.