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

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Going Mainstream

It's pretty tough for scroll saw work to get much notice in mainstream woodworking magazines. That's why I'm so pleased with the nice mention of my book, including picture of the cover, in the current issue of Woodworker's Journal. Maybe it will help convince those woodworkers who have a scroll saw collecting dust in the corner to try something a little different. It was a nice start to the new year--hope the start to yours is also a good one!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sanding speed alert

One of the scroll saw forum members posted an alert about the flexi-pad sander, available from Klingspor. He used it at a speed of about 3700 rpm and the velcro melted! Although it does say in the catalog not to use it above 1500, I never paid much attention to it, since the speed of the average drill press is in that range. However, if you were planning to use it with a faster motor, please don't. Klingspor replaced the sander, twice, which speaks well for their customer service, but it's not an experience you'd want to have.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Long Island Woodworker's Show, Nov. 14-15, 2009

It's a bit overdue, but I finally edited a clip from one of the demos I did at the LI Woodworker's Show. It was pretty noisy, but the video will, at least, give you a feel for all the good energy that was around. Some really fine woodworkers in that club--I was glad to be there.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sanding Tools, Part I

Making bowls with the scroll saw is a sanding-intensive experience. Sanding is used both for shaping and for smoothing the bowl. Having the proper tools makes the job much easier. In addition to the standard selection (vertical belt, disc and spindle sanders) bowl making requires special equipment to sand the bowl interior and add contour. At a minimum, you'll need a flexible pad sander and a variety of grits.

This small device is best used chucked into a drill press so both hands are free to manipulate the project. Small sanding discs attach with a hook and loop system, making changing the grit a snap. Although there are many sources for this product, I use the non-tapered "flexi-pad" available from Klingspor's Woodworking Shop, in a 2" size, standard density. See the sidebar for a link to Klingspor's Woodworking Shop.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sanding Tools, Part II

Once you're hooked on making bowls, you'll probably find it worthwhile to buy an inflatable ball sander. It makes quick work of sanding curved interiors and the lower parts of the bowl. Like the flexi-pad, it can be used chucked into a drill press.

You'll need the rubber ball, assorted sleeves, and a small pump to inflate the ball. This tool is available from King Arthur Tools, as part of the Guinivere sanding system. See the sidebar for a link to King Arthur Tools.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Felt inspired to glue up some scraps as though they were plywood. The result was so interesting that I decided to go with a bowl so the inside would show, rather than a vase.

Coincidentally, I was just given a "gift" of some old plywood bedrails that are just gorgeous. Got things glued up, and should have some results soon. It's a real low-budget, low-effort way to get some really interesting effects, and I can see why it's catching on in the lathe community.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Plywood experiments

One of the scroll saw forum members send me an article about wood turning with plywood, and I decided to adapt the concept for the scroll saw. I selected pieces of 3/4" plywood without gaps and got to work. This is my first project, using teak as the main wood, and although plywood is not my favorite material, it's quick and easy to use, and quite interesting. I'm just starting my experiments, and am looking forward to seeing how they work out.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Swag Bowl completed

Well, I rubbed out the bubbles with 0000 steel wool, touched up the spots that needed it, and it's finally finished. Usually it's the swags that give me trouble, not the finish, but at least it's done!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Cautionary Tale

I just finished a lovely swag bowl--the shellac had dried just enough to bring it back from the shop--and left it on the back seat of the car while I ran some errands. When I got home, I discovered that the shellac had blistered on one side. Near as I can figure, it must have been in the sun, since the rest of the bowl was fine. I'll rub it down and fix it up--shellac is very forgiving that way--but I never imagined that this could happen. Thought I'd pass this on, and maybe save some else some grief. And I'll post a picture AFTER it's fixed!