Friday, December 1, 2017

Found this little gem in my shop

This is one of my wood working projects from shop class. Back when I went to school we had shop classes that would give you a feel for a trade. There were as I remember printing and ceramics for 7th grade and wood and metal working in 8th grade. This is the only thing remaining from those shop classes. It is a shame that schools no longer have these classes. My favorites were in order wood working, metal working, printing and then ceramics. Wood working we made a bunch of stuff but I only kept one thing. I do believe everything else I made was given to people. But this baby was mine! It has been in boxes and out in my shop for years now. It is a book shelf lamp combo deal.

I have carried this one around with me since 1975. That makes this around 42 years old I was 14 at the time. I can still see the grade I received for it a 92. I do not remember what tools where used but I imagine a band saw, sanders, drills, wood burning tool,  and maybe a table saw? I don't actually remember. I do know I did attempt some projects outside of school as I liked wood working so much but then I stopped for many years before finding the scroll saw. It was the lack of tools that caused me to stop. Dad only had some tools and after having had access to the tools in school I just stopped since I am sure I kept thinking I need this tool to do this thing and that tool to do this other thing.

I do remember one other project which was a pencil holder shaped like a fish jumping out of water. I have no clue what ever happened to that one. That was probably my second favorite thing done in the class.

This one though I remember all the excitement that came with this one! I was not really a Mets fan my grandfather was. I was not into watching sports as a kid. I still really don't watch unless it is European Cycling. That is now what I pay attention to. That is hard to watch here in the USA except for the TDF. So I read and follow along online.

I think I will redo the lamp fixture and get this working once again. I know my wife is going to (NOT) love this one.

Anyway to the pictures!

A little hard to see but right there is 92 my grade. Written in pencil and has faded over the years

Full (Christ)mas mode

Just a note to let you know I am still here.

I have been working hard lately on my Christmas stuff. I won't be posting pictures of anything till after they are all delivered. People may see what I am doing before hand spoiling the surprise. The disadvantage of a blog certain people actually read. Maybe not, but not taking chances. So you won't hear much from me, or rather see much, till after Christmas.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Scroll Saw Association of the World

I recently joined SAW.  You can see in the banner above what SAW stands for. Clicking here will take you to their website. It has been in existence since 1996. I have known about them for at least 5 years but I hesitated to join. They are having a resurgence in membership which is a good thing as we don't want the scroll saw to fall away and be forgotten. There are things you can do with scroll saws that you can not do with any other tool. Works of art are created all the time using scroll saws.

If nothing else do explore their web site and see what is there. Then think about joining and becoming an active member. They are looking for suggestions on what we as scroll saw artists can do to get more people scrolling.

Yes some works that get created on a scroll saw are works of arts.

Here are some things created on a scroll saw these are called Intarsia. This is where you cut thick pieces of different woods shape then by sanding and the glue them to a backer. When you are very good they will look like the ones below. These are all fine examples of wood art.

From Kathy Wise

Then there is Bruce Worthington patterns some examples of his completed patterns

These are done using natural woods no staining. The only thing that is done is they have some type of finish applied when done.

Some from Charles Dearing which are fret work

I do find this hobby relaxing most of the time. Creating things for the NC State Fair can be trying at times as I have now placed first twice now. I have entered 3 years in a row and the first year I was awarded third. That entry I observed the ones that placed above me and I saw what was being judged as really good. Last year I went to the fair with something I thought was good. But not what I wanted to enter and took first place. This year I got around to cutting what I knew was going to be a difficult cutting. I took blue again. So now the pressure is really on to continue.  But other then that this is a fun hobby.

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Made it to the NC State Fair Today

Well I made it to the fair today. I was going to go on opening day to see what ribbon I won. But I had to work late and just could not make it. Friday I was out of work at a better time but who really wants to go to the NC State Fair on a Friday Night? Many people too many for my likes so I went today Saturday the 14th.

I was awarded the Blue Ribbon! I am happy but sad at the same time. Happy for myself sad for the other people. Lots of great work goes into each and every item that people submit to be judged. Everyone wants the Blue Ribbon and many people get awarded them in the many different categories there are.

I've been cutting stuff on my scroll saw for a few years now. I only started entering the State Fair 3 years ago. The very first year I was awarded 3rd place.  I learned much with that first entry. I learned what style is rewarded the most. My word art entry plaque was good but lets face it. How much work is actually in a word art? Even one that is two plaques containing the 10 Commandments. The real work is in scroll saw fretwork cuttings.

So I said self you need to stop being afraid of those spiral blades and get to work if you want one of those blue ribbons! So that is what I did. The entry for this year was going to be last years entry but one thing occurred last year  that prevented me from completing it on-time last year. I was on my way home from work by bicycle as I have done for the past 20+ years and a distracted driver hit me from behind and took me out for quite a bit of time. So I had put in one of my earlier fretwork cuts and that was awarded the blue last year.

So I have doubled this year with a second blue ribbon with the bully. Now this is a a cutting with over 1,000 cuts in it. When I started this I really had no idea what I was getting into. I knew it was going to take time. But there was times when I would spend more time in a day putting the blade through the many holes I had to drill then I did doing actual cutting. Then towards then end there were so many holes that I just missed drilling that I would have to drill more holes so I could cut more.

But it is just such an impressive pattern that all the work was well worth it!

Now what do I plan on cutting next year. This maybe just as hard as cutting something. I have a few ideas about which patterns I already own I will cut. Because as a scroller I have more patterns then I have time to cut. Buying a pattern is easy cutting them takes time and materials.

Most scrollers I know have a pattern addiction problem. Stuff you buy to cut but for what ever reason you don't. It is a good thing patterns are pretty affordable.

Any way finally here is the picture from the fair on my entry. Yes it is the elephant in the top left of the picture. This year I am in the back at the top. About as far from it as you can be. There was no one near to ask if I could, like last year go into the display area to get a picture of myself and the entry. I will go back maybe I will be able to get closer next time. With it being on the top shelf it will be nearly impossible to get a picture like last year. So I may not even ask since it is pretty high up.

Finally the pictures

And thanks for looking and reading my  post!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Bully is ready for the fair!

Last year, my second year in a row, when I entered the State Fair there was just me putting in my entry. The first year I entered I had a White ribbon for 3rd place. I was just like this is fun. I was not entering what I had planned to enter just a project that I had previously completed. I did not want to skip a year. I want to enter the State Fair every year. That entry won the Blue Ribbon! I was totally blown away. The blog post about that is here. So this year I have all this pressure on myself by myself. This is by far the toughest and most cuts I have done on a single piece.

So I started this project well over a year ago. It was supposed to be for last years State Fair but the bicycle crash I was involved in 2016 cut the project off for last year. But here are the various parts of this project and it will culminate with the final project picture ready for drop off in two weeks.

The frame. What I struggled with the most. The fear of the 45 Degree cuts the glue up of that and then then finishing. I believe it is a good frame. I used purpleheart wood for it.

The front of just the frame

The Back of just the frame

The Backer front which is painted black to show through the cutouts of the bully

The back's back side showing my logo.

A close up of the logo. This is toner printed on paper reversed. Then I take that and use a wood burning tool to melt the toner to the wood. Cheaper the buying a branding iron.

Finally Bully This has 1048 cuts. I have blurred this on purpose as I have been told people take images and make a pattern from them. Effectively stealing from the designers. Patterns are not expensive so it puzzles me why people do this.

Now for Bully framed. I don't want to blur this one. But with glass in the frame it was really hard to get a picture of the thing without a reflection coming with it. So I opted for indoors at an angle.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Bully Getting there....

So I cut the frame yesterday and glued it up. I have not finished the frame yet but I spent hours sanding and put it together and took this shot. The frame is made from purpleheart. The purple should really come out once I put the finish on it. I am once again going to use General Finishes Oil Based Gel Urethane Topcoat. I liked the way it came out on my first project that I used that on.

Here it is just together and not totally finished. The weird distortion in the picture is there on purpose. Apparently, unscrupulous people will take photos of projects and make them into patterns that they then use/sell. So from now on when I am showing a photo it will be like this in some fashion. Not that all that many people follow my blog. But the pattern designers lose money when that happens. Patterns are pretty cheap. Patterns are generally under 8 dollars so I can't understand stealing them but people do.