Sunday, April 23, 2017

Fidget Spinners Done!

OK So I completed the painting and gluing of the bearings on the three fidget spinners. The two not of my design spin nicely. My batman one is unbalanced and a little bit larger than what my fingers are capable of spinning freely so it pretty much is constantly touching my skin as it spins so it slows down rather quickly compared to the other two. The fact that the bearings are unbalanced means I can't just let it spin on one finger as it will just fall off if I lift up one finger. Hey, it is my first one that I took the shape and placed the bearings. So I learned what I did wrong and if I do another batman I will tweak the design to make it be able to spin and not touch the skin and be balanced so that I can spin it on a single finger.

There is a video of all three being spun and you can see what they are and believe it or not I do find the act spinning them entertaining. I don't know what it is but it does keep your mind busy and I don't sit there fidgeting or shaking my leg.

The video showing these in action

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Fidget Spinners!

Well I may be late to the craze but I am building three Fidget Spinners.

A fidget spinner as explained in Wikipedia

 I found some optical cable rolls at work that were made from MDF for the ends of the rolls. So I ended up with 12 round MDF pieces 18 inches in diameter 1/4 inch thick. They are perfect for things that I can cut on my scroll saw but I intend to paint. Such as these Fidget Spinners.

I have three distinct designs I am working on. The first two are from Steve Good of he designs patterns and gives them away for free. Has plenty of tips and ideas overall his site is a very good source of information about scrolling.

His first pattern that I cut is this one. At this point I have cut out the shape but I have not yet drilled the holes for the bearings. I decided I need to drill these out as I wanted perfectly round holes and it was a good excuse to use a Forstner bit.

Then I made up this one from the Batman Signal. This was interesting as I wanted the shape but struggled with how big it should be and still fit between my fingers. My hand is not large so it was a challenge but in the end it just fits my hand which means most people will be able to play with it.

I still have the pattern glued on the mdf at this point as I had just drilled the pilot holes so that I could drill from both sides to help eliminate tear out from the Forstner bit. I don't have a drill press so I just used my hald held drill and held it as straight as I could which seemed to have worked out fine. Here are the pictures of these drilled and the pattern removed. I have sanded them to get them as smooth as possible and get rid of any fuzzies that were left over. from the drilling and scrolling.

I have begun to paint them and once I am done and I put the bearings in I will post more about these.


Sunday, April 9, 2017


So I have been wanting to get started in Intarsia now for a while. But my confidence about following lines was low when I first thought about it. I think my ability is about where it needs to be to start down the Intarsia path. For those that don't know what Intarsia is it is using different color thicker woods and shaping them. Woods like Purple Hart, Yellow Hart, Walnut, Black Walnut, etc. You cut them shape the pieces by sanding and grinding the wood to give it texture and then you just clear coat it and let the natural wood be on display.

I have just started to go through the Intarsia Workbook by Judy Gale and Jerry Booher.

It starts off real simple with the first piece being  a bow. It is all out of the same piece of wood with the grain all in the same direction. So all you have to do is cut out the pieces and then shape them by sanding with hand and mechanical help. Can we say time consuming! Any way here is the bottom of the bow left and right pieces. The right piece has just been cut out and the left piece I have begun to shape. I don't have all the right tools but I do believe I have enough to work on these beginner pieces. We will see how I do and if I want to exploer getting some nice sanding tools. But I think with what I have I can do most things. As with tools the better quality tools and the ones designed for specific jobs will make it easier but any tool can be used. I did not start out with an Excalibur Scroll Saw. I worked with a simple Craftsman 16" saw for quite a while before I felt the investment for a much better saw was warranted. I can tell you my quality went way up with the really nice saw. I did not have to fight the saw so much. Almost no vibration. So I'll work on this Intarsia stuff for a while before I decide if it is something I might be good at before investing in specific tools to do it.

Any way here is what I have started to shape the right bottom bow. You can see how much I have sanded off the right one already. It is still quite rough and has a ways to go but it is starting to shape up.

First one looks from the side profile to show how is is shaping up. You draw pencil lines on the wood and then sand towards the lines.

This second picture is just showing it from the top. You ca see the rough shaping that has taken place.

Here is an nice example of what  can be done in Intarsia. This is not mine and I only hope I can do such a fine job as this. But it is something I would like to do. There is no paint on this this is all just using natural wood colors.

Well this is what I want to do as I go forward we will see if I have any success with this. Of course I won't stop doing the others scroll saw work that I do.