Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Scroll saw box stage 3

Hi all,
The next stage in the construction of a scroll saw box is a bit of a chore, but it's got to be done. The pieces for the main box and the drawer pieces all need sanding and sticking together.You can either use clamps or put them in a vice, but the main thing is to get them lined up as closely as possible because this will save a lot of time with the sanding operation.

When gluing the main part of the scroll saw box together, do not glue the back on until you are happy that the drawers fit nicely. I sand the insides of the box first to smooth out any lumps that may foul the drawers when they are inserted. Be cautious when sanding the inside of the drawer compartments because if you take too much wood off, the drawers will look sloppy when they are fitted.

Once you are happy with the inside of the box, the drawers can be sanded and frequently tried into the box to see how they fit. During this operation, the drawers often become stuck and it is then that you will see the wisdom of not sticking the back of the box on too soon because, until it is stuck on, one's fingers can be pushed into the back of the box to release the drawers.

I use an oscillating bobbin sander to take the hard work out of the sanding and it does a brilliant job on the curves. It comes with a variety of drum sizes that are easily changed to take into account different grit sizes. It also has a dust extraction facility, which is a must if you are doing a lot of sanding. I have it hooked up to a cheap vacuum cleaner that serves it and my scroll saw.

I am getting older now, so I moan more and I take health and safety matters a lot more seriously than I did when I was young, knew everything and was totally invincible. With this in mind I am often to be found wearing ear defenders, safety glasses and a face mask. When I've got that  lot on, I look more like an alien than than a elderly gent whiling away a few pleasant  hours with some wood.

The only downside to this oscillating sander is that it is very loud, but I will have to put up with that little annoyance because I hate sanding by hand.

Care needs to be taken with one of these sanders, especially when using a rough grit. It spins very fast so it can remove a lot of wood very quickly.

I haven't done any pyrography for  a while, but that is about to change because I have just sorted out the drawing for my next pyrography project. The outline is that of an hare, which I have used before, but I have modified it to describe the hare in a series of tear drop shapes. I thought it brought an element of grace to what is a beautiful creature especially when seen in full running mode.

Hopefully, I will get my pyrography iron out over the next couple of days and I will post the picture soon. If you have any questions about scroll sawing or pyrography please let me know.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Scroll saw box stage two

Hi All,
Continuing with the two drawer scroll saw box that I started a couple of posts ago, I thought I'd take you through the next stage, which was to cut the pieces out.

First, I drilled a small hole at the bottom of each draw just big enough to take a number 9 scroll saw blade. I usually use a small hand held drill for this task but on this occasion I was able to use a pillar drill and found it much easier. My son refurbished me a drill that he had in his workshop and gave it to me for my birthday. In sixty three years I'd have to say it is one of the best presents I've ever had, that is of course excluding those I have had from my wife. Anyway, if you do take up the scroll saw, I would recommend getting a pillar drill because it will be money well spent and it is surprising how many DIY tasks it comes in handy for.

When it comes to the actual sawing, I find it easier to do the internal cuts first and the outside cuts last. By doing it that way you will always have more wood to hold onto and it will keep your fingers a bit further from the blade. The other important thing to remember when doing a box of this type on a scroll saw is that accuracy is very important.When you are cutting out the drawers, you need to stick to the cutting line like a tic to a terrier because the wood on both sides of the line are going to be used.
 Here are some photos of the pieces now that they have been cut out.

So we have six outside pieces including the back, which of course doesn't need the drawers cutting out.
You will also notice that the drawers from piece 1 are left intact because they will be the drawer fronts.
Likewise, the drawers on piece 5 have also been left uncut because they will form the backs of the drawers.
Finally, pieces 2 and five are different from the others because they have feet.

The next thing I do is to remove the paper pattern from the wood and then start the gluing up process. Now you may think that the best way forward here is to glue up the pieces in one go, but that would be a folly. If you have ever tried putting a layer of glue between two pieces of wood and clamping them together you will know what happens. If you haven't, here is the answer, they move and slide about so clamping together more than two pieces of wood at the same time is not recommended.

I start with the middle two which I glue and clamp together very carefully. I double check that the outsides and the drawer aperture are lined up properly before I leave the glue to set and find that I very often have to slacken the clamps off and reposition one of the pieces again.

In my next post I will show you the next process and I might have done some pyrography, I have a small project burning away at the back of my mind so perhaps I need to transfer it and burn it onto some wood with my pyrography iron.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Scrollsaw DIY

Hi all,
 Just a quick one. When I purchased my scroll saw I had only intended to use it for craft purposes, making boxes and the like. However, due to moving house I have found myself swamped with DIY tasks. Not least the revamping of the bathroom from hell.

 Even after we'd had a new shower and bathroom suite fitted, and had the numerous leaks fixed there was still much work to be done. For the record, the leaks were caused by plumbers and not me. Anyway, my wife wanted shelves around two walls and because the plastic bath panel that came with the bath was much less useful than an ashtray on a motorbike, I decided that I would panel the bath with some tongue and groove.

All of this meant that a lot of wood needed cutting, so I press ganged the scroll saw, which had been sulking in the corner for a few months feeling very unwanted, into action.

First, I designed and cut out a set of 8 shelf brackets and finished them off with my bobbin sander. Making the brackets was quite enjoyable because it reminded me of my previous life in a factory where the production line was king. Here is a photo before I varnished them.
Before I show you a photo of the finished bathroom, here is one when it was at its lowest ebb. I was in the process of taking up the laminate flooring which was in an awful state.
 It took a long time but eventually I did manage to finish the bathroom and due to my wife's interior decorating skills I think it came out rather well. The finished bathroom can be seen below and you may note that there isn't a single tile in sight.
The reason there are no tiles is because we both think that they make bathrooms very cold and clinical. Over the last few years there has been a general increase in the use of tiles, from a couple of rows over the bath to having a bathroom completely tiled. Fashion now dictates that everyone should have a wet room with a plug in the middle of the floor to let the water out.

I used a wet room at the hospital when I was recovering from a heart attack and a grim place it was too. We asked ourselves what we were going to be washing in our bathroom and how much splashing there would be. We mainly use the shower with the bath being reserved for Daisy our dog so splashing isn't an issue for us. If we had a pet hippo that required a regular sluicing down, a wet room might be an option but for now, cosy will do for us.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

A Two Draw Box

Hi all,
Sorry it's been a long time between posts but I seem to have found a task that is taking all my time and then some more. I am talking about the new bathroom in the bungalow we have moved into. We had a new shower and bathroom suite fitted and in between several leaks (left by the plumbers I hasten to add)  I have been doing the decorating making shelves etc which I will show you in my next post.

I may not have been using my scroll saw for craft purposes but I have been using it continuously to help with the DIY jobs.

Anyway, this week I an determined to do a scroll saw box and a bit of pyrography. The box is of my own design and a bit of an experiment because this will be my first two draw box.
I thought it would be cute to make it resemble a smiling face and I will be interested to see how it looks when it is complete. I will be making this one out of a plank of pine that was one of the side rail of my mother in law's old bed so it will be a freebee which is very nice if it all goes wrong. Plus, if it works out I can always pinch the other one. There is little point in wasting good hardwood until I know that the design works. I intend to put my new oscillating bobbin sander through its paces with this design so we will see how that works too.

I have made a start by printing off six copies of the design because the box will be made from that many pieces of wood. It isn't possible to make one of these boxes from a solid piece of wood because it would be too thick to go into the scroll saw. The only option is to cut out six pieces and then glue them together. I guess that sounds simple and I suppose it is, but you have to concentrate to get it right.

I will take you through the process.

I print out the six copies of the design and then stick them onto six pieces of wood with spray mount adhesive. I then number them and do a bit of highlighting on the lines because they don't all need to be cut the same.

 Piece 1 This will be the front of the box so I have highlighted the cut line in blue. I will cut out everything except the two lugs at the bottom which will be the feet and they will be only cut on pieces two and five.
Piece 2 I will cut out everything including the feet and the lines highlighted in pink which will become the insides of the draws.
Pieces 3&amd;4 are both the same and will be be cut the same as piece two with the exception of the feet.
Piece 5 This one has feet but no pink highlighting because the these will be the backs of the draws.
Piece 6 This is the easiest one. Just the outline of the box and no draws or feet because this will be the back of the box.

If that is all as clear as mud I can understand why because it makes more sense whilst actually doing it. If you read it again and try in imagine the parts being stuck together it makes more sense.

Once I have cut the pieces out on my scroll saw I will show you what I do next and that will be the subject of my next post which I promise will be coming soon.