ScrollSaw Information and Resources #28: On my way to do some Scrolling

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Blog entry by jerrells posted 05-15-2012 09:11 PM 1211 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 27: A Good Day in the Shop - Kinda Part 28 of ScrollSaw Information and Resources series Part 29: Scrollsaw Planning »

So I have been a little behind in creating scrollsaw projects. Today was a perfect day to do some catch-up. The weather was nice with some breeze blowing and mild temperatures. I have projects all lined up and the material to complete some (see the previous post). So I was going to do some scrolling.

Well as it happens, about a week ago I noticed a black dot in front of me floating around. I realized it was some optical issue but not sure what. I learned that it could be what is called “floaters” We older people get those. So over the week the one dot turned into two then three. Then over the weekend they turned into an ugly spider like web over my right eye. I was not happy at all. Monday morning first thing I am at the eye doctor’s office having an exam hoping all the time it is not cataracts. Well as it turns out it is truly “floaters” in the right eye. Again, something that happens to older people and not painful and the only cure is to wait till they settle in the bottom of the eye ball.

Now the truly bad part. I am a one eyed scroller. That is I close my left eye and look only through my right or the one with the spider web effect in it. I did OK for about two hours but the frustration of trying to look around or past the spider web just wore me out. So I stopped. I guess I won’t be scrolling for several weeks.

I hate getting old.

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

3 comments so far

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2947 days

#1 posted 05-15-2012 09:34 PM

Wow, Jerrell! I am so sorry to read this. Is there any way you can wear an eye patch and be more comfortable scrolling? Maybe you could try it a little at a time when you are feeling up to it.

A couple of years ago, I discovered that I couldn’t see the line when I was scrolling. It looked fuzzy to me. I wear contact lenses, but it seemed that they weren’t doing the job. I got my eyes checked and it seems that I need bi-focal lenses. I tried bi-focal contact lenses for about a year and a half, but I still wasn’t able to focus sharply on the line without readers. My eye doc said that it is give and take – in order to see well at a regular distance, you have to give some on the reading/close work. Bottom line is a couple months ago I went back to the single vision lenses and I use the reader type glasses for close work. It works the best for me and helps me focus how I need to when working on intricate stuff.

Yes, it is part of getting old. Our eyesight is really important to us and it is really noticeable when it changes. Hang in there and hopefully it will settle again for you and you will be able to see to work. :)

Take care, Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Woodstock's profile


253 posts in 3315 days

#2 posted 06-17-2012 08:16 PM

Er warning. I do get a bit descriptive here. Not to freak anyone out. If you have a weak stomach talking about the human body, just skip this.

I know EXACTLY what you are talking about. I had to give up woodworking/photography/any detailed vision activities in the early 1980’s when I just turned twenty. Both my eyes hemorrhaged as a side affect of long term type I diabetes. (Going on 47 years as of this year.) I always described it as looking through a very fine lace black curtain in jelly. Every time I moved my eyes the spots and “spider webs” would jiggle around in my vision. Really distracting and almost impossible to focus clearly on any detail up close most days at first. But it will clear up as the body absorbs the debris (blood in my case) inside the eye. But it does take time. Don’t get discouraged.

Three years ago I had a few procedures and several surgeries to basically replace the fluid in my eyes and some other eye work. Now I can see better than 80% of folks my age. So I am getting back into woodworking after a 25 year hiatus. It isn’t 100%. I still need readers. (BTW-Woodcraft sells bifocal inexpensive safety glasses. They are the only safety glasses I can wear now to see fine detail.)

Now I admit mine was an extreme case where I lost most of my daily vision and a bit more what your going through. So just give it time and the floaters will dissipate on their own. You’ll learn to ignore them once they start dissolving and you get your mind into an activity. I still have one or two small spots in my left eye that they didn’t get. But I don’t notice them anymore unless I am thinking about them.


-- I'm not old. Just "well seasoned".

View ScrollSawVideo's profile


46 posts in 2936 days

#3 posted 06-29-2012 01:10 AM

Jerrell, I know exactly how you feel. I am blind in one eye. Being born this way it is all I have ever known. It can really cause some headaches while scrolling, especially doing curves. Not only am I blind in one eye, the bad one dances around sometimes causing a blurred light to throw off the depth of items. I get many jokes from friends on how I can do such intricate work, they wonder what could be done with two eyes. Its all in good fun, we all know that nothing is personal about it. LOL. I tell them that I can cut a half blind dovetail much better this way.

As time passes I notice that the vision isn’t improving but gradually getting worse. Three years ago I lost my DOT license and job. I now take the time to focus on pattern making and computer software programs. LOL….I now use a 24 inch monitor.

Any kind of eye surgery is out of the question for me. Several doctors have said that would not take the chance of screwing up the good eye that’s left. I appreciate their honesty on that one.

Guess my point here is….there are many other aspects of woodworking that you can do. Search around and find another genre and try it. For me, I own two lathes but can’t really focus enough on the spinning wood to be safe. Maybe you can, but be very careful if you try. Scrolling is my primary love and I continue to do it with the aid of mag lights and many breaks.

If you ever need some pep talks I am here for you.

-- Karl. N. Atlanta

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