My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #449: Just Doing a Lot of Cutting . . . That's All

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 09-02-2011 12:38 PM 1224 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 448: Everyday Business Stuff Part 449 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 450: The Mystery Blades are Surprisingly Good »

There wasn’t a lot of excitement going on yesterday for me. I am not sure if it is a good thing or a bad thing. I am leaning toward good. I suppose when thinking it over, the best thing would be to have a few non-exciting days in a row and then a couple of exciting ones thrown into the mix just to keep it interesting.

There are times when we seek excitement and although I wouldn’t go as far as saying that I ‘look for trouble’, there are times when I choose to address things when I could easily walk away. The car situation is one of those examples. So is the issue with the bank. While not following up on the car issue would probably just result in no action on either side whatsoever, the bank issue could have been one where I would feel the consequences of not addressing it later on, and most likely I would suffer because of that.

I suppose what I am saying is that we need to choose our battles according to both consequences and also what we feel we are up to dealing with at the time. Sometimes we have more of a choice than other times.

Yesterday I just wasn’t up for bantering. Perhaps I had enough the previous day and just wanted to focus on more pleasant tasks. The bank thing seemed pretty much under control, and even though I could have spent the time researching what being ‘PCI compliant’ really entailed so I would have some knowledge of it prior to the upcoming phone training session, I chose not to deal with it – at least for now. I know that my signature lines states ‘Knowledge is Power’ and all of that and it is usually a philosophy that I stick to, but I really wasn’t in the mood to follow a ‘cause’ yesterday and followed the urge to sit this one out for the time being. With that issue, I do have some time on my side and if the opportunity arises when I feel the urge to educate myself on what this actually is, I will do so. My thoughts on it right now are (although just guessing) that most of the things that need to be addressed are already done so by, which is my credit card processor in addition to the host of the site. I may be wrong, but the representative of the bank stated that they are partnered with so I am certain that whatever needs to be adjusted (if anything) is something that is common and not too difficult to accomplish. has a very good reputation wherever I ask and I suspect they are up on this stuff. For now, we will just let it go and deal with things as they come. I don’t at this point feel like doing a lot of research for something that I don’t have to know. And lets face it, the bank has requirements that need to be done regardless if you want to or not so knowledge or not, my hands will be tied anyway.

Am I being a coward or sticking my head in the sand? I don’t think so. There are only so many hats that I can wear and I think that choosing my battles is an intelligent solution to the ‘only 24 hours in a day’ dilemma that I face each day.

As for the car situation, I haven’t thrown in the white flag with that by any stretch. I just want to take the day off of that too and see what will come of things. Apparently the issue moved up a step to a higher desk and I suppose that I have to give it the proper amount of time for it to be considered by the higher powers before demanding a decision. I started off with not really expecting them to do anything anyway (I know that isn’t really right, but it is more realistic in thinking that way) and I found myself slipping into expecting something to be done about it. I feel that I gave it a good go and pleaded my case as much as I could and now it is in front of the jury who will hand down a decision after deliberation. I have already told myself to accept the outcome no matter what it may be. If it is favorable then good for me. Chalk up one for the consumer. If not, then let go and move on. What is done is done. The car is repaired and back on the road and fortunately for me I avoided further disaster. I should thank my lucky stars.

So for the most part yesterday, I divided the day up with going through paperwork and doing end of the month things and cutting the next batch of pond figures for Artist’s Club. August – which is one of the slowest months traditionally for selling patterns, was decent for me. Considering the stock market and the economy, I think that having a decent month was a tremendous feat. I did better than last August, and that is what I hoped for. Mission accomplished for that month.

Cutting was also a very positive experience. Besides the fact that Artist’s Club reordered from me within only a couple of weeks (which meant the set was selling!) I had been given some new scroll saw blades to test by my biggest wholesaler and found them to be really good. This was a blind test where I told her what I was used to using and she sent me samples of similar blades so I could compare them.

I must admit that I went into the process being quite cynical. After all, I loved the Olson blades that I use and I couldn’t imagine anything that would work much better. For the skating figures in particular, I used the Olson Mach blades in size 3 to cut through four layers of 1/8” Baltic birch plywood. The blades needed to be big enough to cut through the four layers, yet precise enough to cut the tiny skate blades of the figures.

I was not very optimistic that anything would top the Mach3 blades. In fact, I was quite doubtful that they would work at all. Part of me didn’t want to even use them because I didn’t want to mess up the prepared pieces and waste the wood. But I had agreed to try the new blades, so I went ahead and did so.

I was very wrong about them.

They were sharp and the control was absolutely pinpoint. I was quite amazed with them actually. I remember just a bit of a struggle in pushing the blades through the four layers when using the Mach3 blades, but these blades went through the wood quite effortlessly. I was able to cut the pieces and remain very relaxed when doing so. It was a pleasure to cut with them.

I also found that they lasted quite long too. The Mach3 blades would begin to slightly burn the wood near the completion of two sets of figures. These lasted through three sets. At the end of the third, I did need to push a bit harder and I knew it was time for me to change blades, but I thought that was a very acceptable performance and I intend to rate them highly.

I can’t wait to find out what they are. I will certainly let you know.

I have another day of cutting ahead of me. Again, that is a good thing. I am in the mood for routine and not looking for any adventure just now. I want to get these figures done today so I can continue with the birds and get them ready for pattern packets.

I am sure that before long, exciting things will find their way to me. Excitement is always just around the corner. It will find me for sure when the time is right. But for now I will enjoy the quiet and get some work done.

Enjoy your Friday.

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

5 comments so far

View William's profile


9950 posts in 2897 days

#1 posted 09-02-2011 01:51 PM

Good morning Sheila.
I would be most interested in the blade brand myself. I started out being faithful to Olson. Then a friend suggested Flying Dutchman. I am currently faithful to those. Now realize that, by faithful, I mean that’s what I’ll use to something that is proven better comes along. I normally am faithful to a fault on things. However, when it comes to my scrollsaw blades, I want what is best for me. I am willing to try different brands if they’re better. Could I talk you into sending me a private message when you find out the brand? Just in case I miss is in your blogs.
I have no idea of any advice to offer on the bank deal. I’ve had the same bank for over a decade. While they have been good to me thus far, anytime I have to go in for them to explain any new policies to me, I usually wind up leaving with this dazed look of confusion in my eyes.
As for the car, I must have missed part of the story on that one in your blogs. What exactly is wrong with the car?
Ok, I’m not sure that came across correctly. I realize that the problem wouldn’t be a problem if you knoew exactly what was wrong with it. So I guess what I’m asking is for you to tell again what event occured to bring you to this point. All I know for sure is that you’ve taken it to the shop and you’re now getting the runaround from the owner/manager/mechanic/whatever he is there.


View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2974 days

#2 posted 09-02-2011 02:19 PM

Hi, William:
I will post on here when I find the brand and I will also send you a message. (I think I will remember to anyway!)

The car deal was that when I had the read end pinon seal replaced in Chicago, they didn’t replace a compression spacer when they reassembled the rear end. I understand this is supposed to be replaced every time you take it apart, but the original part was left in, causing them to over tighten the bearings which caused noises that we heard. In order to diagnose the problem, I had to take it to my own mechanic because we were concerned about the increasing noise coming from the rear end.

Long story short, it cost me a bit more money and the original spacer was there. The result from opening it up again and reassembling it incorrectly was additional charges that I should not have incurred had the work been done properly in Chicago. I called Firestone in Shorewood (IL) and they could see that the part was not charged on the bill, and not installed. The manager has been ‘investigating’ for a couple of weeks now and says he will ‘do what he can’ to make it right for me, but I am beginning to have my doubts. After sending him my new itemized bill as he requested, I am now waiting to see what, if anything, they will reimburse me. At this point it is now higher up the scale at his manager’s office. I just have to wait and see.

Sheila ;)

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

View William's profile


9950 posts in 2897 days

#3 posted 09-02-2011 02:27 PM

I’m sorry to hear that. Sometimes it’s like pulling hen’s teeth to make certain shop “make things right” on a deal like that.
Yes, the mechanic that done the work, if he disassembled the rear end, should have replaced the compression sleeve. If he did not know to do this, or how to do this, he had no business messing with it. This compression sleeve has to be installed correctly to keep the proper tension between the pinion gear and the ring gear. Failure to do so, and enough miles on the car, can eventually destroy the rear end. So I’m glad that you got it fixed before you had any other problems.


View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2974 days

#4 posted 09-02-2011 02:37 PM

Yes, we were very fortunate that we could hear the noise. It wasn’t really obvious, and most people wouldn’t have even noticed it. I think I wrote on my blog even that I wasn’t sure there was anything wrong, as it was quite subtle and could have been the tires. But our mechanic said the same thing you did. And it was a good thing I got it checked, which meant tearing it apart again unfortunately. They should at least have to reimburse us for the original repair. With me being in Canada though, I wonder if they even care enough to make good on it. We’ll see. :)


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

View S4S's profile


2118 posts in 2735 days

#5 posted 09-02-2011 08:17 PM

Alot of cutting all day can make you tired ! Have a great Holiday ! Youtube

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