I want to start off today’s post with thanking all of those who helped out and posted your thoughts and participated in yesterday’s discussion. The responses were quite overwhelming not only here on Lumberjocks, but also on the Sheila Landry Designs page and my Facebook. It just shows what a hot topic picking the right tool is and judging from all the responses and also all the personal emails I received, I think that together we all helped a great deal of people.
Discussions such as this are so beneficial to those who are interested. Nothing is more helpful than reading about others’ experiences with actual use of tools and other items – be it good or bad. No salesman or advertisement could do a better job of showcasing a particular item than a customer review. Personal experiences far outweigh promotional hype when it comes to things like this.
I suppose that is why I wanted to lay things out and see what you all had to say about your own experiences with scroll saws. While I am looked upon as “the professional” there are times when being in that role inhibits my ability to be able to help those who are not. My needs are quite different from many of yours. While I do make my living by designing scroll saw patterns, my actual use of the saw if probably far less than one would imagine. Those of you who read my posts every day can attest to that.
Designing is a multi-faceted aspect of woodworking that includes coming up with the idea, drawing it out, actually cutting it, writing detailed instructions and packaging them as a pattern, and finally marketing the packet (which includes building and maintaining a web site, dealing with wholesalers and contributing to magazines and other publications.) You can see from that list the small percentage of time that is actually spent at the scroll saw. If I were guessing, I would say that I easily spend probably ten times more time at the computer than actually cutting at the saw. (This is just a guess)
As a result, my own saw is used probably far less than someone who is making items to sell or doing other types of production work. I often wonder what my actual ‘mileage’ on my own saw would be in comparison to the average scroller, if there is such a thing. So when people come to me for advice, the best advice I can give them is based not only on my own experiences, but those experiences that I have heard from others. That is why reading and observing what others have to say is so important. And why forums such as this are so popular.
We are lucky to live in this age of communication. With gathering places such as this, we are able to interact with others from all over the world quite instantly and learn from their own experiences and share our knowledge with others. That is huge.
I often suffer from bouts with nostalgia and look back to when times were perceived as simpler, but if I really think about it, they weren’t simpler at all and they certainly weren’t free of problems. And without the wonderful technology that is available to me today, there would be no way whatsoever that I would be able to run my own business from my little place here across from the river in this beautifully remote area of Nova Scotia. I sit here at my “window to the world” (my computer) and network and brainstorm with my friends from England and Denmark and the Philippines and every corner of the planet. And I am a better person because of it.
I truly try not to take these things for granted, and it is times like yesterday when the outpouring of advice and opinions made me realize how fortunate we all are to have each other. I really appreciated every post and I am sure that many others who read the thread did too. I think we all learned a lot.
As you can probably imagine, I spent much of yesterday answering questions and private emails. (If I haven’t got back to you yet, I am still working on it today.) It was an unexpected shift in my planned activities for the day, but a welcome one. I loved seeing the interest and being able to help people out. It is one of the great aspects of my work here and yet another reason I like my job.
I also heard from the magazine that the recent calendar project arrived safely. Kudos go out to Purolator Courier for getting the project to New Jersey in under a week! I now have to get to it and finish up the instructions for the next set of pieces by Monday, as I promised to have them waiting for my editor when she arrives at work. I also have the self-imposed deadline of getting out all my Christmas mailing by Monday too. I have been working on that for most of the week and I am once again getting into ‘crunch time’. I realize that some of the items may not arrive prior to Christmas, and I am resolved to that. There just haven’t been enough hours in the day lately and I can only say that I have done my best. The recipients will understand, though. At least I think they will. :)
With that said, it is time for me to move on to today’s list. It is long and I slept in a bit later this morning for some reason. I was dreaming though so I must have been sleeping deep and needed it.
Have a wonderful productive Saturday, everyone. I know many of you are in “Elf mode” and kicking it into high gear for the next two weeks. Remember to take enough time to really enjoy what you are doing and savor these moments.
“These are the good old days.”
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"