My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer #891: Saw Wars

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 506 days ago 1213 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 890: Exchanging Part 891 of My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer series Part 892: A "Charming" Day! »

You know with the two of us living here in one place, there is bound to come a time when we both Keith and I are at a point when we both need to use the scroll saw at the same time. It was just inevitable.

Yesterday was one of those days.

Keith is still feeling poorly, but on the mend, so he has spent the bulk of his time drawing, as he didn’t want to be at the saw when he was feeling his worst. In the mean time, I have moved along at my own pace, as I typically do and it just so happened that yesterday he felt good enough that he wanted to begin sawing out some of the several designs he had drawn in the past week.

Problem was, I needed the saw for a couple of hours too, as I was ready to cut out the next pattern that I had drawn up the previous day.

So there we were.

Now, we do have the DeWalt saw stored in the basement of our place, as recently our land lady had offered us some additional storage space, but that would have been equivalent to me saying “OK honey – you take the Mustang and I’ll drive the Yugo” Nno offense intended to any Yugo owners out there. I was just trying to make a point!)

While the DeWalt is a decent enough saw, and served me well for over 10 years, it certainly is no Excalibur. And the type of cutting that I was doing was that which I really would benefit from the exactness of the Ex.

But practicality got the best of me and after all, Keith was in recovery from his cold, so I decided to be a sport and use the DeWalt to cut my design. After all, it was good enough for over 10 years and it certainly isn’t a bad scroll saw. I just needed to get off my la-de-da high horse and use it. So I graciously conceded.

But all of this mental struggling that I experienced turned out to be quite unnecessary. For as soon as I agreed to use the DeWalt and before we had even made the trip to the basement to retrieve it, Keith got notice from our editor that she was looking for a last minute project to fill in on the issue she was finishing up. He agreed with enthusiasm to give it a go and since his schedule no longer included cutting, but rather more computer drawing, I was able to slip in and use the Excalibur for the afternoon.

Funny how things work out.

I finished the first phase of cutting done. The design that I am working on is one that is simple, but rather fun. I love cutting lettering and I decided to make a set of holiday words that portray the sentiments of the season. As I said, this is not a complex design, but I still have a little more to add to make it look a bit nicer and the finishing will certainly make it look more festive. For now, here is a sample of what I have completed:

I thought “Jolly” was an appropriate word to show. I certainly do feel jolly today! (Even though I woke up with no running water! There must be something wrong with the pump. It snowed last night, but it was just a dusting and unfortunately not enough to gather and melt for additional water. Thank the stars I had a couple of liters of water stashed so that I could make a pot of coffee! As long as the pot lasts, I won’t worry about it!)

Today I will be spending the day completing the decorating of these pieces. There are 12 in all and I think they will be a fun pattern. I want to work quickly so we can have the site update by the weekend. Time’s a-wastin’!

I hope you all have a fun and productive Friday. Another week is under our belts and we are heading into the busy time of year. Enjoy your day and remember to be “jolly!”

-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs "Knowledge is Power"

11 comments so far

View BertFlores58's profile


1634 posts in 1424 days

#1 posted 506 days ago

Hi Sheila,
When someone has two to choose, it becomes an alibi that the work is not as good if done with the other best. That is only in the mind. The truth is.. there is a psychological effect that keep us away from doing the work and starts to be emotional on it. I am glad that you still believe on the capability of your dewalt… This is also one reason why I buy two of same brand and model… aside from only having one supplier to deal with, the spares and handling will also be easy. I think you need to have another Excalibur specially on your load of cutting hundred pieces. Only if it is needed to gain more on your finances. I can see that it is your core tool…

Going back to caligraphy in wood. This is a delicate work for you… I can see how difficult to maintain the thickness of the letters and the inclination it follows. Anyway, combining your artistic ability with scroll experience everything will come perfect. I still love scripts done with C-4.

Take it easy and be careful. Have a nice day. I am on holiday today and that is why I was given time to work on some delicate work. I made a latch today for the cylinder…

-- Bert

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4280 posts in 1538 days

#2 posted 506 days ago

We get the same problem with computers. I made both of them, myself. Strange how Sue usually gets to use the ‘Excalibur’ whilst I soldier on with the ‘DeWalt’ though.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18614 posts in 2662 days

#3 posted 505 days ago

love the jolly design .. has a Santa in his hat look to it

(and glad to hear that Keith is feeling better)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7198 posts in 1422 days

#4 posted 505 days ago

Hi, Bert:
Yes, the DeWalt is still a good saw. Having the Excalibur is the only thing that really made me see a difference in the performance. I did fine with the DW for many, many years and I certainly am still able to use it proficiently. While having a second Excalibur saw would be really nice, I don’t think it is necessary or practical for us. Besides the lack of space, the DeWalt does a splendid job on the production type cutting and is certainly adequate. I am at the point in my life where I don’t just get stuff ‘because I want it.’ There is a good feeling knowing that I have all I need to make me happy without a lot of unnecessary clutter. I like ‘making do’ with what I have when I can. Then when I do indulge, it truly is a luxury and greatly appreciated.

The lettering on this pattern is not a pre-made font. I hand drew this design myself, in my own writing. It was a little more challenging that way, but it is what I wanted to try and I do like it.

Your hinges are cool! I am going to mosey over to your blog and read it now. I always enjoy seeing what you are up to and you are very innovative and inspiring to me.

Thank you for the nice comments and insights. I always appreciate them.

Have a great day! :) Sheila

-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs "Knowledge is Power"

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7198 posts in 1422 days

#5 posted 505 days ago

Yes, Martyn – Same here. I don’t see Keith ever going back to the DeWalt. Perhaps because I have had a longer ‘relationship’ with it (and perhaps I feel I am more flexible – just saying!) I would rather bring it up and put it back in service than “wait my turn.” Impatient – aren’t I??? lol

Maybe it is because I am not used to growing up with the “best” of everything. We learned to make due and adapt. I think I am a pretty good adapter.

Besides – I love a challenge!

It all will all work out in the end. In the mean time, I will be as “jolly” as I can (without being locked up!)

Thanks Debbie – I still am ‘relatively healthy’ through all his sickness. Perhaps my force field against his germs really worked (again!) Mind over matter! :D


-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs "Knowledge is Power"

View Rick13403's profile


202 posts in 2006 days

#6 posted 505 days ago

I really like the new design. I will be looking forward to seeing up for sale!

-- Rick - DeWalt 788 -

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7198 posts in 1422 days

#7 posted 505 days ago

Thanks, Rick! As usual – that is only a part of it. I am adding some more ‘surprises’ along the way! ;)


-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs "Knowledge is Power"

View Celticscroller's profile


659 posts in 575 days

#8 posted 505 days ago

Good morning Sheila. Dewalt or Excalibur, your work is always beautiful! I’m looking forward to the site being updated with the new patterns and looking forward to seeing how the “jolly” ones are finished.
Enjoy your snow – a dull wet and mild November day here. I still have geraniums blooming in the garden!

-- Anna

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7198 posts in 1422 days

#9 posted 505 days ago

Hi, Anna! Thank you for always stopping in and saying good day! :) Not enough ‘snow’ here to do anything with really, but you would think that we had a foot by the amount of salt the dumped down! I guess they are just excited about it, that’s all! LOL

The more I think about it the more I am refining these little word patterns. In the end I think they will be simple and quick, yet versatile enough to be used in many ways. That’s the really FUN part of my work.

You have a beautiful day!


-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs "Knowledge is Power"

View Spindoctor's profile


8 posts in 506 days

#10 posted 505 days ago

Enjoyed your comments today about your feelings concerning the differences in the 2 saws you own. I was reading between the lines a little but since I’m in the market for a scroll saw I’m deciding on the Ex. Your enthuisiam was very helpful in comfirming my findings.
Have been reading your lessons and can’t wait to get started. Your instructions are most helpful and easy to folllow.

Merry Christmas,

-- Lois, Keep calm and carry on~

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7198 posts in 1422 days

#11 posted 505 days ago

Thank you Lois. I am partial to the Excalibur. I realize that it is a bit more costly than the DeWalt though and I know that not everyone can afford one. I still like the DeWalt, but the Ex is just another step up. As I said – I used mine for many years and did well with it. I only worry about the quality of the newer “Type 2” models that are available now. I don’t thin they are made the same as mine at all (at thirteen pounds less for the same model, I know there have been many internal changes!) In any case, my best advice is that you get the best saw you can afford. As with any tool. That gives you the best chance to be successful in your new endeavor.

Good luck with your new hobby. If you have any questions at all, you know you can ask me and I will do my best to help you or find someone who can. :)


-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs "Knowledge is Power"

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