I am happy to say that yesterday turned out to be a very productive day. While Kieth and I both needed scroll saw time, I had plenty to do while he was cutting to keep me busy. I spent the morning working on the final touches for the article that I wrote on different methods to apply the pattern to the wood for scroll sawing (which will be featured in the May issue of Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine) and picked my wood piece for the set of masks that I was scrolling out.
I chose a piece of what I think is hickory for my project. I liked the beautiful color and the nice tight grain would be perfect to hold the delicate scroll lines. Any open grained wood such as oak would probably be a bit fragile for a project such as this, as well as softer woods like poplar and pine. But the nice, even, tight grained wood such as maple, cherry, and even walnut would be wonderful candidates for this type of cutting.
Since the wood piece that I was using was about 3/16” thick, I thought it would be good to stack cut a layer of 1/8” plywood underneath it. This would not only give me more resistance and stability, making it easier to control my cutting, but it would also give me two sets of completed pieces – one to leave natural and one to decorate as I saw fit. There are going to be many options with this project and I would like to demonstrate as many as I can to give some wonderful ideas and inspiration to others.
I went back on the site where I ordered the rhinestones from (Rhinestone Canada) and I saw that they also have small aluminum stud nailheads available. Like the rhinestones, they have a glue on the back which will allow you to affix it to your project with the heat tool. I was rather kicking myself for not ordering these in the first place, as they may be a bit easier to use on ornaments and such than embedding round beads like I have done in the past. I can see another order on the horizon already, but first I will wait to see if I “forgot anything” when my first order arrives.
I am very anxious to receive it, and can’t wait to use the stones on some of these pieces. It went out the day I ordered it, but even with priority mail, Canada Post takes “up to 9 days” to deliver it here. Hopefully I will have it by the beginning of next week sometime.
In the meantime, I will just keep moving in a positive direction.
I cut three of the masks yesterday. I am going to offer six in the set altogether. Since they are more intricate, I think that is a good size for a set. I am also going to offer them in a couple of sizes, so that people can cut them small, as I did here, or use the larger ones for wall hangings or other uses. I think that the larger version will be especially fun to decorate, and a little easier to cut too.
The cutting process went without a hitch. Below are the results of my efforts:
While I stacked the 3/16” hickory with one layer of 1/8” birch plywood, I could have easily stacked it with two, giving another set in the process. I used an Olson regular reverse-tooth blade in size 2/0 and everything went splendid. THIS is the kind of cutting that I love to do! There were swirls and turns and nothing at all was particularly difficult. With that thickness of wood and blade, it was very easy to control.
I want to say that each of these little masks took probably an hour or so to cut. For this set, each mask measures approximately 4.5” from end to end. Here is a picture of me holding it so you can see the size relative to my hand:
Remember there is no finish on them at all at this point. I did lightly sand them using my Makita 1/3 sheet orbital sander and a foam pad. They are much stronger than they look, which is a great part of this type of design.
I hope you like seeing the progress. I will be working on the other three today, as well as getting back to the painted versions.
So much to do! But it is all so much FUN! :)
I hope you like seeing the pieces. Remember – this is only the beginning. I have lots more planned for these. You will just have to stop back and see . . .
Have a great Wednesday!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"