Sander III + Saw

When it rains it pours!  So my second sander (I should really name these things) is working well.  Set my Craftsman sander aside for repairs.  Over the weekend, my saw decided it needed a break.  No!  Amidst other things, I watched a few hours worth of YouTube videos with one Bob Brokaw (who really knows his stuff) on how to disassemble (no disassemble!) a DeWalt 788 Type 2 scroll saw.

Basic machine, not a lot of fancy parts – but I do not have some of the needed tools for the investigation.  I’ll pay for time – so brought it in to ACME to see what they can do.  Brought the sander in at the same time.  Repair guy seemed positive about fixing the saw, but told me they don’t have parts for Craftsman – that’s a Sears thing.  Ok.  All it needs is a new sanding guide put in – can’t be that bad.  I’ll bring it to Sears.

At Sears, they told me it would cost $50 to just look at it, and then another $50-100 for the repair, which adds up to more than the sander is worth!  Urghurgurg!  So, because the piece I need to replace is actually WELDED in place, and I’d have to swap out an entire working piece, I’ll be bolting on a home-remedy instead.  Ah well.

So what does this all mean?  It means I’m stuck drafting patterns until I get my saw back.  No sawdust.  Drat.


The Wood Wyrm sign almost done!


Woods used are too many to list right now, but include olivewood, burls, ebony, kingwood & camatillo, pink ivory – all kinds of happy woods that I’ve squirreled away.

After many sketches, edits, and tossed out doodles… after hoarding dozens of oh-so-pretty burls and boards… scrounging around for reclaimed ivory… dusting off the abalone… the sign is almost done!  Sneak peek with nearly everything in place.  Still have an ammonite to inlay (hole at top right).  This just makes me happy.  The black-and-white version was pretty to look at, but I’m in love with all the colors and textures on the wood version.  Happy sigh.

Shark & spiral WIP

sharkwip2First look at the bamboo shark, spiral, and a couple of Om with their first layer of clear coat.  The speckles on the shark… I just want to pet it!  I’m very happy with the contrast on the spiral.  For the Om I couldn’t decide if I wanted dark back and light symbol, or reverse, so I opted for both.

Longest cut yet…


Black walnut (left) and European beech to give good contrast on the finished piece.

Sometimes cuts are really easy.  A line here, a line there… Other times, it’s ONE GIANT line!  This spiral design has 8 pieces total (not many), but each piece (minus 4 easy ones) are suuuuper time consuming.  Knotwork would have been much simpler – over and under = start and stop lines for each piece.  Spiral-work?  Ufda.

Perfect Fit

wyrmsketchSometimes a pattern just falls in to place.  I’m working on a sign for myself / my shop, which is the same proportions of a business card (see where I’m going here?).  In the sketch, you can see some of my thinking process.  Some digital (text), some pencil, a little pen for clear detail, etc.  In the current rendition, the belly scales have changed (4 times…), as well as the scales, but the overall feel is the same.  The pattern is to the point where I have redrawn it yet again in photoshop, added directional lines, divided up color families… and am now isolating each section on to the appropriate wood type.  This means I’m sifting through my stock in the hopes that it is large enough to fit pattern blocks.  Three times now I’ve placed my pattern over a chunk of wood, and the wood juuuuuust fits!  With maybe 1/32″ to spare.

It’s awesome…  I can’t wait to start cutting out this piece!  I’m adding some non-wood elements as well, since it’s just for me.  I have some left over ivory from when my Mother worked with scrimshaw (teeth, eye), some abalone (eye, scales), and a real ammonite (hanging bauble) that I’ll fit in.  Once it’s done – my sign, and yes, business cards, will be ready to go.