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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!
I need any and all help regarding wooden shapes and letters. I am actually an artist, but I am pretty good at DIY.
I have no idea where to start with this project though. Originally I wanted to out source the wood cutting part but I can't seems to find anyone that will make the letters and shapes to the size I want (26"-30").
I am thinking maybe a scroll saw?
I am attaching photo's of what I am trying to duplicate.
Any help is much appreciated!!!
Design Font Visual arts Pattern Plant

Watermelon Pink Citrullus Candy corn Melon
 

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where's my table saw?
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a scroll saw won't have the arm capacity/reach

http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=i:aps,k:Sabre saw

A hand held sabre saw or jig saw, will work. There are many brands with Bosch at the top. Some have a carrry handle others just the motor to hold on to. I own a Bosch with carry handle, Porter Cable with the motor barrel, Dewalt with a carry handle, and a Black and Decker el cheapo I got for my young son. All work OK, but the Bosch vibrates a bit less.
Blades are either "L" shaped at the top or have 2 bumps and look like a small crucifix and are "quick change" by turning a knob, no wrenches needed. Use a fine tooth on plywood to avoid splintering and cut with the face side down because it cuts on the pull stroke.
 

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I bought a bunch of stuff from a guy awhile back and picked out what I wanted to keep, left over is a craftsman "sign maker" and a craftsman pantograph, run a search on youtube and see if it would help ya, I dont have any use for it I'd be interested selling /trading if you think it would help. Not sure the condition but I can dig it out if you want, located in western NC hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Do you think the jigsaw will cut plywood well? Can anyone give me a specific brand/type of saw to look for? Thank you for all of your help so far!
 

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where's my table saw?
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call your local Home depot or Lowes

Do you think the jigsaw will cut plywood well? Can anyone give me a specific brand/type of saw to look for? Thank you for all of your help so far!
And see if they have Saturday Demo days, usually for kids. They may let you try out some saws and different blades to get a feel of them. The best blade for plywood will have little or no "set or offet" to the teeth as you drag you fingers down it. It will be marked "For plywood" or finish cuts and have 12 - 16 teeth per inch. A "tool less" saw that doesn't require a wrench to change blades is very convenient.

You don't need a lot of power for plywood, so a homeowners model rather than a contractors model will be fine. You want one that doesn't vibrate your hands to sleep since there will be a lot of continuous cutting....try them out and see which one feels best. :smile:
 

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I <3 the smell of sawdust
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I'd stay away from the cheaper homeowner level of jig saws because it sounds like you are going to be using this tool fairly often, for longer periods of time to cut large, intricate designs. The better saws will run a lot smoother and quieter, being less fatiguing to you. But do try to test everything you can for all of it's attributes, such as noise, vibration, ergonomics (being comfortable in your hand for long periods of time), weight, features (such as being able to turn the blade inside the tool so that you don't have to turn the tool to weird, uncomfortable angles to get the cut you need, adjustability of the cut (blade moves fore/aft during the stroke). My DeWalt has an adjustable blower on it that blows the dust out of the way so that you can see your cut line. Things like that.

You'll need to get a few different types of blades. Some blades will help you cut a straighter line, and some will make tighter radius turns.
 

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@Craft Girl - I have been using a DeWalt DW317 jig saw for about a year. It works great. It has a 1 inch stroke. The blade I am currently using is a DW3765H. It would work great for your application.

I had some 5/4 Red Oak glue up. I used the jig saw and the blade I mentioned to rough cut the wood and then reglue it. I had no problems cutting through the oak and it left a clean smooth cut.

Good luck with your crafts.
Mike
 

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Craftgirl I am surprised that no one has suggested a scroll saw, I have never used one so I probably have a mistaken idea of its purpose. However I have used jig saws, a good one is worth the extra cost, but cutting something like that letter M is tricky, the watermelon shape is easier. The problem with cutting such a large spindly object like that M is supporting the work and saw properly. If I were cutting something like that, I would use one of those clamping benches with two flat boards that separate via hand screws, and cut with the jig saw blade running between the opening of the bench tops, I hope that makes sense. The idea is to keep the workpiece and saw on a firm surface. Of course you have to keep stopping an repositioning the workpiece to keep the saw blade tracking in the opening of the bench tops.

Of course the real solution would be to find out how Cabinetman made his welcome sign, what tools he used, that is nice work.
 

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where's my table saw?
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this is a newer product

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=26863

The Rockwell Blade runner. The ad says free demos on Sat., but that may just my local store.
You may have seen the ads on TV. I'm just mentioning it because no one else has and I have no experience with it.
If you can demo one that would be best.
 

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woodnthings said:
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=26863

The Rockwell Blade runner. The ad says free demos on Sat., but that may just my local store.
You may have seen the ads on TV. I'm just mentioning it because no one else has and I have no experience with it.
If you can demo one that would be best.
Those have been on sale at my local Lowes for about 6 months. They can't seem to give them away.
 

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Took a look at the bladerunner at our local Lowes - not really impressed - aluminum and plastic, seemed kinda light duty....could be just first impressions. Never tried one though.
 
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