It is not necessary to have a scroll-saw for the scroll-saw problems illustrated and described in this chapter. In fact, most of the scroll-saw work now done by boys is with a hand bracket-saw like that shown in Fig. 18, or with the
Fig. 18. -A Bracket-Saw
Fig. 19. - A Coping-Saw slightly different form of saw shown in Fig. 19, known as a coping-saw. The cheaper makes of bracket-saws can be purchased for 10 cents, and a dozen saw blades - you will need a dozen as they are slender and easily broken - cost 10 cents. A good coping-saw costs in the neighborhood of a dollar, and the blades, which are usually not as delicately made as bracket-saw blades, cost 5 cents apiece. A foot-power scroll-saw costs between $8 and $10.
Scroll-saw work may be done outside of a workshop, if
Fig. 20. - Board Protection for Table-Top papers are spread to catch sawdust and wood scraps. You can use
A Table to Cut Upon. The surface must be protected of course, so there will be no danger of sawing into it, and Fig. 20 shows how to protect it with a board clamped to the table top. An iron G-clamp, such as is sold for curtain-stretchers can be purchased for 5 cents. Cut two notches in the front edge of the protection board, as shown. The purpose of the notches is to provide openings for the saw. With the block to be sawed placed upon the board, the saw can be worked up and down in one notch or the other without danger of splitting the work, because the block will be supported each side of the point of cutting. Figure 21 shows the correct position for sawing. Turn the piece of work with the left hand as the cutting progresses.
If you use your work-bench vise to hold your work, you can place the work in a vertical position, and saw horizontally instead of vertically.
One of the most popular scroll-saw stunts at the present time is the making of
Jig-Saw Picture Puzzles, a form of puzzle with which you probably already are acquainted - thin pieces of board with pictures mounted upon them, cut up into small irregular-shaped pieces, which are mixed up, then fitted together in the proper manner to make up the picture. They are called jig-saw puzzles because, when made in quantity, a number of thicknesses of wood are cut at one time, and a jig-saw, or form of scroll-saw built for cutting thick material, was originally used for the purpose. The
Fig. 21. - Correct Method of Using the Bracket-Saw modern band-saw has superseded the jig-saw almost universally.
The Best Wood for scroll-saw work is white-holly veneer 1/8 inch thick, but it is expensive, costing about 15 cents a square foot, and the wood is not easy to obtain. Next to
Fig. 22. - How to Cut up a Picture Puzzle white-holly, basswood is to be preferred. You can get this wood 3/16 inch thick at most planing-mills at 4 or 5 cents a square foot, and often you can pick up waste scraps which the mill-man will let you have for little or nothing.
The size of wood you can get for picture puzzles will determine the size of pictures you can use, and, likewise, the size of suitable pictures that you find will determine the size of wood mounts. Since picture blocks may warp, and large blocks will warp to a greater degree than small ones,
I would advise the making of small blocks. A standard size for store puzzle blocks is 3 by 5 inches, which is large enough to cut into as many as twenty-five parts, if you cut the pieces small.
You will have no difficulty finding good
Picture Material in magazines. Pictures in color are preferable to those in black and white. If those you select are not printed in color, you can try your hand at painting them with water-colors, or tinting them with colored crayons.
Mounting. Mount a picture upon each side of the blocks. This will make the puzzles more difficult to assemble and the paper will hold the wood flat and prevent its splitting. If you mount paper upon only one side, the wood will warp. For this reason, it is best to mount paper upon both sides of the blocks, even though the paper on one side is a blank piece. Use glue or shellac for mounting. Coat the surface of the block copiously, put the picture in position, press it down, and weight it until dry. To smooth out wrinkles, lay a clean piece of paper over the mounted piece, and rub the edge of a ruler over the paper. This will squeeze out surplus glue.