Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Technique Tuesday:Multiple Cuts

I have been playing around with switching the toolbox Tuesday with Technique Tuesday every once in a while.  As I have been focusing on wood crafting lately, I wanted to show you how to make multiple cuts one either the scroll saw or the band saw.

I buy sheets of MDF plywood at Home Depot.  They come in 2 foot by 4 foot sheets.  Home Depot has a section back in the plywood area with shelves of smaller pieces, usually called Handi Panels, that are all about 2'x4'.  These are nice because you don't have to track down anyone to cut them down so you can fit them in your car.  Also, if you aren't doing tons of work, you can buy just one.  Currently, the 1/8" is $3 and some change.  They have 1/4", 1/2", 3/4", and whatnot.  They also have other plywoods, but I have come to like the mdf the most since it is totally smooth {no wood grain or missing knots} and it paints super well.  

That said, I tape four or more sheets together with masking tape or painters tape.  I do a LOT of wood cutting, so I buy four or more sheets and cut them into smaller sizes after they have been taped.  You, of course, can buy one sheet, cut it into four pieces, then tape it together.  The benefit of buying 4 pieces of mdf is that all the edges are square and it is much easier to get the four pieces taped together.  If they all have different edges it is much more difficult, but not impossible.    

As you can see, this is a scrap-sized piece.  I would not be able to cut one heart out of a whole stack of 2'x4' sheets, they would be too big to turn on the saw.  1 foot pieces are fabulous.  Cut off a one foot chuck of wood and trace your shapes on that.  This is just a piece I had left over from another project.
Notice how I taped at the corners, in two directions.  I normally would have added more tape on the straight edges above too....not sure why I didn't.  You usually want tape on 3, if not all 4 sides.

Trace your shape.  I just drew this one....and not very well :0)  Obviously I am better on the computer with shapes than drawing them free hand.

Now to cut out.  I am going to use the band saw, but this piece is just as easily cut on the scroll saw.  On the scroll saw I would cut the heart out in one piece.  On the Band Saw I cut out the wedge at the top of the heart...
then cut a relief cut to the bottom tip, then back the blade back out.  

Finally I cut one side of the heart out.

Now for the other side.

And done!

There you have it.  Four hearts and all done in one!  I will tell you, with the 1/8" wood, you can actually quite easily cut {on the band saw} 12 boards at once!!!  Just make sure and tape them together really well.  With that many pieces of wood, I normally tape four boards together into one bunch, then the next four boards together into another bunch, and then the last four together in another bunch.  Finally,  I tape all of the bundles together into one.  It helps the boards not shift when cutting.
This technique is totally Fabulous when you are cutting 350 of the same project for Super Saturday ;0)

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