The full size patterns that I purchased appear to be quite good. The pattern is placed over graphite paper over the sign board. I started to trace the outline with a pencil but Margaret suggested that I should be us a pattern tracing wheel instead. She lent me one from her sewing room and, after a false start or two, I found that it words very well –certainly faster and better than tracing with a pencil.
That’s the pattern tracing wheel with a green handle in the picture above.
The lines imparted to the underlying wood by the graphite were faint but sufficient to be able to cut along them with a jigsaw:
I used a very fine blade (20 teeth per inch)
for cutting and it worked well –able to make very sharp turns and to cut quickly when sharp. But this is a big job and, by the time, I was finished I had worn out four of the five Festool blades of this type that I own. This is a 5-pack that I purchased three years ago and I was still using the first one when I started the job. I hope that I can find similar Bosch blades somewhere because I am not likely to be placing and Festool supply order for quite a while.
Most of the edges of most of the parts are supposed to be rounded over with a 3/8 inch round-over bit. I experimented using my hand-held router both with a large part (shown below)
and an with an intermediate-size part clamped to a table.
It worked fine for the large part but the clamp-route-rotate-clamp-route-… procedure was too tedious for the smaller part. I will try them in my router table. The really small ones will just have their edges sanded.
I am finding that the best set-up for cutting out the smaller parts is to clamp the board to my unfinished workbench using a Festool quick-release hold-down clamp.
I am surprised at just how well and steady this holds the sign-board, even with the large overhangs such as that in the photo above.
Part of the reason for the steadiness mentioned above is the solidness of the sign board. At first glance, it appears to just be paper glued to fir ply. But, it is heavier, there are very very few voids, and there are never any chips along the cut line. I also did an experiment where I submersed a piece underwater overnight and then dried it for 8 hours. After that, I could not tell the soaked piece from a regular piece. Another feature of the sign board is that fewer coats of paint are required to seal the edges.
The really small parts were cut on my scroll-saw
Friday, I decided to make two of each figure and set an objective to have all the parts cut by Sunday night. I made it:
Attachment 15138 Attachment 15139
There are 132 parts. I managed to cut all this from 2.5 sheets of sign board. That’s half a sheet less than it would have taken if I had always adhered to the cutting diagrams that came with the pattern.