Gazette Archive 6/21/98
When the folks at the Woodworkers Website Association asked me to review Patrick Spielman's book titled Scroll Saw Basics, I initially declined since I knew precious little about scroll sawing. That's when they said I would be perfect for the job since it is aimed at the novice or beginner scroll sawer. Mister Spielman's own words from the book's introduction, "The purpose of this book is to help those unfamiliar with scroll saws understand the basics ..." agree with their thoughts. Kind of hard to argue with all these people.
With the background properly set, herewith is my review:
Scroll Saw Basics was both an enjoyable and informative read. I feel Patrick achieved his goals "in spades". I've taken the liberty of calling the author by his given name here since after reading this book, I feel like we just walked out of my shop after getting a personal lesson. Pat was leaning over my shoulder, coaching me on how to make a proper cut. I say this because that's how I feel. The book is written in a very easy to understand, clear, direct and simple manner. I say this with the greatest admiration. I know too many "how to" books that take a straight forward topic and make it difficult to understand, as a monument to the author's intelligence.
The book starts at the beginning; by walking you through the various types of scroll saws and the many different types of blades - something I previously felt overwhelmed by. Perhaps one of the most interesting chapters deals with "tweaking" less than great saws into better performance - something we all seem to need to know how to do.
From there instructions are given on many topics; safety, wood materials, basic cuts, patterns, advanced sawing techniques and concluding with a selection of project patterns.
As a woodworker who does not yet own a scroll saw, I feel that this book has adequately prepared me to enter into scroll sawing. I feel comfortable enough about the topic to chose which saw to purchase and how to properly equip it with the correct blades for a given project. As well, I also am sure I can produce a decent looking scroll saw project with a very minor amount of practice - now that the guess work has been taken out of the process.
If you are interested in scroll sawing, but never tried it for lack of knowledge or experience, then this is the book for you. You will not be disappointed.