Dremel Moto-Saw: Handmade Signage

JSIM-Dremel-Moto-Saw-BThe fabulous folks at Dremel sent me their latest cool tool to try out for review- the Dremel Moto Saw. This tool converts from a stationary scroll saw to a handheld portable coping saw with the touch of a button. It’s just right for someone like me who doesn’t have room or patience to handle larger and more complicated tools. The only assembly I had to do was to drop the coping saw down into the base and attach the base to a work surface with clamps (included.) Although I could have completed my first project by using the hand-held function, I thought I should start slow and work with both hands and the tabletop set-up. The blades go in and out quite easily for changing out, (also included,) due to an auto-tensioning QuickChange™ mechanism that allows you to quickly switch blades without a wrench, while also keeping the blade taught, reducing the need to make blade adjustments. This saw cuts through a variety of materials: wood, laminate, plastic and thin metal.JSIM-Dremel-Moto-Saw-A

The inspiration for my first project came from this little bit of vintage signage (below) that I found at an antique shop a few years back: DELIVERED FRESH DAILY that likely went with another sign such as FRESH EGGS or BAKED GOODS.JSIM-Dremel-Moto-Saw-11 This vintage wording begged for accompanying text, and now that I had my new Moto-Saw tool, I was ready to create it. However, for a first timer, this project was a bit ambitious. And if I had to do it over again, I would have chosen solid pine wood, rather than the craft plywood I had on hand, (better left for small construction projects,) as it was a very hard wood and a bit tough to work with.

To begin, I typed out my lettering to size (4 1/2-inches high) on my computer, in outlined text to save on ink, and moved it about a letter-size layout to print every letter. I created a flat edge for every round bottom letter in order for them to ultimately stand on their own without falling over.JSIM-Dremel-Moto-Saw-01

Once all letters were printed and roughly trimmed out, lightly I coated the backs of each with spray adhesive and placed letters about the wood, aligning the bottoms of every letter along an existing straight edge of the wood board. I wasn’t confident enough to think I could cut good straight lines the first time out the gate, so this worked well. And it paid off, because as I mentioned, working with this hard wood was indeed challenging.JSIM-Dremel-Moto-Saw-02The Moto-Saw comes with a vacuum attachment for collecting dust as you cut. However, I chose to work outside rather than in my studio. This ornate typeface was a bit trickier to work with than if it were a simple sans serif font.JSIM-Dremel-Moto-Saw-05 There were a few points where I painted myself into a corner and needed to carefully back my blade out. I learned to cut from smaller sections of wood rather than try to fit a large piece in as ultimately you can run into the back metal arm. For tight areas and letter cut-outs, I first drilled a hole to allow for removing and replacing the blade. JSIM-Dremel-Moto-Saw-03After all letters were cut, I used my cordless Dremel Rotary Tool to lightly sand and soften the edges.JSIM-Dremel-Moto-Saw-06I painted the surface of letters a very thin coat of white and positioned them on top of a piece of baseboard trim.JSIM-Dremel-Moto-Saw-07The letters stood fine on their own with their flat bottoms, but I used a bit of hot glue at the back base of each to keep them from toppling from any Northern California tremor, or the occasional slamming of a door. This will work great should I ever decide to trick the letters out at a later time with decorative paper or paint, or choose to hang them individually on a wall, they can be very easily removed from the baseboard.JSIM-Dremel-Moto-Saw-08For now, they sit atop my giant studio apothecary cabinet! (Sorry, bigger studio reveal under wraps for a while!)JSIM-Dremel-Moto-Saw-09I’m pretty pleased with my first go at crafting with this great little tool.JSIM-Dremel-Moto-Saw-10You can purchase the Dremel Moto-Saw Variable Speed Compact Scroll Saw Kit on Amazon.com for only $99! Here are some Moto-Saw craft ideas from Dremel.

My next Dremel Moto-Saw project: Tabletop wooden people-photo cut-outs!

What would you make?

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