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  1. With Christmas around the corner, here are some of the items I find really useful in a scroll saw shop. All of these are from Amazon (my preferred shopping) with good ratings, but you can find them almost anywhere. Magnifying Glasses - We’re doing such fine detail work, it’s nice to get up close and personal. I really like these magnifying glasses. They have different powered glass inserts, so they can match your personal preferences. It also has a handy light on the top to direct light where you are looking. Work Light - Good lighting is essential. It helps you see the details but also eases eye fatigue. I like these ring lights with a magnifier. It provides great lighting, you have control over the direction, and you can also adjust the color temperature. Plus, having a magnifier is a great help when you’re doing detailed work. Test Tubes - These plastic test tubes are great for holding scroll saw blades. They have a screw-on cap so you don’t accidentally spill them on the floor (which I’ve done too many times). Plus, it makes you look like a mad scientist. Photo Tent - When we want to share pictures of our work, even lighting is key. These pop-up photo tents work great in getting the best picture possible. The sides of the tent are made of a white diffuser that evenly distributes the light. Works great with your phone, or a big fancy camera. Audible - We spend a lot of time at the saw and in the shop. I like spending time listening to audiobooks while I’m working. An Audible subscription is a great way to build up your library. Plus, they have a bunch of fun extras like dramatizations and exclusive podcasts. Hearing Protection - Protecting your hearing is important. Even a scroll saw, which isn’t typically very loud, can wear on your hearing over time. I really like these WorkTunes, so I can listen to the radio. But I really like the BlueTooth connection, so I can listen to my audiobooks from my phone. Dust Mask - A good dust mask is essential. With a scroll saw, we’re producing a lot of very fine dust, which is not good for your lungs. I like these RZ Masks. They’re very comfortable. I also like the velcro that fastens at the back of the head, making it easy to put on and take off. Plus it doesn't interfere with safety glasses or hearing protection. The filter is replaceable, which provides a lot of reusability. Pin Vice - This is basically a mini drill you use by hand. It’s used by model makers to drill very small holes. But I like having this near my scroll saw in case I need to drill a quick hole without going back to the drill press, or if I need to poke out a cut piece. You don’t want to drill every hole with it, but it sure is convenient when you don’t want to get up. This would make a great stocking stuffer. French Curves - Artists use these to create nice flowing curves. As scrollers, it’s nice to have a set around in case you need to adjust a pattern, or add a curve to your scroll saw project. Compass - Sure, you can buy a cheap, plastic compass in the school supply section. But they’re usually junk. They never seem to hold their position when I try to make a circle. I love having a quality compass. Plus, we all need to even draw circles in the shop. I hope you found a few things to tuck under your tree this Holiday season. Or at the very least, give you a few ideas on accessories to make your scrolling easier. Merry Christmas!
  2. I needed a way to use the 2 inch wide packing tape on a bench top. Nothing was available locally. So, I bought a tape gun that had a bolt on handle, removed the handle and clamped it to the bench with a pair of vice grips. Now I can tear off small strips of tape when I am working with patterns and stacked assemblies. This is (for me) much easier than using it as a tape gun.
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