Here I show that the top of the salmon head is finished. That section with the mouth is quite flexible at this point in the cutting so be careful when you are moving your plywood around. If you noticed through the progression of photos that I started out with two pieces of 2×6 lumber across saw horses to act as my work table.
At this point in time I inserted another length of 2×6 and it helped a lot. At this stage in cutting with the saw what you have to be think about is the up and down cutting action of that jig saw blade. Some tips to remember: 1. Always let the blade stop before you pull it out of the kerf cut. 2. Always pull back from your final cut position at the end of the line so the blade doesn’t stop while still cutting wood.
Sanding…most woodworkers don’t enjoy this part of the project. And for anyone who even considers such a project like this, you will spend as much time sanding as you will cutting…maybe even more. As I said earlier, I set about this project by cutting a section, then sanding it down. It gave me time to sit back and relax and give my back a break from being bent over cutting. Here’s a quick picture of what I was doing to sand the kerf cuts. Its not necessary to sand these really but I wanted to ease the edge just a little bit. This sandpaper was 220 grit and its paper backed. So it tears easily. A strip of cloth backed paper would be ideal for a situation like this but the only cloth back sanding paper I have on hand is 100 grit and some 600 grit. The first is too aggressive and the latter is too fine to do any good for this purpose.
So here we are with about 9.5 hours invested so far. All that remains is to decide what I want to do with the perimeter cutting (the maple leaf outline). I’d like to try a few different things and hopefully over the weekend I’ll be able to get to do that.