Brown: More Speed on Cutouts

Popular Mechanics, kesäkuu 1944

By Sam Brown

In producing novelty cutouts for profit, the owner of a small shop must make every possible use of production methods in order to turn out work that can be sold at competitive prices.

Pad sawing: This is a popular method of producing several figures at one time by the familiar method of making a pad of the work. Band-saw work should be about 3 in. thick, and scrollsaw about 1½ in. Even where the machine has greater capacity, there is little to gain in exceeding these thicknesses. Simplest method od assempling the pad is by nailing, locating the nails in the portions of the work what will be waste stock as in Fig. 7. [PUUTTUU] Two or more figures on a panel as in Fig. 3 [PUUTTUU] often saves lumber, and in all cases eliminates some cutting of the original blank. For long-run work, many operators prefer to use holding jigs. The box jig in Figs. 1 and 2 [PUUTTUU] is ideal for work that has at least one uncut square corner. The clamp jig, Figs 4 and 6 [PUUTTUU] can be used for any figure having one uncut edge. In making jigs of this kind, the base block is left in-the-square, being cut to shape at the same time as the first load of panels. Turning holes, Fig. 5 [PUUTTUU], are very helpful. A check should be made to see that both drill and band-saw blade are aligned square before starting work.

Block printing with linoleum or wood block is an excellent method of marking black detail lines. Transfer can be made by hammering or pressure

Block printing: Photos in Figs. 8 to 13 [VIIMEISIN PUUTTUU] inclusive picture good production methods of finishing cutouts by dip-staining of edges and block printing of detail. Fig. 8 shows the initial operation after band-sawing, the work being dipped into water stain of the same color as the paint to be used on the faces of figures. The purpose of staining is to color the edges, after which the work is face-sanded to remove any raised fibers in preparation for spray application of lacquer on the face, Fig. 9. Note the use of square sticks with fine-pointed nails as a means of holding the cutout. This is one of the simplest and best methods of handlin all types of small cutouts. Black detail on the face of the figure is put in with a linoleum or wood block. The design can be transferred by hammering as in Fig. 12 if the figure is small, otherwise some simple form of pressure such as a clamp or vise should be used.

The inking pad is a piece of 1/8-in felt glued to a wood block. Regular block-printing ink is ideal for maximum blackness but is very slow drying. Colors in japan give slightly fainter impressions but are fast-drying and quite satisfactory. In either case, the color is used just as it comes from the tube, being rolled out on the pad with a roller or stick. Fig. 13 [PUUTTUU] whos the finished cutout, painted thumbtacks being used for eyes. The body of the figure is not a cutout, strictly speaking, but is formed with the use of a pattern on the shaper. Note again the use of stain as a means of coloring the edges of the cat's face. This methos is fast anc clean, and can be used to advantage on any type of cutout. The slight grain raising of water stain is not objectionable since it helps to conceal band-saw marks, but non-grain-raising stain can be used if desired.

The perforated pattern is ideal for transferring outline or pattern for hand painting. Best medium for the pattern is celluloid obtained from old photo negatives. The paint should be thick color in japan, applied sparingly

Perforated patterns: The perforated pattern is an excellent method of transferring designs for hand painting. Best material for the pattern is thin celluloid such as old photograph negatives. The original pencil drawing of the design is rubber-cemented to the celluloid, after which the design is perforated by drilling with a 1/32 to 1/15-in. drill as in Fig. 15. The finished pattern is shown in Fig. 16. In use, the pattern is held firmly against the work while color is applied by means of a toothbrush, as indicated in Fig. 14. Use colors in japan at tube thickness and keep the brush almost dry. Do not attempt to use any type of paint or ink that is the least bit fluid. Advantages of this method are that the pattern need not be cleaned and can be used continuously for as many times as desired, it can be turned over if opposite side cutout is to be painted, and the design takes equally well on coated or bare wood panels.

Wax-paper transfers are used for transferring designs. The paper lifts the design from a pencil sketch and is then rubbed onto work

Waxed-paper transfers: This is a good method of transferring the design for short-run work. The paper used can be made by brush-coating with hot paraffin wax, but is best purchased as it is inexpensive. This paper is not the familiar waxed wrapping paper, but is a special product made for transferring designs. A pencil sketch is made first, using a soft lead pencil. The wax paper is rubbed over this, Fig. 17, and then is stripped off as in Fig. 18. Rubbing the waxed paper over the work, Fig. 19, completes the transfer. This method gives eight to ten clean impressions on smooth coated stock. The design takes poorly on bare wood, hence painting of the panels before cutting is essential.

Hand painting. Many cutout designs consist only of a solid base color with black lines for detail. On short-run work it is advantageous to freehand the detail. Transfer methods previously described can be used for guide lines, and the painting medium should be colors in oil or japan.

Silk-screen stencils offer the best production method of painting. Sample illustrated shows paint-filled screen

Silk-screen stencils: Best of all production methods of painting is the silk screen stencil. This method is described fully in the 1940 issue of Popular Mechanics Shop Notes. Briefly, the stencil material is a silk cloth, running about 140-mesh per inch. The silk is tacked drum tight on a wooden grame, and the areas which are not to print are blocked out with a special filler. Fig. 22 pictures the set-up for stenciling the letter "E," the area around the letter being blocked out. Paint is poured on the screen and wiped from one end to the other by means of a rubber squegee. The action of th esqueegee forces paint through the silk and thus transfers the design. A tpical set-up with silk screen stencil is shown in Fig. 23. The edges and face of work are first painted black, as in Figs. 20 and 21, and the stencil is blocked off to leave a black margin around the cutout. The silk screen method allows many manipulations, multiple color work, photographic screens, etc. Every serious worker in cutouts should give this method a trial.

Metal stencils
can be cut out of the scrollsaw and are excellent for general work. Magnet method of holding shown at right is used extensively in industrial painting cutouts

Metal stencils: Metal stencils are widely used on both short and long runs. The stencil can be made from tin, brass, zinc or other metal about .012 in. thick (28-gage). Cutting of the stencil is done on scrollsaw, with the metal held between plywood sheets. It is preferable to have two or more stencils of the same figure. Simplest working method is a wooden frame into which the stencil fits, Fig. 24, the work being held by hand behind the stencil, which will run seven or eight pieces before the paint starts to pile up. The dirty stencil then is thrown into a pan of lacquer thinner, and the second stencil is picked out of the thinner, brushed off and blown dry ready for use. One of the neatest methods of holding the metal stencil is shown in Fig. 26 and employed a magnet. The wood cutout is placed against the magnet and is topped by the stencil. The magnet then holds everything in place for painting. Any ordinary magnet of fair size will hold small cutouts of ¼-in. plywood. For larger or thicker work, several magnets can be grouped together. "Magnetic chucks" of this kind, both plain and electro, can be purchased in any size and have the advantage of increased power plus off-on switch control. Whatever method is used, the metal stencil should have tabs or other locating device to position the work, Fig. 25. Obviously, if the magnet method is used, the stencil must be tin, iron or steel and not brass, copper or zinc.

Gummed-paper stencils
provide perfect adhension to the work and are excellent for use on long- or short-run jobs

Paper stencils: Plain paper stencils in several variations have many uses in cut-out painting. If paper stencils are used, it is advantageous to cut fifty or more stencils at one time by clinch-nailing the paper sheets between plywood as in Fig. 29. Tightly nailed and cut on the scrollsaw, edges will be sharp and clean. Used stencils are thrown away when dirty. The principal disadvantage of the paper stencil is the difficulty encountered in getting it to lie flat on the work. Unless firmly held, the spray gun blast will blow under the edges of the stencil. This can be minimized by using a round spray, reducing air pressure to minimum, and directing gun at right angles to the work at all times. "Blow-unders" can be eliminated entirely by using some method to actually "glue" the stencil to the work. The wax paper previously mentioned is fairly good; plain paper with dabs of wax, rubber cement or other sticky substance often can be used, or the stencil can often be held down by small weights or pins. Best of all is duplex stencil paper. This is a rubber-coated paper with strip-off backing. To use the stencil, simply strip off the backing and roll the stencil onto the work, as shown in Fig. 30. This paper has an advantage in that it leaves no deposit whatever on the work. The same stencil can be used for several pieces of work. The complete painting schedule for the figure used to illustrate stenciling methods is shown in Figs.27 and 28. The work is first sprayed with white undercoat and then white lacquer enamel, after which the head of the figure is painted red by dipping, Fig.28, using a synthetic to avoid stripping the lacquer undercoat. The work is now ready for the black detail, using any of the stencil methods described. If both sides of the figure are to be painted by using gummed stencils, one half of the pad should be turned over when cutting so that the cement will be on the proper side when the stencil is reversed.

Woods to use: On all cutout work avoid fir, cypress, hemlock, yellow pine or any wood with alternate soft and hard grain. Such woods "washboard" badly in bandsawing and have a poor face grain for painting. Excellent cutout woods include poplar, white pine and basswood, poplar being the best and also inexpensive, using fifth grafe material (stained saps) which is quite satisfactory for paint. Plywood is excellent for all figures. Unselected red gum is a much better wood for painting, both esge and face, than commonly used fir. If plywood figures are to be used outdoors, the plywood must be waterproof variety. Plywood panels already coated can be obtained and often show an actual savings in paint costs.

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