Tracing Patterns

This is wood that was donated to our scrollsaw club after it was used for a karate demo. These were 1 X 12 boards that they broke for the demo.

Our scrolling club decides to cut them into craft items to give to the local handicap kids camp to use.

We made puzzles out of some.

Some will be animals to glue together.

Some were to be cars.

But where I see the problem is having people tracing without giving them a little bit of instruction before hand. Here are some of the problems I found after the first night of tracing.

Traced right in the middle of the board. Notice the entrance was on opposite sides of the board to cut each one out. Also the truck is straight cut on the bottom so it could have used the straight edge of the board for that side on one truck. Could have moved the trucks to the right, within a 1/4" of the edge of the board, and started the cut at the front bumper. On the second and 3rd one I need to cut 1 1/2" just to get to the truck, could have been moved to within a 1/4" of the right edge of the board. 

Should not be cutting diagonal or across the grain.

You need to look at the back side of the board before deciding where to trace the pattern.

This one is traced into the knot, yet the other end of the board is clear and will be scrap for the fireplace.

This one has a sap pocket on the face, not even on the back side where it would be harder to detect before cutting.

Traced too close the the broken edge of the board. Remember these are karate board so that have a broken edge on one side.

Here the parts on the left board are spread out so far apart that it takes a lot of cutting the scrap just to get to the part. The one on the right parts are closer to the edge or each other so not a lot of wasted cutting is needed to get to the next part. You really don't want the cut line touching the edge but within an 1/8" or 1/4" of the edge or the next part..