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Thread: Attempting a couple brushes

  1. #1
    Senior Member xiaotuzi's Avatar
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    Default Attempting a couple brushes

    I've recently been getting more into different brushes and now I find myself trying to make a couple handles. I have no prior experience with brush handles and only simple tools. But I have a couple knots on the way so I'm trying my hand at making something that is functional and possibly will look alright too.

    I've only just begun but here's what I have so far. I have a thick (2 inch) slab of bubinga that I picked up a few years ago at a local hardwood dealer and I also have a chunk of "choke cherry" that I rough cut with a chainsaw from a tree I took down maybe 16 years ago.
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    I cut a piece out of each with a hand saw and then rough shaped with a small plane
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    Then I shaped them into cylinders with a rasp.
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    That's all I have so far. I don't know what shape I will make them and I need to study about the hole and setting the knot in there. I don't have a lathe so I plan on just shaping them into something by hand. Again, first attempt, limited tools and experience, just going for functional mostly and if it works I'll be happy with them. Anything I should know before moving forward?
    "Go easy"

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    Forum mogwai thebigspendur's Avatar
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    I have no advice to give however I will say when you have a lathe and a shop full of power tools you can turn these things out by the dozens.(I'm not knocking guys with power tools here) When you do it all by hand in my book that is a real accomplishment and something to be really proud of.
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    Senior Member dinnermint's Avatar
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    Looking good so far! Maybe matching brush and scales in the future?
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    Senior Member petercp4e's Avatar
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    So far..so good!
    That's an awesome project to take on without power tools.
    I'll bet your results will inspire some of us that are in the same boat to give it a try.
    Keep us posted with the progress.
    Good luck!

    Pete <:-}
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    Senior Member xiaotuzi's Avatar
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    Thanks, guys! I am waiting to receive the knots and it is likely to be a while with shipping. I want to make the holes but not sure of the diameter and depth, how much room to leave.

    @ Dinnermint - here's a Wm. Hargreaves I restored a few years ago using wood from that same piece of bubinga, so soon I'll have a brush to go with it (if all goes well). I was into CA finishing at the time but not so much anymore. I was thinking something like tru-oil or tung oil for the finish on the brushes.
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    "Go easy"

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    Senior Member AKmik's Avatar
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    Very nice job on the razor, looks great.

    Im going to say your brushes will turn out nice as well by the looks of your start and the finished product on the razor. What size knot did you get for the brush?

    Once you get your knots in you can be sure about the bores. I use mostly 24mm knots but some of them have a big bulge above the plug so they need a larger hole, or stepped hole. If there is no bulge a 1" bore does nicely on the 24mm knots.
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    Senior Member xiaotuzi's Avatar
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    Thanks, the knots are 23/65 and 23.5/65. So, wondering if the 1" would be ok or is that too much play? Also, what is the standard depth if there is one? Right that I won't know for sure until I have the knots and that may be a while from halfway around the world. But now that I know the bore shouldn't be more than 1" I think I can start to safely shape the handles. I appreciate the info, thanks.
    "Go easy"

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    Str8Faced Gent. MikeB52's Avatar
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    Even a drill or drill press will help but hand carved brushes look pretty cool sometimes.
    Good start sir, look forward to what they become..
    Cheers.
    "Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe."
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    Senior Member xiaotuzi's Avatar
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    Got some work done on one of them today. Shaped the "choke cherry" pretty close to what I think it will be but waiting for the knots to arrive to be sure. Used the half round rasp and sandpaper to shape it and cleaned it up with a wool wheel in the dremel. Nothing too fancy, just a handle but I think the grain will be nice when I get some oil on it. Next up is the bubinga which is a harder wood than the choke cherry.
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    "Go easy"

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    Senior Member tintin's Avatar
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    nice work! i appreciate the time it took to do that without a lathe. might try a hole in a scrap piece of wood to test the fit. i usually make mine pretty snug but any extra slop could be filled in with epoxy if needed. the depth is up to you and weather you like a stiff or floppy brush. maybe make one of both if you can't decide.(i think about 50-53mm loft is about normal)
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