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Thread: Handmade Brushes

  1. #1

    Default Handmade Brushes

    I have added in the striperman album, several of the brushes I have been working on.
    I have worked with stabilized box elder but this is my first
    effort in shaving brushes.

    I have found super badger with a 25 mm top knot and a 67 mm overall
    height.
    I have access to many different sizes but felt this was the most
    comfortable for me.
    The elder handle is 1.5" wide and 2" high.
    I also have access to all sizes of elder and many other woods. I like
    the elder as it is a light wood and takes a dye very well.

    Any feedback regarding the size or style would be appreciated

    Bill


    Last edited by striperman36; 10-17-2005 at 09:16 AM.

  2. #2
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    beautiful!

    nice work...

  3. #3
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    i wonder what the undyed wood looks like?

  4. #4
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    Question Good question!

    Quote Originally Posted by robofunk
    i wonder what the undyed wood looks like?
    Good question! Why don't you ask?
    Striperman, why don't you tell us about the process of making and finishing a handle..
    Best regards,
    Ron
    vita non est vivere sed valere vita est

  5. #5
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    Striperman, the stabilized wood should be impervious to water because of the stabilization process. Is that a true assumption? That is my understanding of stabilized wood.

  6. #6
    Thread Starter

    Default

    How to make a shaving brush:
    Find a supplier of material
    The most important is the brush itself. I don’t think I have to tell anyone here that it is difficult but not impossible to find Silver Tip Badger Hair sources in China. Fortunately I have been able to find one in Northern China that I can deal with and deliver the quality and quantity I need to make them.
    Find a handle source decide what type of material you want to work with. I enjoy working with a lathe so I can turn most protein based – wood, horn, antler and synthetic materials used to also turn game calls and pens. There are many suppliers on the internet

    I choose stabilized burled box elder. Box elder is a light colored wood growing just about anywhere in North America. The idea is to find a wood that has a significant abnormality in the grain, swirls, waves, ripplies, etc.. Also spalt or semi-decayed wood is also preferable.
    Box elder is a light colored wood with the burl it has some interest. The burl is accented by the application of a wood dye. Wood dye is applied by a vacuum method forcing the dye completely thru the wood. Different portions of the wood accept the dye more deeply than other parts, heightening the contrast created by the burl. You can see areas of no dye to areas of dense dye. Colors like green, blue, black, gold, red show the contrast well. Some pieces are ‘double-dyed’ to show almost a kalediscope of colors and density through the wood.
    Once the dye is thoroughly dried, about a week at 140 degrees F, a acrylic resin is vacuumed into the wood sealing and filling the voids in the wood. After the resin has set the wood can be processed as any acrylic product, SHARP TOOLS and HIGH SPEED.

    Now that you have identified your material, you need to define your shape of the handle. I take my design from existing historical pieces and modify them to fit my hand. Draw out your design FULL SIZE on graph paper to understand the high and low points and most particularly the transitions between those points. In turning on the lathe the art of turning is in those transitions.
    Once you have finalized a shape. Create prototypes with a durable wood to see how the shape looks full size and how it appears. I use Clear Alaskan Yellow Cedar, as it is my favorite turning wood.

    Now that you have a full size template mount your target handle source in the lathe and crank it out.
    Turning it out is a simple process of connecting the dot’s from high point to low point with the accurate transitions.
    Once you have the basic shape turned out now the fun part. Finishing.
    Finishing is the make or break of an item, it is what the user sees
    Here is my basic approach.

    Start with 140 grit to finalize the basic shape
    Dust with a damp lint free cloth
    Sand with 220 grit
    Dust with a damp lint free cloth
    Sand with 300 grit
    Dust with a damp lint free cloth
    Sand with 400 grit
    Dust with a damp lint free cloth
    Sand with 800 grit
    Dust with a damp lint free cloth
    Sand with 1200
    Dust with a damp lint free cloth
    Inspect for finish


    Part off the handle, you have to use a very fine parting tool, I actually use my flush cut saw to avoid scarring the wood.

    At this point you have a choice. Continue with sanding up to 12000 if you are going to use an oil finish
    Or
    Setup to use a lacquer type finish

    I have been using shellac for several years after I got hooked on French Polish
    I like shellac in that it dries to the touch in 10 minutes and can be recoated after 60 -90 mins. You can’t do that with poly

    If you get serious with shellac you will buy shellac dry by the pound and mix what you need when you need it. Shellac goes stale if you leave it too long in solution.
    I use a 2 lb cut of shellac to finish the brush handles
    I apply a very light coat with a high grade bristle brush
    The coat dries within minutes
    After 60 min, sand lightly with a 400 grit paper
    Clean the surface with alcohol and then a tack cloth
    Apply another coat
    After 5 coats let dry for 24 hours
    Almost done!!

    After I have finished the handle, I cut the brush hole with a 1” forstner bit on the drill press.

    I use a three step buffing system to buff out the final surface and to apply a fine layer of carnauba wax

    I do not put the wax in the brush hole.
    I mount the brush with a hot high adhesive glue.


    And you have a shaving brush

  7. #7
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    Default

    Yes Cliff stabilizing does seal the wood but most burl spalted wood will have voids that get exposed during the processing. Although most will be sealed, there still is the possibility that water can penetrate the wood. I finish the wood to build lustre and depth to the wood itself and secondly seal the voids.
    I have about 10 different color combinations that look good and are extremely unusual.
    I can post some of the wood pictures as I don't yet have them all in the final form.
    Bill

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    i'm anxious to see the wood in raw and unfinished stage. that's alot of knowledge in one post. thanks!

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    Post Excellent!

    Striperman,
    Excellent description of the process. Is this a hobby? or hobby/business? If you have the time, could you tell us more about the vacuum application process? Is it done in a special chamber? etc???
    Thanks once again for the really interesting description.
    Best regards,
    Ron
    vita non est vivere sed valere vita est

  10. #10
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    Default

    It's is a major effort to describe something that you do as a matter of fact.
    I am selling these brushes but more as a hobby then as a business.
    I also will be starting to make matching scales.


    I will take a pic of the raw wood tonight.

    I actually farm out my dying and stablization to several others so I could describe it. But I would be not being honest about it.

    Bill

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    Thanks for the info Striperman. Great process, have you been woodworking long?

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    Quote Originally Posted by striperman36
    It's is a major effort to describe something that you do as a matter of fact.
    I am selling these brushes but more as a hobby then as a business.
    I also will be starting to make matching scales.


    I will take a pic of the raw wood tonight.

    I actually farm out my dying and stablization to several others so I could describe it. But I would be not being honest about it.

    Bill
    We have a forum of STR8 razor addicts who would probably Stop in and show and tell!
    Best regards,
    Ron
    vita non est vivere sed valere vita est

  13. #13
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    I been woodworking for 30 years. I have been turning for about 10.

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    Default

    What are some prices and different knot sizes? Do you have any other pictures of different style handles?

  15. #15
    Thread Starter

    Default Wood Colors

    Here is the natural box elder


    Here it is dyed Green


    Red


    Blue



    Black




    And the creme' de la creme'



    And what is made from it


    And I just want to say that I won't post how much those calls sold for each. But they each are being well used in Iowa right now!!!
    Let's say about 20 ducks a piece at restureant prices. If you have had a whole duck you know what that cost.
    Last edited by striperman36; 10-19-2005 at 05:18 PM.

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    JAW DROPS....


  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by robofunk
    JAW DROPS....

    Sorry man, you asked.
    Now shaving brushes like that would, well, be pretty foamy

  18. #18
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    Default

    I do have to tell you, that I love this wood and what you can do with it with dyeing and stabiliization. After processing it becomes something not available with any other product. I have tried other woods and am experimenting with the south america woods but I have been unable to match the burled box elder I can get. I also cannot,get acrylic products that look like this. Pens, Pencils, hunting calls, anything with a shaft or cylinder can become something with depth, lustre and uniqueness. It becomes a one of a kind piece

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    Quote Originally Posted by striperman36
    Sorry man, you asked.
    Now shaving brushes like that would, well, be pretty foamy
    That just QUACKS me up....

    That would make an awesome shave bowl too....

    My friend should have my cocobola wood bowl about ready...I am going to show these pics to him...

    very very nice......

    mark tssb
    "BE SURE TO WATCH FOR ME ON THE GRAND OL' OPRY...I AIN'T THERE YET, BUT YOU CAN WATCH FOR ME...

    BE SURE TO VISIT THE BARBERSHOP FOR THE LATEST INFO ABOUT NOTHING... ...IT'S HABIT FORMING

    FACEBOOK: be a friend





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    I wish I could do that I have two left hands.

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