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First turns

ChiefBroom

Contributor
Vendor
The M&F group buy was a gas. It was great fun to study favorite handle shapes, absorb them, work obsessively to come up with a classically traditional but also unique design, figure out how to convert that into a CAD file I could hand off to Lee, and then have him turn that into prototypes exactly matching the drawing, followed by production of over 100 brushes for B&B group buy participants and some others including family and friends.

But as satisfying as the whole project was, it also created an itch. I wanted to be able to make brush handles myself. Not in large quantities, but in the same way, using CNC to control a lathe and enable high fidelity execution of a design in fine detail.

So in early January my son and I made a road trip from Kansas City to La Crosse, Wisconsin, to buy a 25ish-year-old, bench-top, CNC lathe I'd found. Then I got side-tracked and didn't have time to do anything with the lathe until a few weeks ago. The learning curve for me has been humbling. I spent a lot of time hanging around in shops when I was a kid, ran heavy equipment on the Santa Fe railroad during a two-year layout from college, and had summer jobs working in an iron foundry that made combine cylinder bars and a steel fixture plant that fabricated industrial furniture. But I'd never operated a lathe and I didn't really know what CNC meant. There turned out to be a lot more challenge in both than I anticipated.

After much study and preparation, I spent several hours on Father's Day (with some help from my son) trying to turn my first handle shape from a piece of 1.5" oak dowel. Working with different coordinate systems, various set-offs, and tool-path compensation confused hell out of me. I stuck with it, however, and finally managed to make a piece that just barely suggested the Chief. Then somehow my settings got screwed up, and all I was able to produce the rest of that day were tool crashes.

But yesterday I finally figured out what I was doing wrong with off-sets and compensation. I started over, mounted a fresh piece of maple dowel, and let her rip. The result in the form it came off the chuck, un-sanded and un-cut, is shown in the bottom photo, between a group buy Chief that I dissected and the Father's Day mutant creation.

First below is a segment of the G-code from the start of the program, and following that is a backplot.

I still have a long way to go, but it finally feels like I've made a start.






 
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Congrats on the purchase and first attempt. It looks a heck of a lot better then my failed, first attempt, on a lathe.

I'm looking forward to seeing how things progress.

But what happend to that poor "Chief" sitting beside yours? Was it sacrificed in order to produce your first brush handle?
 

ChiefBroom

Contributor
Vendor
I'm looking forward to seeing how things progress.

But what happend to that poor "Chief" sitting beside yours? Was it sacrificed in order to produce your first brush handle?
Me too. Now I need to get some more tools.

The brush was, sadly, sacrificed on the alter of Science. It had belonged to Skleice, but developed a serious issue -- the knot was very, very slowly, however, unmistakably emerging from the socket. It was an otherwise perfect specimen. I swapped Skleice out for another Chief and wanted to let him keep his first one, but I needed to see what was going on with the thing. Lee guessed that there was an air bubble under it. He was right.
 
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That's a heck of a Father's day achievement with your son, but also memorable one you created. Your really embarking into all areas of 'shave-dom' from the coordination of the Group Buy, design of the Chief handle, disseminating your acquired shaving knowledge and theories and now teaching yourself the nuances of programming a CNC lathe. I can't wait to see what turns out as you play with this. I have to say your like the renaissance man of B&B.

I almost gasped when I saw the Chief w/o its headdress!... thanks for clearing that frightening image lol.

Have a great time on this new path!!
 

ChiefBroom

Contributor
Vendor
That might look pretty good once sanded finished. When are you going to try acrylic?
As soon as I can get my hands on some. There's a Woodcraft store here, but what they have is either too short or too small in diameter.

I also need to get more tools. I don't presently have anything to drill/bore sockets and cut grooves, and I don't have any mandrels to use in mounting a work piece by its socket. I could do all of that on a lathe, but a drill press would probably serve better in the long run. I'm sorting all of this out as I go. I've never been a tool guy. Leaned more toward bulldozers, backhoes, chainsaws, and crowbars.
 
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You've come a long way since this post :lol:

[FONT=&]...The only reason I had a brush was that one came in a sample collection of The Art of Shaving products, and I wasn't doing much more with the Cella and Prorasa solid creams than I'd done with The Art of Shaving cream, which was to get some on my wetted brush and spread it around on my face. I kinda pretended to make some lather, but it was like my 3-year old niece making tea.....[/FONT]
 
That looks great for a first attempt Ken. Good luck with your new hobby/obsession. :thumbsup:

Let me know when you're ready to take orders, I'm always looking for a new brush. :001_smile
 

Intrigued

Bigfoot & Bagel aficionado.
Contributor
When you get really good at this and start making your own resin blanks, I have a little project in red amber for you..... :ihih:
 
I once wrote on this forum that I wished you made brushes. And now you make handles!
Should I organize a B&B badger hunt?
 
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