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The MacGyver Brush

Fordfather

Moderator Emeritus
This little thread is custom made for that one of a kind, custom dude that you are! Yes, you! The fella that made the brush holder out of a coat hangar. You're the guy who built a DE handle from a bolt!

We here at B&B would like to see your best backyard brush creation. Get your MacGyver groove on and tap into your creative side!

The Challenge: Create a shaving brush. Not just any brush, though. A MacGyver Brush!
You can use any knot that you like. You can use any material that you like. You can significantly alter an existing brush, if you like. BUT, you can't use a lathe!

Dremel? Yes!
Drill? Yes!
Sandpaper&Elbow Grease? Yes!
Pocket knife&Belt Sander? Sure!
Lathe? NO. NO. NO.

Rules:

1. No lathes. Do I need to reiterate??
2. Post pics of your progress, for posterity!
3. Be creative. Push the design&build boundaries(this scores the bonus points)!
4. Have fun!

Your creations will be on exhibition, for the whole world to see, so do your best!
 

Fordfather

Moderator Emeritus
I'll get this party started with a little brush reminiscent of a KA-BAR fighting knife. I used a hole saw and my cordless drill to cut 12, 2" pieces of leather. I then glued them face to face, and ran a bolt through the middle of them.
$uploadfromtaptalk1432436863394.jpg
I decided to add the ferrule after the leather glue was dry. It was a brass 1/2" tube X 1" MP hose barb. I cut the barb and thread off with a hacksaw and smoothed it up on a belt sander(forgot to take pics of this)
$uploadfromtaptalk1432437132268.jpg
I chucked it in my drill press and started contouring with a rasp and sandpaper.

I decided that the black/tan leather look was not doing the handle any favors, so I dyed the whole thing black and waxed it with a 50/50 mix of paraffin and bees wax.
$uploadfromtaptalk1432437350858.jpg
I still need to build a brass base washer and bolt it through the handle & ferrule. I've got a 24 mm Silvertip knot on the way, but decided to drop a 19mm best badger in there just for pics.
$uploadfromtaptalk1432437536169.jpg
I hope you enjoy my take on a MacGyver brush!
 
Last edited:

Toothpick

TACO HOUND
Moderator
I don't own a lathe but I do have a few pocket knives.

I just ordered a burl block similar to this. Carving a brush from a burl block with nothing but a pocket knife isn't out of the question is it?

It is stabilized Spalted Tamarind.
$DSC_8752-600x600.jpg
 

Fordfather

Moderator Emeritus
I don't own a lathe but I do have a few pocket knives.

I just ordered a burl block similar to this. Carving a brush from a burl block with nothing but a pocket knife isn't out of the question is it?

It is stabilized Spalted Tamarind.
View attachment 573640
Do the orderlies know that you have pocket knives???

Yep, pocket knives are allowed. Don't forget to drop a few progress pics. I'm itching to see how it turns out, Jason!
 

Toothpick

TACO HOUND
Moderator
Do the orderlies know that you have pocket knives???

Yep, pocket knives are allowed. Don't forget to drop a few progress pics. I'm itching to see how it turns out, Jason!
Did I say pocketknives? Ha..ha silly me... I meant plastic spoons.

Progress will likely be very slow but progress nonetheless.
 

Mike H

Moderator Emeritus
I guess I need to get on with it and order a knot for my brush. Looking forward to seeing some cool brushes.
 

Toothpick

TACO HOUND
Moderator
Got my wood! Here's a video of what it looks like

[video]https://youtu.be/vTgMj7YYgO4[/video]

and the width. Looks like it will be perfect for a brush handle. Can probably make 2!

 
This little thread is custom made for that one of a kind, custom dude that you are! Yes, you! The fella that made the brush holder out of a coat hangar. You're the guy who built a DE handle from a bolt!

We here at B&B would like to see your best backyard brush creation. Get your MacGyver groove on and tap into your creative side!

The Challenge: Create a shaving brush. Not just any brush, though. A MacGyver Brush!
You can use any knot that you like. You can use any material that you like. You can significantly alter an existing brush, if you like. BUT, you can't use a lathe!

Dremel? Yes!
Drill? Yes!
Sandpaper&Elbow Grease? Yes!
Pocket knife&Belt Sander? Sure!
Lathe? NO. NO. NO.

Rules:

1. No lathes. Do I need to reiterate??
2. Post pics of your progress, for posterity!
3. Be creative. Push the design&build boundaries(this scores the bonus points)!
4. Have fun!

Your creations will be on exhibition, for the whole world to see, so do your best!
Mr. Lara, if I remember correctly, makes some great brushes like this. I hope he chimes in.
Thank you Tony.

Here are some threads of mine where i posted my handmade brushes. Documenting the process.

This one has two handmade brushes.
http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/408052-Another-Handle-in-the-making?highlight=

This one i made for a friend of mine, also made him a stand for it.
http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showth...-Handle-(another-work-in-progress)?highlight=

And this was my first brush.
http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/397378-My-first-brush-handle-(A-work-in-progress)/page2

i would have posted the pictures, but there are way too many. And i didn't want to flood the thread with them. So i just linked the original threads.
 
I've been thinking about this thread for a few days and it's time to join the fun!

No lathe . . . . . . hmmmmm . . . . . well, I don't own a lathe, so I'm good there! Also, "no lathe" suggests "not round", so maybe I'll go in that direction. Last night I gathered some raw materials and hatched a plan.

Here are the materials: a scrap of copper plumbing pipe found in a neighbor's garage; another scrap of thin copper tube inherited from my Dad's shop back in 1999; a 2015 penny; some mostly black sawdust from cutting a piece of ebony wood with a hand saw; a 20mm TGN black badger knot; and some scraps of special wood that I gathered from a dumpster several years ago (more on this in a minute). I will use a disc sander to square up the block, and a drill press to make holes, but everything else will be done with hand tools and elbow grease. Marine Spar Varnish will be the finish.

$IMG_4156.jpg

The heart pine wood has an interesting history. A couple of hours drive from my house, into central Georgia, is a small town lumber business that specializes in re-purposing vintage beams and timbers that are salvaged from old warehouses, factories, barns or retail shops as they are being demolished. I went there for a visit several years ago, met some very friendly people, had a tour of the small mill, marveled at its ancient equipment, and bought a few pieces of heart pine flooring to make boxes from. As I was leaving, they let me rummage around in the dumpster to pick out some end cuts and broken pieces of heart pine.

The beams they were milling that day came from a warehouse / factory building somewhere in South Carolina. The local records showed that it was constructed in 1853. An arborist employed by the lumber mill certified that the trees from which the beams were cut were "well in excess of 100 years old when the trees were harvested". So the wood in this little brush that I am about to make came from a tree that was alive years before the Declaration of Independence was written!

I'm worried that the pine will be so dry and brittle that it will split or crack as I work with it, so I'm going to have to go slow and be gentle. I will post some more photos as things progress.
 
I had a little shop time yesterday to get started. First step was to cut some pieces and glue them together to make a blank. Then I used the disc sander to square it up and size it.

$IMG_4141.jpg

$IMG_4157.jpg



At this point the blank is about 48mm square by 55m tall. The grain is beautiful! It's nice and straight, and you just don't see growth rings this tight in today's Southern Pine lumber. The wood is very dry, as expected, but so far it's not a problem. The next step will be to drill two holes - - one in the top for the knot, and one in the bottom to inlay the penny. But first, I think I'll use a hack saw to cut off a short piece of the plumbing pipe for a collar.
$IMG_4078.jpg

$IMG_4210.jpg

$IMG_4214.jpg

My Forstner bit was half a millimeter smaller than the diameter of the pipe so I made a MacGyver tool with a piece sandpaper wrapped around a short piece of dowel and carefully enlarged the top hole until the collar fit. No chipping around either hole! Whew! My Forstner bits are pretty new and sharp, and I ran the drill press on low speed. And now it's time to get out the chisels and block plane to start shaping the handle. If the pine is going to split or chip it is likely to happen now. I'm a little nervous about this step! But the grain is really fine and tight so I'm hoping that makes it less likely to split if I go easy. More photos later.










 
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