Shaving and Make Up Brushes
Wednesday 07 January 2009
Paul Loseby brings us this easy and fun project
I consider myself to be a lucky chap having been taught to chase threads by John Berkeley, Allan Batty and Doris Day. "Doris Day?" you say but my problem was always getting the rhythm and lathe speed right and she has always managed to get my rhythm right. Hopefully she will do the same for you!You can buy the shaving or make-up brushes from the webmaster of the AAW (American Association of Woodturners) Ed Davidson through his website www.yoyospin.com. Ed is the expert on these brushes although he uses a different method. His website gives free video tutorials and lots of ideas. The shaving brush heads are made from badger hair and from personal experience, I can tell you that they are superb to shave with. They are the most expensive of the brushes and at the time of writing (July 2008) are $10.95 plus shipping. The brushes aren't available on the website but if you email Ed your requirements he will readily ship some out to you. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The make-up brushes are pink dyed sable, natural sable or the synthetic and very nice Dior black and white brushes. For the shaving brushes, you do need to have a wood and finish that will withstand being soaked every day.
1 We have the blank in the chuck jaws and need to measure the diameter of the brush head and depth so that we know how far to drill into the blank. The diameter of this makes it an easy job to drill with a 25mm (1in) Forstner bit. The depth is just over 19mm (3/4in) but a small exposed section of the pink brush head looks good
2 Drill down 19mm. To ensure that I go to the right depth, as always I mark my drill bit with white ink correction fluid
3 At this point I want the brush head to just be a fraction too big so that it won't quite allow you to push it into the blank
4 This is where Doris Day comes into her own. With thread chasing, I have never been able to master the armrest that John and Allan use. Holding a tool in each hand and moving them is too much for my mind to cope with. I first get the lathe spinning at approximately 450rpm. I have the toolrest at an angle and about 50mm (2in) from the opening - it is slightly higher than centre. My biggest problem was moving the chaser at the correct speed
5 Do you remember the song Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)? Try humming it and then, near but not touching the wood, move the end of your chaser in clockwise circles about 1.5in diameter, in time with the music. Do that for a few seconds until you are comfortable with it and then move into the hole. Now as you are going into the box, touching with the 3rd or 4th tooth, let the chaser whisper over the wood in time with the music. Continue to do that for as long as necessary until you feel the wood carrying the chaser along. This will probably only take seconds. If it is taking longer, put just a fraction more pressure on the tool against the wood
6 You should now have the start of a thread on the diagonal into the box. In the picture you can see the lines where the thread chaser has continued into the hole. We now carry on in the same way as before but now just easing the tool round into the hole as we go in. You should eventually be letting the tool pull itself into the hole parallel to the lathe bars. If I were threading a lidded box, I would use a recess tool and make a groove where I intended the thread to finish but this thread is just to hold onto a spigot to allow you to turn the other end so that recess is not required here.
Keep chasing the threads until the brush head base can be squeezed into the threaded hole. If you need to widen the hole, sand your threads down but only to take the points off. You can then continue until you reach the exact diameter. In time, experience will make you much quicker at judging the right sizes