Making a brush, a mix of old and new tech

I’ve started a project to make my own leather polish brush. cause why not. I wasnt able to find a lot of information on how these were made so I thought people might find it interesting.

The basics are a piece of wood with holes in it, horse tail hair, and wire. I didn’t want to make it the new streamlined industrial way I wanted something more luxurious and traditional. This is still a wip but this is the progress so far.

For the wood I selected a piece of bloodwood from the garage wood archives (wood rack)
and ripped it in half roughly with the table saw.
brush_holes.c2d (404.7 KB)

after a basic wipe on finish and light sanding (will be hard to finish that are later I started the long process of wiring the hairs. you take a small bundle of horse tail hair, pas a wire loop up through the hole and pull it tight. with some practice you can eye how much hair is appropriate.

I’ll lock in the back side with some 5 min epoxy. (no superglue it wicks into the hairs too much)
now to hide the back side the other half of the ripped piece of wood will get glued on

However since this will be a surprise for a friend I took his logo and carved it in. It is currently sitting with some epoxy and I’ll finish sanding and finishing this weekend

brush_top_Dreadnought.c2d (40.6 KB)


well I finally got around to finishing this up. I was going to set up the jointer with a sled to trim the hairs flush but the jointer is still in the box. So I caved and used the cnc at hand.


I first tried with my whiteside surfacing bit I’ve had for probably 4 years, it was no wear near sharp enough to cut the horse tail hair.
however this newer 1/4" bit worked fine enough just took more passes to trim that I wanted. I should probably invest in a mcfly someday soon.


The end results turned out quite well.

do I win for strangest material cut on a shapeoko yet?


It’s a tie with @nlichtenberg’s potato:


Man that was a hairy situation.


Really nice!

A thought on trimming the hair. Cut a 2nd piece of maybe 1/4" stock with the same hole pattern & lay it on top of your brush body. Pull the hair through both pieces & glue it to your base. Now slide the 2nd piece up & put blocks under it so it’s level with the cutting height of your bristles. A simple pocket pattern with a really sharp bit should get nearly all of it in one pass. :wink:

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