The handle making has been progressing slowly even by NT standards but I thought I would give an update on the joys of handle making and show my latest handle.
Brush 1 - It has been in continuous since the middle of last month and is now well and truly broken in. During the breaking in stage the Golden Nib boar was nice to use even if the first couple of uses required a bit more elbow grease than normal to get a lather. Even with my lack of being able to smell I felt it was about ten shaves before the boar smell disappeared (If you ever wondered why I'm not into all the pretty smellies in the soaps and lotions you blokes use it's simply because I cannot smell them so I don't bother). A beautiful brush to use and the handle is very comfortable but; there's always a but. The Tru-oil has started to fade; water still runs off but I think I'm going to have to give it a break soon and retreat the handle.
Brush 2 - It is waxed up and ready to receive the knot. Looks fantastic even if I do say so myself.
Brush 3 - As I inferred earlier with this handle, I don't have a lathe so the world is my oyster. I don't have to make the handle round so I can let my imagination run wild and leave round handles to those who have lathes. I just love the feel of this handle and because it's drilled to the same hole size as Brush 2, I'm thinking it might get that knot. The one thing holding me back is that the cheap timber I used has a flaw in it that I feel may chip out.
Brush 4 - Budgeroo timber. Don't ask me, I hadn't heard of burgeroo either but it appears that it is a timber that grows in western Queensland but not in commercial quantities. Again I had a vision and carved the handle to that vision. Feels very good in the hand but I thought I would try a clear polyurethane coat on this one. We'll see.
Isn't boredom a terrible thing. I didn't have much on yesterday and I didn't feel like mowing the lawns so I decided to cut the tip off the buffalo horn and then carve a knot holder to suit. To my pleasant surprise the tip was solid where I cut it off. Even with my lack of smell the horn absolutely stinks when the Dremel tool starts on the horn itself. It's a good thing my wife is not here at present. I'm now in think mode again as to whether to use the Tru-Oil and Neatsfoot oil or a polyurethane finish. Present thinking is to stay with the Tru-oil/ neatsfoot combination. I think I would like a contrasting colored spacer at the join of the buffalo horn/ wood.
If I can squeeze a little bit more solid out of the horn I will be able to carve a full buffalo horn handle.
I've now mounted the 25mm Golden Nib High Mountain knot into the second handle I made. It feels good to use but like an idiot I didn't take the first brush out of the bathroom and found myself continually reaching for the 27mm boar. I like that brush.
I finished the buffalo/ oak head handle yesterday and fitted it with a 24mm Golden Nib Boar. Look out tomorrow, I'm taking it on its maiden run. Also yesterday I glued another 24mm Golden Nib Boar into the bush wood handle.
Its been a couple of weeks now since I started using the long handled buffalo tipped brush so it's about time for an update. I'd made the brush and decided to use it without even thinking how this long handled brush would/ could be used. Without thinking about its use, the brush just naturally fell into a natural pen hold position. I'd like to say that the finger hold shown in the photo were designed that way but in truth, it was not in my calculations. The bump was designed as a stand to keep the knot off the bench, it's just one of those luck breaks we have every now and again that worked so well. Using the pen hold position I have complete control of the brush and can cover the face without any trouble. I actually like it. After the first three shave I noted that the Golden Nib boar was becoming quite floppy, very unboar like. I'm now not soaking it before use but if it continues to loose backbone, out it comes.
First up, a bit of a geography lesson. The distance from Katherine (our nearest town) to Nhulunbuy along the Arnhem Highway is roughly 700Km. 550Km of this distance is dirt so you can probably understand why it's locally referrer to as The Track. On The Track there are a couple of indigenous communities but very little in the way of support or backup so one must be totally self sufficient and have plans in place in case of an emergency. Last Sunday I was bringing a brand new truck back to Nhulunbuy along The Track and about 300Km from Katherine an oil fitting on the front of the gearbox came loose and deposited all the fluid from the transmission over the road. No transmission fluid, no forward motion. Did I mention that for the most The Track there is no mobile coverage? I'd taken the sat phone from work and managed to contact the boss who was out in the boat fishing. He'd had a couple of beers so he arranged for one of our managers from Gapuwiyak to bring out some transmission fluid and tools to get the truck mobile again. Greg only had to drive about 280Km to get to me. So began my 5 1/2 Hr wait in 45 degree temperature with limited shade along side the road as I waited help to arrive. I had shade, water and some food so I'd survive. Out there if you see one vehicle every hour you're doing well but I must say that every vehicle stopped and checked that I was OK. Most, if not all offered water, fruit and food so the outback system of helping a mate out works. Understandably 20lt of transmission fluid is not something most people would carry but if someone did have it on board it would have been passed over without hesitation.
As soon as Greg got close I could see that the front of his ute had been staved in. He had hit a brumby about 50Km back but the ute was still running. He had nothing to put the brumby down with so when the truck was repaired we would work out how to put the horse out of its misery on the way back. When we got to the brumby it was dead but still in the middle of the road so we just had to drag it off the road. Never let a chance go by they say so I decided I'd try to make a horse hair knot. Out with the trusty pocket knife and some mane hair and tail hair were harvested. The mane hair over the forehead was fairly soft and the tail hair was course. I've soaked and washed the hair but my question is, has anyone on the forum ever made a knot. I'm going to give it a go so any advise would be welcome.