Hand Made Luxury Shaving accessories by Rodney Neep



(Production #1240)

Stages in the making of a shaving brush

No mass production. Each brush is individually hand crafted. Every one of them is different.


Another challenge! .The customer wanted a huge handled shaving brush made in three segments of Ivory resin and a special resin embedded with acorn shells.

The basic dimensions specified were:

  • Handle height 120mm
  • Three segments of 40mm 
  • Brush knot: 30mm Extra Dense Silvertip Badger

A long piece of square section of the acorn shell resin (yes, they are real acorn shells) has been bored out to 30mm diameter to accept the large extra silvertip knot, and is ready to be mounted on my special brush handle turning screw chuck.
Mounted on the screw chuck in the wood turning lathe, and with a revolving centre in the tailstock for support... and ready to be turned to a round shape.
Turned round. Note that one of the acorn shells has popped out of the resin near the centre. This isn't going to be easy.
The top end of the handle has been turned down at an angle, and a start has been made on the concave section just below the top. Another acorn shell has partly popped out of the resin.
The top concave section turned down to 34mm diameter, leaving just 2mm wall thickness to the knot hole. Final shaping of this top segment can be done later. The top section 40mm long is being parted off.
With the top section of the handle still mounted in the screw chuck, it has now been mounted in the engineering lathe to turn a dead square shoulder, and a tenon that will fit into a hole in centre ivory section of the handle. It is essential that the shoulder is dead square for it to be glued to the ivory resin.
The other section of the acorn shell resin in the engineering lathe, with the end faced square, and a short 20mm hole drilled in the end, into which a tenon on the ivory section will fit.
Next, the centre ivory section is mounted in the engineering lathe, and a tenon and square shoulder turned on one end. You can see now where it will be glued into the acorn shell resin.
The other end of the ivory resin has been turned down to be exactly 40mm long, the end faced at right angles, and a 20mm hole drilled to accept the top end of the brush.
The engineering part done. From the left, the top of the brush handle (still in the screw chuck to preserve alignment), the centre section of ivory resin with a hole in the left hand end and a tenon on the right end.... and the (still over-length) base section of the handle.
Mounted back in the wood turning lathe, but still not get glued together. Note the perfect joints from the machining on the engineering lathe. There is no way that such perfect joints could be made on the wood turning lathe with hand tools.
The centre ivory resin section will be turned with two balls and a raised ridge between them. This photo shows the possible alignment of the two balls. We shall see how this turns out, as the balls will need to be turned by hand and eye. Effectively, I might move the balls a little further apart, and blend them into the acorn resin sections avoiding making the handle too thin at these points.

Now we start roughing out the shape of each segment
The centre of some of the acorns are popping out from the shells. I am going to have to work around those
... and the centre of another acorn pops out near the base.
First stage sanding

A little more sanding is necessary to get below those places where the centre of acorns have popped out.

I have marked a line at 40mm long for this segment where the base will be parted off. That should take care of the missing bit of acorn on the edge

The base has been turned down, leaving a tiny stub where it is supported by the tailstock, and now the handle has been sanded down to 2,000 grit, ready for the finish to be applied.



The finished brush.

30mm Extra Silvertip badger knot.


Acrylic finish coat has been applied, and the handle final sanded and polished
A large brush in the hand





Copyright 2012 Rodney Neep All Rights Reserved