Clay, Application to refinement

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Finishers (unique)

The traditional finisher is normally constructed from steel plate, steel rod or bar for the leg construction and wood for a turned handle. The alternative to this is to make a quick finisher from an old tea spoon or soup spoon. These are readily available from swap meets or thrift stores at a minimal cost. The beauty of this is that the material is of a good quality i.e. stainless steel and there is no silver soldering involved.



As you can see from the photograph on the left, we shall be making a finisher from a regular tea spoon.



The first procedure is to hammer the head of the tea spoon until it is flat as in the photograph on the right.





Once the spoon has been hammered flat, mark the widest part of the spoon head. Clamp in a vise and cut the excess material away with a hacksaw.


File the top of the spoon flat, then it is ready for bending the cutting angle.

Clamp the blade in a vise against a 1/2" steel round bar. Then with a hammer, bend the blade over the bar to achieve an open angle (approx.110 degrees)



As you can see from the photograph on the right, the blade has been bent to the required angle.


The cutting angle can be filed on at this stage, then drill several 1/8"holes along the length of the handle. This will help to secure the whole assembly into place when it is glued into the handle.


With the blade complete, a more comfortable handle can be made from any particular wood that you like. For this purpose I have chosen red oak (5"x 3/4"x 1/2") as it is readily available from Home Depot.


On the 1/2" face scribe lines that represent the thickness of the spoon handle and the length of handle.

We then have to cut the slot for the spoon handle to sit in. This can be done on a bandsaw or cut with a handsaw.( photograph left )



The wood handle can be shaped by tapering towards either end to produce a comfortable feel when held. This can be done by cutting on a bandsaw, then sanding on a disc sander or by using a rasp to obtain the shape.




As the photograph left shows, the blade has been inserted into the wooden handle for a dry run. This is to check for balance and shape.


The handle has been tapered towards the cutting edge and tapered towards the end of the handle.


The edges are still very square at the moment but this will be finalized as soon as the blade is glued in.

Now that the everything has been pre-fitted we can rough up the spoon handle with a file so as to provide good adhesion for the glue.

Mix up sufficient 5 minute epoxy resin and apply both to the spoon handle and the slot of the wooden handle. Insert the spoon into place and push the resin into the slot. You will find that the resin wants to run out, place masking tape along one side of the slot. Apply resin to the other side of the slot until full then seal with masking tape again. Stand the whole assembly vertical until the resin cures.

It is best to let the resin cure for 24 hours even though it is 5 minute curing time. This will give it a harder finish and make it easier to sand when finishing the handle.


With the resin cured, file or sand the excess resin from the wood handle. Radius all the sharp corners with a sanding block using 220 grit sand paper.


Give the handle a final clean down with 400 grit sand paper then seal with boiled linseed oil. Wipe off any excess and allow to dry. Finally apply a paste wax and buff smooth.


Here we have a very useful tool for intricate modeling situations. The cost to make it is negligible and the amount of knowledge gained was vast. This method can be used to produce all sorts of shapes as needed and there's plenty of fun in the making.

Have fun...........



Copyright © 2004 - 20 Steven Austin