Clay, Application to Refinement


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With the theory explained for making various finishers with different leg configurations, let's proceed to make the 3" finisher.




Steel Plate 3"x 3/4"x 1/16"

Steel Rod  12"x 1/8"Dia.

Brass         3/8"x 3/8"Dia.

Oak, Pine etc. 3 1/2"x 1 1/4"x 1 1/4"


As you can see from the photograph on the right, the steel rod was bent in the vise using a set-out board to control the width and angle of the arms. The width of the arm should sit just inside the width of the blade, this will ensure maximum support during the modeling process.


The steel plate needs to be marked out, take the basic 3"x 3/4"x 1/16" steel plate and scribe in from each end 1/4". Scribe a line to create the angle for the ends of the blade and trim off with a hacksaw. File the ends smooth and be-burr the edges.


Clean the blade and arm assembly with emery cloth then degrease with acetone. With this completed the whole assembly is now ready to be silver soldered or brazed together.



The blade and arm assembly were set up in a home made brazing hearth. This is to contain the heat while joining the components together.


As you can see from the photograph, a steel off-cut was used to support the back of the blade.


To adjust the blade angle, a piece of cardboard was cut to 110 degrees. Using this angled cardboard, the angle of the blade was set. With the angle set, another steel off-cut was used to hold the arms in place.


The blade and the arms were then fluxed in preparation for brazing or silver soldering.

For this particular project I purchased the Bernzomatic? soldering kit from Home Depot with a pack of bronze flux coated brazing and welding rods. This is by far the easiest solution for joining the parts together.


With all the necessary materials together we are now ready to start brazing.



With the blade and arm assembly set, heat until cherry red then apply the brazing rod. The braze should flow evenly along the length of the joint. Use the flame to make the braze flow until you are satisfied with the overall appearance.


The end result should look similar to the photograph on the left.

With the blade and leg assembly complete we can now turn our attention to the handle. As you can see from the photograph on the right I have chosen to use an exotic timber called cocobolo (Dalbergia retusa).


This wood is very hard and heavy with high strength. It produces fine dust when machined, therefore it would be advisable to use a dust mask. When turned it produces a very smooth finish with unique figured markings.



A piece of Cocobolo 3 3/4"x 1 1/4"x 1 1/4" was cut from the plank and set-up in the lathe. After turning to the desired shape, the end was then turned down to accept a 3/8" diameter brass ferrule.


The completed handle was then sanded smooth, paste wax applied and buffed to a mirror finish.

The handle now that it is turned can be set-up in the drilling jig. Set-up the drill press with a 17/64" drill bit and drill a hole to a depth to accept the legs of the blade assembly.


With the handle drilled it is now time for gluing the blade assembly into position. Take the blade assembly and rough up the legs with a file, mix the two part 5 minute epoxy resin and apply to both the hole of the handle and the legs of the blade. Insert the legs into the handle with a twisting motion, this will expel the air, then allow the resin to set.



With the resin cured, the final step is to sharpen the blade. This can be done with a file or on a grinding wheel. The back angle should be approximately 30 degrees.


Once the angle has been put on, de-burr the back face and the finisher is ready to go.

Copyright © 2004 - 20 Steven Austin