|This was the original
request - a hair stick made
from Banksia Pod and Ebony, inlaid with Chrysocolla.
I think I've blown up enough hair sticks by now to make this a fairly simple process. Any wagers?
Here is enough for two more hair sticks.
The key to better success is more up-front preparation. More attention was paid to squaring these blanks up.
I am drilling 1/4" into the ebony blanks and 1 1/4" into the banksia. I also cut the 7mm tubes down to 1 1/2".
I filled up the 1/4" holes in the ebony with medium viscosity CA glue, gave it a shot of accelerator and then quickly jammed the tubes
into the holes. I then put a nice thick layer of CA glue on the brass tubes and the ebony base, gave them a shot of accelerator and
quickly slid the banksia over the tubes.
This time I am squaring these back up with the band saw before going further. One of the things I didn't consider last time is that since
there is no mandrel squaring the piece up with the lathe, one has to manually get the hair stick blank on center or you can run into problems of major proportions as you get close to the finish line.
The banksia pod seed holes are partially reinforced with Chrysocolla at the outset. Any holes which look like they are close
to center are getting filled. You do have to be careful not to use too much glue too early as it creates voids in the inlay later on. It is a pain to fix
The blank is turning well enough at a medium speed. No major problems. When I started hitting inlay, I used an 80 grit sanding disk
mounted on a drill to save on having to sharpen tool.
I didn't run into the brass tube this time. Imagine that! Total time spent so far is only half an hour or so but it is getting too cold
to do much more today.
I also upgraded to a Canon 880 IS after the LCD on my 770 IS cracked. This is an amazing little camera.
Chrysocolla has a hardness of 2.5 to 3.5, making it quite easy to sand. I might have to start using more of that.
I used some yellow jasper the other day as inlay for a bowl and about 20 strips of 60 grit sandpaper later, I finally got the inlay where I wanted it. The stuff was like trying to sand quartz.
I'll let this inlay sit for the night.
So far so good although this looks like it's going to be a shorter hair stick.
Getting that brass tube centered correctly really helped keeping the banksia part of the blank stable.
This is going amazingly well.
One more coat of super secret finishing technique and this will be ready to part from the lathe.
There! One banksia pod, Chrysocolla and ebony hair stick. I'm not sprinkling it with pixie dust or whatever that was, though.
That's just silly.
However, that hair stick is a little shorter than the one in the original picture so I will go around with this one more time.
I had to cut off the old banksia blank which meant that I was also cutting out the brass tube.
So, this one has no brass tube for support.
So, my aim here is just to get the banksia blank kind of round, stop the lathe and fill the entire thing with inlay.
Boy I like this new Canon 880 IS camera. Takes great macro images.
The best way I've found to do inlays where holes go all the way through is to tape one end, fill up the holes with inlay
and then fill up with thin CA glue.
If you put in glue first to get pieces of stone to stick, then you can end up creating voids in the inlay which end
up getting filled with CA glue. Sometimes it works out but most times it is noticeable and doesn't look very
attractive at all. Inlay first, then glue.
This was working well enough until I started cleaning up the part and then I felt that unwelcome vibration of a hair stick coming apart.
More CA glue and some natural drying time to the rescue.
I was at work today griping about the cost of specialized sanding gear and the guy I was talking to said, 'Well you know the other day I was down at Cummins and they were selling 6" sanding discs for about three bucks for five and the mounting pads for 99 cents a piece. 'Can you use those?'
Yes I could and yes I did. Took two of these to knock the inlay down to where I needed it.
Those 6" cheapo disks knocked it down in a hurry.
The tail stock is clear. No problems.
One completed hair stick - Banksia Pod, Chrysocolla and Ebony.
I must confess when I was turning the shorter hair stick I was thinking weaponry.
Make a tee handle for it and it would also serve as an excellent ornamental push dagger.
I think it would also work well with shorter hair buns.
The last hair stick was a final attempt to duplicate the cause of all this hair stick commentary in the first place and I think I acquitted myself admirably. It too would be a formidable weapon should the occasion ever present itself. That ebony while not seeming very hard, does have some flexibility, takes a fine point and it is tough. It would not break easily in a fight.
Oh, got a little off track here.
It also be quite the standout item at social gatherings.
A word of advice for the guys:
Steer well clear of really po'd women wearing hair sticks. The outcome of such an encounter would not be pretty.