By Michael Dresdner

How many camels does it take to make a camel-hair brush? None. Despite its name, this kind of brush contains no camel hair. History reports that camel is a corruption of the name of a popular brush maker, Camle. who originally used squirrel hair to produce an exceptionally soft, pliable bristle. What with the squirrel-hair market being what it is, most camel brushes are now made with pony hair.

Which of the following animals do not donate hair to the brush-making trade: Hogs, squirrels, skunks, horses, badgers, sables, oxen, humans? They all do. While humans are probably the only ones who give lip their hair willingly (and are paid for it), the hair of even- animal listed above is used to make brushes.

Brushes are one of the oldest and finest finish applicators ever invented. They are inexpensive, lightweight, portable, versatile, and efficient. And while few woodworkers can afford a different spray gun for each class of finish, brushes offer that luxury to all. Almost every type of common finish is available in a brushablc formula, so choosing a brush as an applicator will not cramp your style.

At the business end of a brush is the hair or bristle, which defines the brush and its use. (See checklist, next page.) This bundle of fibers can be all the same length {Jlat tip), or can taper on both sides to a more pliable chisel tip. The hair ends themselves can be tipped—cut off like the end of a toothbrush bristle, tapered to a point that is finer than the rest of the shaft, or flagged into a spray of split ends. (See drawing.) The bristles are set into an cpoxy plug and attached to the handle by a metal ferrule. The center of the bristle cluster just above the ferrule is the reservoir. (See drawing.)

Preparing a Brush

Before even opening a can of finish, prepare the brush by soaking it in an appropriate solvent all the way up to the ferrule, then squeeze out most of the excess. Select the

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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