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Metro Retro Made | The Stubby Shop Brush

I love old tools. In partuclar, old tools that have LOTS of life left in them. When trolling around my favourite flea market, I came across some pretty beat up gems that were begging to be made useful again. The best part about restoring tools is that not only are they a fun project, in the end, they are useful items.

The shop brush is one of those under appreciated shop tools, but who says you can’t have nice things. I found this busted old 2″ thick round brush in the pile of junk, surprisingly, the bristles were still in good shape. The handle has seen a lot of sun, chemical exposure and a lot of shop floor drops. I adopted it like a runaway puppy. I had also found a vintage Canadian made Stanley spoke shave, that’s for another build post.


The first thing to do was to remove the ferrule nails, this was pretty easy as they were only about .5″ long. The process was a little flowy so I didn’t take too many build pics. However, the process was pretty easy, take the handle and chuck it up in the lathe and spin it pretty fast. Using 80 grit paper to get rid of the paint, and then progressively finer and finer papers till it was time for some 000 steel wool.


Since the ferrule was off, I buffed it with some 240 grit paper and the surface rust disappeared. I reassembled it after revealing the handle’s natural wood surface. In this case, it is a nice maple. I like how the red chemicals that this brush was used to paint with actually etched the colour into the wood near the ferrule.


The handle’s butt end was actually badly dented and chipped so…..


It got loped of in favour of some super sweet hardwood cut offs. A stack of paduak and walnut spaced with maple veneers were glued onto the bottom.


When that was dry, the new 80 grit belt sander made quick work of the blocky shape, bringing back the dome shaped end cap.


Again, using progressively finer and finer grits of sand papers, the new end cap was blended into the existing handle. Once it was smoothed out, a short bath of boiled linseed oil brought out the grain.


After the BLO dried up, some more steel wool buffing till it was baby butt smooth.


After three coats of super glue, it was time to put this brush into service. The best part about this stubby brush is that it stands up on end.


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Expect more Metro Retro Mades soon, I love restoring old tools into something I can use.


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