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  1. #61
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    First, I used the needle nosed pliers, and made a loop on one end of a rather long length of .025" music wire. I probably used about a 10" lengh of wire so I knew I wouldn't run out, and it makes it easier to loop if you have a lot of overhead. Just be careful not to poke yourself in the eye as you wrap it.
    "You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ::c.s. lewis


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  3. #62
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    I would recommend drawing out the shape and size of the rake head you're going for before you cut the think wire. Then, Wherever there is a bend in the drawing, put a mark down the length of the .04" wire, so you know where that needs to be bent after the wire is wrapped. These will also be visual indicators of when you may need to start wrapping the wire tighter or looser, which I'll explain later.

    Look at the drawing below for reference...each "side" of the drawing corresponds to a mark on the wire. This will tell you all you need to know about the length and bend placements for the thicker, main wire. So, mark it off and cut it to length.
    "You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ::c.s. lewis

  4. #63
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    If you can't directly cut through the wire with cutters, you can just pinch as hard as you can, and bend the wire back and forth, and eventually it will break off. That's what I did for these, because I didn't want to set up the Dremmel to cut them.

    One important thing to note here, is that once the wire was marked and cut, I LEFT IT STRAIGHT! Don't begin to bend it into the shape you want until it is fully wrapped.

    So, before wrapping, I put the .04" music wire into the loop we made earlier and pinched it closed with the wider pliers. This will help the wires hold onto each other as you begin to wrap them.
    "You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ::c.s. lewis

  5. #64
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    I found the wider plier are better for trying to pinch corners of things tighter. There's more surface area for them to grip the wire with. Once you have the thicker wire threaded through the loop and pinched tightly on it, just grip it with the pliers, and start wrapping the wire by hand. There's no real trick to this part. Just make sure your fingers are pretty tough, if not, they will be by the end of it.

    You can see the final rake tools in (C).

    You can see with the smaller end that I used really tight coils for the main lengths of the loop, and looser for the parts that will go into the handles. This was just to give me a break from wrapping so tightly all the time. I knew where it would need to be wrapped tighter because of the markings I had measured out based on the drawing. Finally a good idea after many failures.

    The tool on the left is a rougher rake for initial smoothing, and the smaller one is much finer to finish it even more.

    Let me know if anything is unclear. Thanks, and keep going!
    "You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ::c.s. lewis

  6. #65
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    Alright, so after my little mishap with the polyurethane and stain, I had to recut some dowels. I used the circular cut and snapping method I posted earlier on to get them to size. Then, depending on the tip you want to create, there are two methods. Here's the first:

    Basically, I just put the dremel's sanding bit on, and tried to keep it at a consistent level down the dowel's shaft, about the width of the sanding bit, and just shave off wood in a circular pattern, going around the dowel. This will make a little peg on the tip. Then, I moved further down the shaft, and do the same, but I don't sand it down as far. You can see the progression below.

    This technique seems good for creating more unique ends or ones where the taper may need to be more drastic. It allows you to block in the taper, then clean it up later on. Look below and let me know if you have any questions.
    "You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ::c.s. lewis

  7. #66
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    This second method allowed me to get a much more controlled, consistent taper to the end of the dowel. I found that using the above method, I had some difficulty keeping the peg portion I was making in the center of the dowel.

    For this technique, I tried to mimick an actual lathe more or less. I kept the Dremel tool stationary, held the dowel at the angle to the surface I wanted the taper to be, and simply rotated the dowel slowly. This kept the cutting to a more consistent depth, and allowed for a more controlled, subtle gradation down the shaft. I made a .gif to illustrate my point.

    In the first image, I'm starting out at the very edge of the dowel. You can still see the peg portion I broke off from earlier. Then I progressively move down the shaft, rotating only the dowel, until I finish off the tip in image 7. Let me know if something's unclear. Thanks.
    "You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ::c.s. lewis

  8. #67
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    Here are some pics and a close-up of the final tools with the wires epoxied into them. For all the triangular and angled ones, I just bent the wire with pliers. Nothing fancy. I tried putting nails into boards and bending them around those, as well as other methods, but this seemed to work the best. All of these were made using the .025" music wire. Once I had these shaped out, I drilled holes in the ends of the dowels with the Dremel, mixed up the epoxy and stuck them in. The only tricky thing I found with the epoxy, is that if you don't mix it well, at a 1:1 ration, it won't harden correctly. The glue will stay rather gummy unless its mixed fully. If it is, then it cures rock solid.Let me know if you guys want pics and a tutorial showing those steps, but I thought it would be pretty self-explanatory.

    I got a little experimental too with the shapes. But I found they make for really nice finger grips, and started adding them into all the shafts I was making. I still have to coat them in polyurethane, but now I have something to hang them by.

    The thicker tools are made from 1/2" dowels, and the smaller are from 3/8" dowels.
    Last edited by molemansd7; July 25th, 2007 at 10:41 PM.
    "You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ::c.s. lewis

  9. #68
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    And here are some other shafts I made just to play around with the remaining dowel rods I had. I have yet to make wire tips for them, but I figured I'll do that once I know just what I'll need. Its just fun to make pretty shapes.
    "You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ::c.s. lewis

  10. #69
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    Alright, my first few tools are now done. I'll put a pick up tomorrow sometime. The only other thing I had still to do with them since the last pics were to sand them down with the fine grit paper from before (320) and sprayed them with Minwax Polyurethane (pictured below). This made the application incredibly simple...no drips, no mess. The can only costs about $6, but can do a lot of tools.

    Since I had already put the wire ends in the tools, I just put a lump of clay onto a board, shoved one end into the clay, standing them vertically, covered the exposed end with scotch tape, and sprayed to my hearts content. I put 3 coats on, allowing about a half hour to 45 min. drying time. That's all there is for the wood ones. Next, I'll show you the process for soldering the rakes I made into the brass handles.
    "You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ::c.s. lewis

  11. #70
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    Wow, who knew there were this many tool fetishists out there!

    Great stuff, but remember guys, don't spend so much time making tools and handles that you never get around to sculpting!

    That said, a well-made tool will last a long time. I still have a few of the first tools I ever made from scratch many years ago.
    "Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."
    -- Goethe

    Visit my online portfolio: Dan Perez Studios

  12. #71
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    Wow, I had no idea this was a fetish...

    Anyway, I sanded them down a bit more and sprayed them with the polyurethane...here's the result. I'll get the brass rake tool tut up asap too...just gimme a couple days.
    "You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ::c.s. lewis

  13. #72
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    I have a very good friend that makes tools to sell ,in case you might not have the time,he's a professional makeup artist .check out KensTools.com

    He is an extremely nice hombre,his are the only bought tools I use/have.they work really well.
    I really like the stuff you guys have posted so far though.it's very informative thanx.

    It's also great to see that Dan Perez studios have joined.I'm a very big fan of your work!!
    it's very humbling to see so many awesome artists in the forums.I look forward to seeing more of your work displayed here as well.
    It's better to be remembered as the sand in the gears and not as the oil.

  14. #73
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    Hey Shrader,
    so, I've been able to finish the wooden tools, and have done a few of the ones with brass handles (primarily the rakes), but I've been having some issues getting the solder to fill in the end of the tubing evenly, and without moving the wire. Any tips on how to do that? I'm thinking the tube may be too large of a diameter. I know you used 5/32" tubing...have you had any luck with bigger tools?
    Last edited by molemansd7; August 10th, 2007 at 10:51 AM.
    "You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ::c.s. lewis

  15. #74
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    Cool tools.

    I made one that's kind of for quick scratching.
    Take some plastic coated copper wire (the one with lots of wires in it) and you strip it about 1/4"-1/2" down then glue it inside a metal pipe. Crimping it would probably work, too.

  16. #75
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    that's an extremely interesting tool.
    nice work

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