Introduction: Make a Display Stand Out of Wood and Copper

About: I've always liked pulling things apart - it's the putting back together again that I have some issues with!

On my quest to find beautiful, used objects, I came across this amazing brush which was labelled "mechanics brush" A quick search on google showed that the brush would have been used to clean mechanical parts probably on motorbikes, bicycles etc.

The brush has seen some usage over the years and has been well used. Amazingly though the bristles are in fantastic condition and look like real horse hair.

I love the way this brush looks and wanted to come up with a way to display it. However, it's been sitting in a draw for the last couple of years and I thought it was time to display it.

A quick hunt around my scrap wood pile and I found a nice piece of driftwood to make the base out of. I also used some pieces of copper I had lying around to use as a stand and face plate. I'm super happy with the finish of the display stand and I think it complements the brush very well.

Step 1: Parts and Tools


1. Something old and beautiful to display. Try typing in Vintage tools in eBay and see what comes up. I found my brush at a junk store so they are also great places to check out. I was also tempted to use the screwdriver you can see in the images. Will probably do a stand for this as well

2. Aged Piece of Wood. Ok, so it doesn't have to be aged but you will get a better look if it has seen some years. I found my piece on the beach!

3. Copper rod - I used 2mm OD copper wire. Any size similar will work. You can get this from most hobby stores or on-line


1. Belt Sander - used to clean-up the wood

2. Drill

3. Pliers

4. Files

5. Saw

6. Stain - I used Aged Teak

7. Soldering Iron

8. Superglue

Step 2: Cutting & Cleaning the Wood

Once you have your object you want to display, the next thing to do is to find a great piece of wood to display it on. I had some driftwood which I picked up last year and decided to use that. The wood has a lot of character which is exactly what I wanted.


1. First, place your object onto the wood and mark where to cut it. I left the wood about 40mm longer at each end so the brush would be nicely framed by the wood

2. Cut the wood to size

3. Next thing to do is to clean-up the wood. To do this I used a belt sander. Carefully start to remove the rough surfaces on each side of the wood, checking your work constantly.

4. Once you have removed most of the roughness (I couldn't get it all out but I didn't want to anyhow), round off the ends of the wood. To do this I just used the belt sander again. You could also use a router as well to do this.

Step 3: Staining the Wood

Up to you what colour you want to stain your wood. I went with aged teak as I love the finish it gives to almost any wood.


1. Place the wood on a clean cloth

2. Add some stain to another cloth and start to add it to the wood.

3. Leave to dry and add a couple more coats if you want to get a darker look. I added 3 in the end

Step 4: Making the Stand

Initially, I was going to make the stand out of acrylic but decided against it and went with copper instead. Copper and wood seem to go together so well.


1. You will need to have 2 stands in order to hold the brush (or whatever you want to display). Cut a couple of 100mm lengths of the copper rod. You can always shorten these later if you need to. These will make the posts for the stands

2. Next, you will need to make the sections that will hold the object. To do this, grab a screwdriver or something similar. It just needs to be round and around the same size as the object you want to display

3. wrap the copper a couple times around the end of the screwdriver. This will make the larger holder. Cut the copper so you are left with a half circle shape. Do this again but make a smaller one as shown in the images.

4. Time to connect the holders to the posts. To do this I used a soldering iron turned up high. You could also use a small blow torch to do the same thing. Place the post and holder onto a flat surface. Add a little flux (if you don't have any then don't worry - it will still solder together) to the end and solder together.

5. Use a file to remove any excess solder on the joint. Do the same for the other one

Step 5: Adding the Stands Into the Wood Base


1. First, you need to work out where to place the stands in the wood. Put the object onto the 2 stands and place it on the wood. Mark where you need to drill a couple of holes for the stands

2. Drill the holes into the wood making sure that you drill straight holes

3. Place the stands in the holes and if necessary, trim the posts to the size and height that works best.

Step 6: Final Touches

There isn't much more to do but to add your display item onto the stand and find a nice place to display it.

I was (and probably will still do) going to add a small etched plaque on the front but I think that will be for another 'ible. I've been looking at some tutorials on YouTube and I think it would really finish it off with a nice etched piece of copper which says "Mechanics Brush Circa 1950's"

Next thing to do is to make one for that awesome screwdriver I've got!

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