In my recent instructable "Making a Brush From a Plastic Bottle" I showed how to make a rather simple brush out of PET plastic bottle strip. This time I'm going to show the way of making more advanced version. Although it's a brush of a particular design in my instructable, you can produce a variety of products of different shapes and porpouses using this method. So let's begin.
First of all, gather your bottles and cut some strips out of them. It took me about 7 1L bottles to accomplish this project.
Since I'm using the strip right away, I don't wind it on a spool. I'm just leaving coils on the flor putting some weight on the end to prevent them intangling.
For my projects, like this, I made a frame for straightening the strip. Despite being the second alteration, it still turned out to be a bit weak for the work. So, if you're going to make your own frame, make sure it's sturdy enough, since shrinking plastic applyes a lot of force on the structure.
The other piece is a rod installed on a wooden plank. The frame has two holes so it can be installed on the rod and spin freely.
And the third part with two corks is for keeping tension on the strip and for keeping it from twisting.
When all parts assembled, I'm pulling the string through the corks and securing the end on the frame.
If you don't want to make a frame and it's just one time project for you, you can use a wooden board or piece of plywood.
So, at this step the deal is to wind the strip on the frame. Those cork handles spin freely so I can spin the frame by hand. I'm tyeing the ends of the strips in the process. With my left hand I'm directing incoming strip so it winds as parallel as possible.
Wind all the strip on the frame.
For straightening the strip you have to apply heat to it. It can be done in few ways:
- by heatgun
- by submerging in boiling water
- by heating in the owen
But I have this old electric sandwich grill, so I'm using it. And as you can see I made the frame to fit inside it. When the grill is heated up, I'm placing the frame iside for half a minute or something, then turning it to the other side and heating for half a minute more.
After the straightening, leave the frame for some time for the strip to cool down. It doesn't take long, but you can submerge it into cold water make it cool faster.
Cut then the strip from the frame. For shorter bristles cut in the middle, and cut at one side for longer ones.
And now it's a wood working time. You'll need one bigger longer piece for the main body, and one smaller for holding the bristles. I recommend to use plywood for the small one.
I found suitable blanks in my box for small wooden scraps, and worked them to desired size and shape.
In the smaller piece, there should be made a series of holes for the bristles.
Mark the holes positioning them in a checker order and drill them out.
Then, take new piece piece of wood and repeat the procedure all over again.
I recommend to use plywod.
Along the each line of holes cut a notch and widen with a piece of sanpaper with aid of some random object. Regular bamboo skewer should fit in the notch snugly, but the notch should be deep enough to accomodate the thicknes of bristles along with the skewer.
Now start placing bundles of bristle loops inside the holes. With the first one make sure that it fits bypulling it down through the hole untill the scewer reaches the bottom of the notch. The loop of bristles should fit iside the hole pretty snuggly and should be flash with the surface of the wooden plank on the back.
Keep installing bristles untill filling one row. I keep one skewer inside loops during the process to make sure they keep facing the right way.
When bristles are installed, apply some wood glue to the notch. Then start pulling the loops to the front side of the plank.
Then take a new piece of wood and repeat a bunch of previous steps. I really recommend to use plywood.
Accomplish securing bristles on all rows.
Apply glue to the back of the bristle piece and clamp it to the handle piece to glue. I used all two of my clamps, a vice and improvisation.
When the glue dryed and the brush is basycally assembled, it's time for some final shaping.
To trim the bristles clamp them between two woden blocks on desired lenght and use sharp and sturdy knife to cut the excess off.
I'm finishing the brush with some old boiled linseed oil, an I'm done.
A brush like this is perfect for cleaning your workbench, but, as I said any design can be produced. But also I want to show a broom I also made recently. It's made a bit differently. I drilled a row of 20mm holes halfway through the wooden block and secured bristles with U-shaped staples I made from regular nails. It's an alternative way of making brushes, and, I guess, I'll cover it later, when be making another broom.
And, it's probably it for today, thanks for your attention and have a nice improvisation.
Also here's my Patreon page, just in case you were wondering.
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