Life certainly has a way of interfering with woodworking! Spring in Mississippi has brought numerous chores into the picture that had lain dormant all winter. However, I finally got back to the bench, and was able to pick up where I left off last time.
I didn’t get any pictures of shaping the brush brackets, so I’ll pick up with the making of the razor bracket. The techniques were the same, though on a slightly smaller scale. I decided to make the razor bracket a little shorter and narrower to fit the scale of the razor, and to give a slightly parabolic effect to the three brackets. This will hopefully provide visual interest and echo the curved bottoms of the stretchers. I used the same dado setup and stepped approach to create the front lip, but reduced the width to 1 1/2″.
As with the brush brackets, I removed the small grooves left from the dado, this time using only a large shoulder plane due to the narrower gap. You’ll notice a chipped corner on the near side of the lip. This wasn’t a problem (fortunately), since my next step was to rip the piece to 1 1/2″ wide to give better proportions with the razor head. However, this demonstrated the weakness of the lip, and left me with some lingering concerns about the long-term durability of the concept. Time will tell.
Once the piece was cut to width, I drilled a 5/8″ hole for the razor handle, which would hopefully accommodate any razor I might purchase in the future. I then struck lines to the front edge of the piece, and cut out the center section, creating a U-shaped opening for the razor handle. This was followed with smoothing and sanding.
All of these operations had been carried out with the bracket attached to the rest of the blank. This made it much easier to clamp and hold the piece while performing the above actions. Now, it was time to set the bracket free! I carefully sawed it from the blank, and then squared up the end on the shooting board.
Here you see the three brackets placed in their approximate alignment to the stand parts. You’ll notice that the brush brackets have a somewhat sculpted shape, while the razor bracket was left squarish. The sculpting was made necessary by the shape of the Persian jar-style handles of the brushes, that required a flared recess to allow them to be retained by the bracket, and not slip out. True, the razor bracket has a thicker appearance, but I hope that its place in the middle will keep that from being a problem. The razor is somewhat heavier than the brushes, and I was afraid of making it too weak.
The next step will be cutting the mortise-and-tenon joints that will attach the brackets to the upper stretcher. Then, it will be time for the long-awaited glue-up. Things are starting to come together!