Sometimes I’m a bad blogger. I get so caught up in the steps of a project that I forget to photograph what I’m doing. After final-shaping the hanger brackets I drilled the mortises in the stretchers. Using through-mortises here made fitting and assembly much easier, since I could use a float to adjust the fit of the joint. In fact, the joinery was good enough that clamps weren’t needed to hold the parts together. This was good, since I had no idea how I was going to clamp such oddly shaped pieces. After that, I did the rest of the glue-up as a single step. This might seem odd, but the shape and fit of the various pieces made this practical. However, as you can see from the photo above, it made for an odd combination of clamps.
When the clamps came off, I saw that the feet weren’t quite level, and the rack rocked a bit. This was not unexpected, and in fact is almost inevitable. One of a woodworker’s prime functions is to level out the accumulated errors of construction so that everything fits correctly. In this case, a little planework to make the bottom of the feet coplanar solved the problem. In doing this, I also had a chance to angle the verticals slightly forward so that the brush bristles were clear of the lower stretcher, thus reducing finish damage from water. I had toyed with the idea of adding small risers to the feet, but discarded it due to the look it gave the piece.
Once the feet were leveled and everything was sanded, it was time for the finish. I decided on sprayed shellac, since it’s an easy finish to renew, and some water damage will be inevitable no matter what. For a project this size, the airbrush is the perfect tool, and handled the SealCell without problems straight out of the can with a #3 needle and tip. A quick sand with 220 grit and another coat, and this project was done.
And here is the rack standing in its permanent home. If you look in the mirror, you can see the through mortises on the back of the upper stretcher. As I thought, the razor bracket in the middle does look bigger, but it’s also shaped somewhat differently, so I don’t think the overall effect is troubling. It is definitely minimized with the razor in place, as in the picture below. This shows the rack fulfilling its intended function, hopefully for many years to come.
People have wondered why I designed this project for one razor and two brushes. I’m not a big collector of razors or brushes, though I DO have a fondness for shaving soaps and aftershaves. One razor and matching blade that works well is all I would use in any given stretch of time. However, having two brushes allows me to use them in rotation, thus giving time for each brush to dry out completely between uses, reducing the possibility of mildew. This is along the same lines as alternating pairs of shoes to allow them to dry and prolong their useful life.
This has been a fun project that allowed me to work purely from an idea and a rough sketch, and let me make use of some of the little good pieces I had stashed but had forgotten about. If this has piqued your interest in double-edge shaving, check out the wonderful instructional website, Shaving 101. It can get you started on the road to an enjoyable morning ritual.