Ivory and silver brush handle: To be or not to be?

Discussion in 'The Brush' started by PLANofMAN, Sep 5, 2012.

?

Should I restore this or cut it up for brushes?

Poll closed Oct 3, 2012.
  1. Restore and use as a walking stick

    11 vote(s)
    91.7%
  2. Make a brush handle or two out of it

    1 vote(s)
    8.3%
  1. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    [​IMG]
    I just scored this ivory and silver handle! Now, I have to decide what to do with it. My original idea was to make a brush handle or two out of it, but now I'm leaning more towards a full restore with a blackwood cane shaft. What do you guys think?
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. oscar11

    oscar11 Well-Known Member

    What's the diameter?
     
  3. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    It still needs to be shipped to me, but I would guesstimate a 1" to 1-1/2" thick.
     
  4. battle.munky

    battle.munky Has the menthol.munky on his back!

    I'd go with the walking stick dude. If you got to cut it, that cleave line may seperate and ruin both of the options. Really cool walking stick if you opt for that. Brushes would be amazing too, I'm sure, but my moeny'd be on the stick.

    Please let us know the route you take Ryan, and follow up with pics :D
     
    tomnat, GDCarrington and PLANofMAN like this.
  5. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    Yep. Restore it as a walking stick.
     
    GDCarrington likes this.
  6. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    It looks like the overwhelming majority of you think I should go with a walking stick. The problem with this is I already have one coming (seen below), and I'm a huge fan of blackthorn, especially 150+ year old blackthorn. (none of that polished handle, modern, 1920's look for me!) Now I can buy another stick and use it with this handle, but would using blackthorn be too rustic of a look for a gentleman's stick? I don't exactly want to run down to Wally world and buy a no name cane with wood of dubious origin. I'm a hiker, not a gimp. In 30 or 40 years, I might need a cane to get from the bedroom to the bathroom, but I'm not there yet. (or will be for a long while, God willing.)

    I guess what I can do is buy another blackthorn stick and smooth off the knobs, try to find a silver collar for the join between head and stick, and mount a brass ferule on the tip of the new stick. This project just got a lot more expensive.:( Oh yeah, and remove the silver end caps and remove the worst of the dents before remounting them. (I'll have a little chat with the local jeweler before I launch into that project though.) I don't plan on selling it, but I wonder if this will end up costing more than it's worth. At least with razors, when you replate them, you have a chance of recouping your losses if you ever decide to sell them.
    EDIT: To clarify, I am not planing on using this stick with the handle shown above. I would buy another stick to use with the handle.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    I love the look of that blackthorn! You're right, that covers the rustic.
    Now you've got to go for some gentleman class; something dashing and debonaire.
    Not sure just what that is, but that's what I'd be looking for.
     
    PLANofMAN likes this.
  8. awake2shave

    awake2shave Crazy Sharp Melon Baller


    Am I the only one that thinks this looks more like a shillalah or cudgel then walking stick
     
    PLANofMAN likes this.
  9. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    No, you are not the only one.
    It is an Irish shillilagh, but I wouldn't call it a cudgel. It can be used as such, but cudgels are much shorter.:) Sharp eyes, most people would not have caught that.:D
     
  10. awake2shave

    awake2shave Crazy Sharp Melon Baller

    Then if you cut it right maybe you can get a stick for your handle and a new toy. I could wrap a handle on the shillilagh for you just don't ask why I know how lol.
     
  11. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    This stick:
    [​IMG]
    Is so not ever going to be cut. If I buy another blackthorn for the ivory handle, I'll buy one with a damaged head.
     
  12. awake2shave

    awake2shave Crazy Sharp Melon Baller

    Fair enough my friend.
     
  13. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    I guess I should explain. In the old days, craftsmen would slather the stick in bacon grease or butter and stick it up in their chimney for up to a year to cure. So you would end up with this result: (close-up of the head of the stick above) A gorgeous patina that takes decades to acquire.
    [​IMG]
    Modern sticks, heh, most sticks from the 1900's - current day are painted with black or clear lacquer. It looks nicer at first, but does not age as well, develop as nice a patina, etc. The lacquer wears off, and you get this result, scratches, scuffs, chips in the lacquer, and in the bark, and the lacquer is completely worn off of the head.
    [​IMG]
    Modern sticks don't even black lacquer the heads anymore. Showing off the grain is now more important than authenticity. New modern stick shown below.
    [​IMG]
    I hope you can see why the thought of cutting up a 150+ year old walking stick makes me blanch a little.:eek: Mostly because there are no traditional shillilagh makers anymore. They use all use lacquer these days. It's quicker, does not pose a fire hazard, etc. The ivory and silver handle can still be reproduced by a decently competent craftsman, the stick cannot.

    I can see from my earlier post how you would have gotten the impression that I meant to use that stick with the handle. Oops.:ashamed001:

    Sorry about the history lesson, I haven't had my morning coffee yet.:)
     
    KLF likes this.
  14. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    A smooth stave of Chestnut, Mahogany, or Ebony. Preferably Ebony, if I can find any.
    {Walks away, whistling "Putting on the Ritz"}
     
  15. tomnat

    tomnat accepting applications

    It's a beautiful stick, Ryan. And I rather enjoyed the history lesson. Fascinating. It makes we want to try to find one and buy it.
     
    PLANofMAN likes this.
  16. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    You can pick them up all day long on eBay. It pays to be selective. Last fall they were selling for $100+, right now they are selling for $40-60, with some prime examples selling for $200+. I managed to buy that one for $68 +$10 for shipping. That might seem high to some folks, but that is a fantastic price for the stick I'm getting. Just type in "blackthorn stick" on eBay. Just remember to avoid the cold steel sticks, those look nice, but they are made of plastic. If you don't want to go the eBay route, nice sticks can be purchased new for $100-$200. They won't have the character that an old stick has though.
     
    tomnat likes this.
  17. Sara-s

    Sara-s This Pun for Hire

    Looking forward to seeing it finished!
     
    PLANofMAN likes this.
  18. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    Update:
    I've received it and made my decision, or rather, had the decision made for me.:) It was smaller and narrower than originally anticipated, so it will be a cane. I managed to get the most badly damaged cap off, and cleaned it up, there is a crack in the end of the cap (visible in the 3rd picture) so a trip to the jewelers will be happening soon to discover if it can be repaired and restored. If it can't, I will be looking into having the ivory cut into scales for a straight razor. Even if it can be fixed, I will still look into that.
     

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