The designer Sarah Cecelia in front of a white bathroom cabinet with handmade brass handles

The start of something new - Part Two

I am beyond happy to be writing this update. Working on my first set of door hardware has been a really exciting and at times nerve wracking experience. The raw castings arrived several weeks ago and getting them prepped and ready to be installed has been immensely satisfying. 

As expected there were some imperfections that need to be tackled, especially with the handle where the wax had multiple breaks. The knob looked amazing though and the handle with only one break casted very well. Lesson learned though, I will not try to salvage another wax with so many issues. 

 Once the areas that need to most attention were filed and adjusted as best as I could it was on to grinding and sanding the castings. This all went pretty smoothly and then it was into the tumblers to begin working towards the best finish possible.

Before I moved on to polishing, though, I got to dust off a skill I haven't used since college—thank you, art school BFA—drilling the screw holes and then tapping them. I'm not really sure why this is called tapping; it doesn't make sense to me. But a tap is a bit that you use to add threading to the hole for the screws. You add tool oil to the hole and then gently turn the tap forwards and slightly back to cut away the brass and create threading. This was easier than I remembered, but I think when I did this in school, I was using steel, not brass. It was so satisfying to see the screws work effortlessly when I tried them out.

 And then it was onto polishing and the big event, installing the hardware in my bathroom. I did have to do some adjustment to the preexisting holes on one of the doors for the problematic handle but the other fit perfectly and I was over the moon. Installing the knob was obviously a breeze since it does not involve lining up two holes perfectly. 

I went with a high polish shiny finish and no lacquer. It will be interesting to see how the finish naturally ages over the coming months. I am open to experimenting with brushed finishes as well lacquering in the future. Next up on the hardware front? My kitchen! I am hoping to tackle this over the summer (depending on how much my kids let me get done...) This time I will me molding the hardware for production castings. Let see how it goes!! 


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