Toolsday: Chip Brush

Here's a humble tool that I couldn't do without, the "chip brush".


A small paint brush

This is just one of those cheap disposable paint brushes you can get at the harware store for a dollar or so. This one was used for painting at some point, but its main purpose now is to clear away waste material. You can often blow away small amounts of dust, but you can't do that every thiry seconds for an hour without getting tired. Blowing also doesn't work on larger chips and saw waste. Besides, who knows what you're inhaling when you huff and puff like like, and you should be wearing a dust mask anyway.

Having a chip brush around enables you to quickly and gently remove waste material from surfaces and slots. They're also handy for getting dust out of tighter spaces when you're cleaning up afterwards. A chip brush doesn't have to be anything special, as long as it brushes. I use this one all the time. The loop of twine reminds me not to throw this beat up old thing away, and helps me hang it on a pegboard hook.

By the way, I love this kind of paint brush. I have some nicer brushes for final finishing, but I almost always use this kind of brush for early coats, or anything with lots of pigment. They're supposed to be disposable, but with careful cleaning I can usually use one for a while. Even if I can't get it clean after use, or if it starts to deteriorate, I can toss one out without feeling like I wasted money. I bought a big bulk box at Rockler a while back, and it's handy to be able to have a stock of brushes around for when I decide I need a fresh one.

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2010.06.15 at 11:00am EDT