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CLOSE THIS BOOKSmall-Scale Horn Processing (ILO - WEP, 1988, 104 p.)
CHAPTER IX. MANUFACTURE OF USEFUL OBJECTS
VIEW THE DOCUMENT1. Buttons
VIEW THE DOCUMENT2. Salad servers and spoons of various kinds
VIEW THE DOCUMENT3. Hair combs
VIEW THE DOCUMENT4. Shoehorn
VIEW THE DOCUMENT5. Knobs and handles
VIEW THE DOCUMENT6. Lamp
VIEW THE DOCUMENT7. Wall light

Small-Scale Horn Processing (ILO - WEP, 1988, 104 p.)

CHAPTER IX. MANUFACTURE OF USEFUL OBJECTS

1. Buttons

Figures IX.1 and IX.2 show two models of the most common clothing buttons. They differ only in regard to the number of holes in them.


Figure IX.1: Example of button


Figure IX.2: Example of button

As the thickness of the walls of hollow sections vary from one horn to another and from one end of the same horn to the other, it is not possible to obtain buttons of exactly the same thickness. This does not generally inconvenience buyers, who accept small variations in thickness. As an indication, the average thickness may be 1.5 mm for the smallest buttons and 3 mm for the largest ones. Buttons of medium thickness fall within these limits.

Buttons manufactured in small-scale units must be sewn by hand, as differences in thickness may impede the distribution of buttons in automated sewing-machines. It is essential to introduce mass production if the price of buttons is to remain competitive.

Horn discs are cut with a crown bit (figure II.11) mounted on a sensitive drill. The horn sheet must be polished before the discs are cut. A drilling device, preferably with a steel drill, is used to cut holes, as shown in figure IX.3. The horn disc is placed in the recess in the stand. The drill template, intended to guide the bit, is placed over the centring pins and rests against the discs. Once the first hole has been drilled, the positioning pin is placed through it to ensure that the axes of all holes are perfectly aligned during drilling.

It is essential to round off and polish button edges carefully and to trim the holes in order to ensure that rough edges will not cut the sewing thread.

Finally, buttons should be classified according to colour before being put on sale.


Figure IX.3: Drilling device for cutting holes in buttons

2. Salad servers and spoons of various kinds

Figure IX.4 shows salad servers of the kind commonly manufactured by artisans. Their size and shape are given by way of example, but homers can modify these according to their wishes or consumer tastes. In this example, the spoon and fork are the same, except for the piece cut away between the two prongs of the fork. As the piece is not cut off the fork until the concave ends of the models have been stamped, the fork and spoon are in fact identical.


Figure IX.4: Model for salad servers

The straight part of the spatula is cut by one of the methods for the rectilinear cutting of flattened horn (see Chapter IV, section 7). The length and width of the spatula end in the model should be a few millimetres larger than the desired length and width of the concave end to allow for finishing the edges with a rasp after the end has been stamped. To cut out the piece between the fork prongs a cylindrical drill should be used to make a hole at the inner end of the slit, then the sides of the slit should be cut with a bow saw. If this type of saw is not available, a straight cut should be made to obtain a narrow slit which can then be rounded off with a wood rasp.

The same method can be used to manufacture syrup spoons (figure IX.5) or small salt and pepper spoons (figure IX.6).


Figure IX.5: Syrup spoon

The outline of these two types of spoon is in the hollow horn. The cutting technique is similar to that used in the case of salad servers. The spatula end of the salt and pepper spoons is stamped in the same way as for salad servers, but the process is much easier as the spoons are small with shallow concave ends.

Syrup spoons are easy to manufacture as the spatula end is not stamped.


Figure IX.6: Salt and pepper spoons

3. Hair combs

Hair combs are undoubtedly one of the most common articles made from horn. Plastics, and even certain metals, have been used as a substitute for horn in the manufacture of combs. It seems that the exclusion of horn from comb manufacture is largely due to the requirements of large-scale industrial production techniques which produce inexpensive items. Nevertheless, horn combs made by artisans are just as resistant as plastic combs. Furthermore, horn colours are so varied that two horn combs are never absolutely alike; this provides a choice that mass production cannot offer.

Figure IX.7 shows a classic type of hair comb, The sizes shown in millimetres are indicative only. Artisans may produce different types of combs varying in shape and size, but the technique is always the same.

As explained in chapter VI, section 4, combs are made from a ring cut in the hollow section of horn previously opened and flattened. The flattened piece of horn should be polished and given a gloss before the teeth of the comb are cut.

The teeth are cut one by one, using a hacksaw. It is a long and tedious process which requires considerable patience, care and skill. A skilled horner need not mark the teeth on the horn but will decide on the thickness while cutting them. He or she does this in two stages, sawing the teeth from one end of the comb to the middle and then from the other end to the middle. The centre tooth is generally thicker than the others. The teeth should then be carefully trimmed.


Figure IX.7: Cutting a comb

4. Shoehorn

The term "shoehorn" is still popularly used, although this article is now produced in metal and plastic. The name dates back to the period when all shoehorns were made of horn.

To manufacture a shoehorn the horn simply has to be divided into two parts, as shown in figure IX.8. The inside of the curved section is then used as a shoehorn.


Figure IX.8: Cutting a shoehorn

Nowadays, the shape of the shoehorn has been slightly refined. Figure IX.9 presents a classic model. The natural curve of the horn provides the required shape and simplifies the production process. To make a shoehorn like this the external shape is cut in the interior curved part of a hollow horn, as shown in figure IX.10. The natural curve of this part of the hollow section is the same as that of the shoehorn. To complete the operation, a hole is drilled for hanging, and the surfaces are polished and given a gloss.


Figure IX.9: Classic model of a shoehorn


Figure IX.10: Cutting out a shoehorn

5. Knobs and handles

These articles are very useful as door, furniture or drawer handles. They are also used in industry mounted on various appliances and machines. Such knobs and handles are industrially made from bakelite, but this could be advantageously replaced by horn. The shapes and sizes indicated are those in use in European industry, so the objects made are interchangeable with industrially produced knobs and handles. Artisans may wish to modify the specifications in accordance with consumers' requirements (see figures IX.11 IX.12 and IX.13, all measurements are in mm).

Horn has to be straightened before knobs and handles can be manufactured. Pieces from the solid section of the horn are turned on a lathe by the method outlined in Chapter VI. They are then drilled and threaded by recessed threading.


Figure IX.11: Knob or handle

A

B

C

D

H

10

11

9

M4

5

15

16

14

M5

8

20

22

18

M6

10

25

27

23

M8

13

30

33

28

M8

15

35

38

33

M8

15


Figure IX.12: Knob or handle

A

20

25

30

35

B

21

26

32

37

C

14

17

21

24

D

M4

M5

M6

M8

E

5

6

7

8

H

8

9

12

15


Figure IX.13: Knob or handle

A

20

25

30

35

B

21

26

32

37

D

M4

M5

M6

M8

E

5

6

7

8

H

9

11

13

17

6. Lamp

The lamp shown in figure IX.14 is a good example of an article that is both useful and decorative. Light passing through the translucent petals and leaves shows up horn markings in an effective manner. Figure IX.15 gives an exploded view of the components in assembly position. The letter assigned to each part corresponds to those of the diagrams with dimensions in figure IX.16. The three petals "A" are bonded to the top of the stem "C" and small pins are used to strengthen the assembly. The base of each stalk is bonded in the holes drilled for this purpose on top of the support "D". The tips "E" are plugged in and bonded in the ends of the feet of the support "D". The electric bulb socket is screwed into the threaded tube "F" which is itself screwed into the top of the stem.

The basic dimensions given in the detailed diagrams in figure IX.16 form a harmonious whole. The overall height of the lamp, after assembly, is approximately 450 mm. The three petals and the leaves are cut from the hollow section of the horn. The leaf veins are engraved. The stem and the tips made from the solid section of the horn are turned on a lathe. The whole length of the stem is drilled to enable the electric wire to pass through. The base is made partly from the solid body of the horn and partly from the hollow section. The feet ends are cylindrical in order to fit into the tips. If the lamp is being produced in large numbers, the external part of the support should be turned before the feet are cut and shaped. With the method illustrated in figure IX.16, the rough support can easily be set up on the lathe. Drilling and polishing can also be done on the lathe. The feet can be bent by candle heating. The threaded tube should preferably be of brass, bronze or aluminium alloy. If these metals are not available, it may be made from horn.

7. Wall light

The translucent yellow horn varieties, mottled or veined with red or black, give an attractive effect under lighting and by transparency. They are thus particularly suitable for making lamps (see figure IX.17).

The technique for making a wall light is given below as an example.

Making the lamp

- Select a horn about 50 cm in length.

- Remove the base of the hollow section by cross-cutting with a saw; keep a length of horn of about 400 mm.

- Cut the central part of the hollow section to the dimensions given in figure IX.18 leaving a strap on the concave side of the horn curve.

- Open the upper part of the hollow section by sawing along a line drawn diametrically opposite the strap (figure IX.19).

- Open out the upper part of the hollow section by heating, keeping a slight curve (20 mm) and a camber (35 mm) to form a reflector (figure IX.20).

- Trim and polish the whole body of the lamp.

- Bend the base of the strap by heating the bend with a candle flame (figure IX.21).

- While the reflector is bent back, drill a 6 mm hole to allow for the passage of the electric wire (figure IX.22).

- Straighten the reflector by heating the bend with a candle flame (figure IX.23).

- Adjust the rear face of the wall light to the dimension indicated in figure IX.24.

- Drill two 6 mm holes at the points indicated in figure IX.25. The ends of the stalks will then be fitted into these holes.

- If necessary, put finishing touches to the polish.


Figure IX.14: Example of a horn lamp


Figure IX.15: Exploded view of parts of the lamp in assembly position


Figure IX.16: Details of parts of the lamp - Part A


Figure IX.16: Details of parts of the lamp - Part B


Figure IX.16: Details of parts of the lamp - Part C


Figure IX.16: Details of parts of the lamp - Part D


Figure IX.16: Details of parts of the lamp - Part E


Figure IX.16: Details of parts of the lamp - Part F


Figure IX.17: Wall light


Figure IX.18: Cutting the central section


Figure IX.19: Opening the hollow section by sawing


Figure IX.20: Shaping the reflector


Figure IX.21: Bending by heating


Figure IX.22: Drilling a hole for the electric wire


Figure IX.23: Straightening the reflector


Figure IX.24: Adjusting the rear attachment face

Making the support

- The support is made from a horn of the same size as that used for the body of the lamp.

- Cross-saw the horn at the point where the outside diameter "D" is equal to that of the lower part of the body of the lamp (figure IX.26).

- Keep the upper hollow section which will be used later to make the leaves.

- Saw the sharp end of the horn lengthwise so that the cavity is split into two equal sections, while carefully preserving the symmetry of the outer curve of the horn in relation to the saw cut. The off-cuts will not be used in the manufacture of the rest of the lamp (figure IX.27).


Figure IX.25: Drilling holes for the leaf stalks

- Flatten an area on the face opposite the sawn face and drill a 6 mm hole through the sides of the support at the point indicated in figure IX.28. The hanging bracket will be fitted into this hole. Trim and polish the support and give a gloss to it.


Figure IX.26: Manufacture of the support


Figure IX.27: Sawing the sharp end of the horn


Figure IX.28: Drilling a hole for the bracket fitting


Figure IX.29: Dividing the hollow section

Making the leaves

- Divide the retained hollow section into two equal parts (figure IX.29).

- Flatten the two halves.

- Cut the leaves and leaf stalks to the dimensions given in figure IX.30. The leaf stalks must be cut in the direction of the horn fibre.

- Trim and polish the leaves and leaf stalks and give a gloss to them.

- Engrave the leaf veins (figure IX.30).

Screw-in adaptor

The threaded tube (figure IX.31) is used to adapt the form of the socket to fit into the body of the lamp. It is made of brass or aluminium alloy. It can also be made of horn, but will then be more fragile.

Auxiliary parts

Before mounting the wall light, some auxiliary parts that are shown in figure IX.32 have to be made:

Cap: In order to fit the contact socket securely to the body of the lamp, the cavity must be sealed with a cap made of horn or hardwood. It has a cylindrical shape and a thickness of about 15 mm. The cap is fitted into the cavity flush with the upper edge. A hole is drilled and tapped in its centre.

Bracket fitting: This is a cylindrical bar 6 mm in diameter and equal in length to the width of the support. Its axis must be in the direction of the horn fibre.

Dowels: The flat surfaces of the support and the lamp body are glued together. For greater strength four 3 mm holes are drilled through the support and the lamp body to take small dowels made of horn or hardwood.

Assembly

Figure IX.32 shows the position of the various parts after assembly.

- The support and the lamp body are mounted as indicated above (using dowels).

- The bracket fitting, the dowels and the cap are glued in their respective places.

- The ends of the leaf stalks are also glued in the holes drilled for that purpose. They should be welded by a candle flame so that the two leaves can be arranged harmoniously in front of the reflector.

- The adaptor is screwed into the cap and the contact socket is pressed against the cap.

Figure IX.33 gives a rear view of the assembled light.

Wall fitting

Figure IX.34 is a diagram of the wall fitting of the light.

A wooden or plastic dowel is driven into the wall. A screw is threaded into the dowel until the bracket fitting is squared with the screw and the back of the support is flat against the wall.


Figure IX.30: Dimensions of the leaves


Figure IX.31: Threaded tube


Figure IX.32: Auxiliary parts


Figure IX.33: Rear view of the assembled light


Figure IX.34: Wall fitting of the light

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